Originally published June 6, 2023 9:33 am PDT
Details of an intricate Ukrainian military plan to sabotage the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline were reportedly shared with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) by a European intelligence agency three months before the actual attack, The Washington Post reports.
Three months prior to the sabotage of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline, the CIA was privy to detailed intelligence suggesting a Ukrainian plot to attack the key infrastructure.
This intelligence, provided by a European ally and leaked on Discord, pointed towards the Ukrainian military’s involvement in a brazen sabotage act, causing significant disruption to Europe’s energy grid.
Although early suspicions laid blame on Russia, no definitive evidence substantiated Moscow’s involvement.
The intelligence received by the CIA, however, built a case implicating Ukraine in the attack.
This intelligence painted a detailed picture of the covert operation, revealing that the operatives were under the direct command of Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Ukraine’s top military officer.
In a strategic move, Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, was intentionally kept unaware of the plot.
Notably, the original plan detailed in the intelligence was allegedly put on hold.
Yet, the real-life sabotage mirrored key aspects of the outlined plot, strengthening Ukraine’s alleged link to the attack.
This includes matching explosive residues found on the sabotaged site and inside a rented yacht.
Investigators also found links to a front company in Poland and a Ukrainian military member’s involvement.
Initially, the CIA had doubts about the reliability of the intelligence source.
But after the European intelligence agency vouched for the source’s reliability, the CIA shared this intelligence with Germany and other European counterparts.
The Nord Stream pipeline disruption, initially suspected as a Russian strategic maneuver, was not entirely unwelcome to the Biden administration due to pre-existing concerns about the pipeline.
However, Ukraine’s continued aggressive actions, despite Washington’s pleas for restraint, have sparked concerns of escalating the war into a direct conflict between Russia and the U.S. and its NATO allies.
It has become increasingly clear that Ukraine is keen on taking the battle to Russia’s home turf, challenging international efforts to mitigate the situation.
Meanwhile, a massive dam on the Dnipro River that separates Russian and Ukrainian forces in southern Ukraine ruptured on Tuesday, flooding a swathe of the war zone and forcing villagers to flee, according to Reuters.
Both sides are pointing at each other.
Some officials claim the dam had collapsed on its own, Reuters notes.