According to the Washington Post, Colonel Roman Chervinskyi of the Ukrainian Special Operations Forces participated in last year’s sabotage of the Russian-German gas pipeline Nord Stream. The 48-year-old colonel was the “coordinator” of the operation, according to the newspaper. But he himself denies it.
The revelation of the officer’s role is the most compelling evidence to date linking Ukraine’s military and security leadership to the controversial act of sabotage. It was labeled a “dangerous attack on Europe’s energy infrastructure” by Western politicians and sparked several international investigations.
Roman Chervinskyi served in the Ukrainian Special Forces (SSO) and managed the logistics and support of a six-man team that rented a sailboat under a false identity and used deep-sea diving equipment to place explosive charges on gas pipelines. However, he rejected all these claims through his lawyer.
Then on September 26, 2022, three explosions occurred, causing massive leaks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines. The pipeline was laid on the bottom of the Baltic Sea and connected Russia and Germany directly, without transit countries. It was Ukraine that benefited from the status of a transit country both politically and economically. Nord Stream partially deprived her of this privilege. After the attack, only one of the four gas connections in the network remained intact.
According to the findings of the newspaper, Červinskyj did not act alone and did not even plan the operation. The officer received orders from senior Ukrainian officials who reported directly to General Valery Zaluzhny, the Chief of the Ukrainian General Staff.
Officer Červinskyj denies his involvement. “All speculations about my involvement in the attack on the Nord Stream are spread by Russian propaganda without any proof, but it has no basis,” he said in writing through his lawyer to the American newspaper Washington Post and the German Der Spiegel, which published information about his role in the diversionary action.
The explosions raised a number of questions, and Ukraine was among the suspects from the start, although the world’s media attention focused more on Russia. Ukraine conducts many covert operations against Russian forces, the attack on Nord Stream, if actually carried out by Ukrainian saboteurs, is absolutely extraordinary. This is because it is a civil infrastructure that also supplied millions of people in Europe.
The Washington Post refers to the testimony of people in high places as well as official Ukrainian and European sources. It is not certain whether the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky himself knew about the operation, American journalists admit.
Their version is supported by the fact that Chervinskyi is now in Ukraine, where he is being prosecuted on suspicion of another crime – he was supposed to have tried to get a Russian airman to the Ukrainian side and lured him by giving him the coordinates of the Ukrainian airport in the Kirovograd region in central Ukraine. However, this operation did not succeed – he did not get the pilot, but a Russian missile hit the airport and killed one Ukrainian soldier.
In the past, Kyiv has repeatedly denied any suspicion of participation in the diversion, now it is not commenting on the new findings of journalists.
On September 26 of last year, a gas leak was detected in the Danish zone, where the Nord Stream-1 gas pipeline runs. Immediately, a defect was also detected on Nord Stream-2. At the same time, Norway and Denmark announced that they had spotted unknown drones in the area. Suspicions that Ukraine could be behind the explosions were first expressed by the Scandinavian countries, and later by the Netherlands. Only now are American and German journalists coming up with a clear statement. (Washington Post, Daily N)