Report: Ukrainian Officer Played Key Role in Pipeline Blasts

Before it was shut down, Nord Stream shuttled gas from Russia to Germany.

A photo of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline leak after the September 26, 2022 bombing.Abaca/Zuma

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

A top Ukrainian military officer working under the command of the head of Ukraine’s top general played a central role in the undersea bombing of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline last year, the Washington Post and Der Spiegel jointly reported on Saturday.

The two publications said that unnamed officials in the US and Europe had identified Roman Chervinsky, a 48-year-old colonel who served in Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces, as “coordinator” of the September 26, 2022 Nord Stream bombing in which three explosions ruptured two pipelines that transport gas from under the Baltic Sea Russia to Germany. The reports say that Chervinsky “took orders from more senior Ukrainian officials, who ultimately reported to Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s highest-ranking military officer.”

The initially mysterious 2022 explosions created an international whodunnit. Many initially blamed Russia. In February, the investigative reporter Seymour Hersh published a report claiming the United States was behind the blasts. Russia has echoed that claim.

But the Post’s report is the latest information to emerge suggesting Ukraine was responsible. Ukraine benefited from the Nord Stream disabling—even before the war, its citizens were vocal critics of the pipelines, which bypassed the country and cost Kiev revenue it had previously received from transporting Russian gas toward Western Europe. As Russia prepared to invade Ukraine in 2022, Germany, under US pressure, shut down the pipeline. But the prospect of its resumed operation, which would earn Moscow revenue it could use to wage war, gave Ukraine a motive.

Chervinsky denied playing any part in the sabotage. “All speculations about my involvement in the attack on Nord Stream are being spread by Russian propaganda without any basis,” he said in a statement to news outlets.

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $170,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign that ends Saturday. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $170,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign that ends Saturday. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate