Photos and video show evidence of what Danish police call ‘powerful explosions’
Swedish newspaper Expressen published the first underwater images of the rupture of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline on Tuesday. The Russia-Germany gas line was badly damaged in an act of apparent sabotage last month.
The video footage, shot 80 meters below the surface of the Baltic Sea, shows long tears in the seabed leading to the blown pipe. At least 50 meters of concrete-reinforced steel pipe is missing, the Swedish newspaper reported.
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines – which were built to deliver Russian natural gas directly to Germany – suddenly lost pressure on September 26, following a series of underwater explosions off the coast of the Danish island of Bornholm, in the economic zones of Denmark and Sweden.
Germany, Denmark and Sweden are carrying out separate investigations into the blasts, with a preliminary report from Copenhagen police on Tuesday saying that “powerful explosions” caused the damage. Swedish investigators reached a similar conclusion earlier this month, blaming the explosions for “gross sabotage”.
video of damaged Nord Stream pipelines, filmed by an underwater drone operated by @Expressen. Copenhagen Police and Norwegian investigators today said the damage was caused by ‘powerful explosions’. pic.twitter.com/7XKq4XIuQT
—Mike Eckel (@Mike_Eckel) October 18, 2022
***UPDATE***Swedish journalists have obtained permission to image one of the Nord Stream explosion sites using an underwater drone (ROV)Warning about the listening to the impending wave of explosives experts on TwitterTheir article (in Swedish) https://t. co/lpUvF0NIEipic.twitter.com/aAkSeva0zf
— HI Sutton (@CovertShores) October 18, 2022
All three countries have banned Russia from participating in their investigations, and Sweden has gone further, refusing to share its findings with anyone due to the “national security” repercussions. Stockholm also rejected a joint investigation with Denmark and Germany.
While some Western media and analysts have blamed the pipeline attacks on Russia, Moscow has dismissed this theory as “dumb.” The Nord Stream lines were both a vital source of revenue for Russia and a powerful bargaining chip with Europe, with Moscow claiming only the United States profited from their destruction.
“Everyone understands who is behind all this and who is the beneficiary,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week, explaining that with the gas lines inoperative, “we can now force liquefied natural gas from the United States to European countries on a much larger scale.”
Russia sees the Nord Stream explosions as a “terrorist act” with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova demanding an international investigation. Zakharova noted that NATO conducted military exercises this summer involving underwater drones near Bornholm, likely referring to the alliance’s BALTOPS 2022 exercises, held in July.
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