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Ukrainian officer played key role in sabotaging gas pipelines, media say


The sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines on September 16, 2022 cut off a major route for Russian gas exports to Europe.

A Ukrainian special forces commander played a key role in the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines in September 2022 in the Baltic Sea, according to a joint investigation by the Washington Post and Spiegel broadcast on Saturday.

Roman Chervinsky, 48, who served in the Ukrainian Special Operations Forces, was the “coordinator” of the sabotage, according to the American daily and the German magazine. They cited officials in Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe, as well as others with knowledge of the operation, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“Speculations” without “any basis”

Roman Tchervinsky oversaw the logistics and supervised a team of six people who rented a sailboat under false identities and used diving equipment to place explosive charges on the pipelines, detailed the American newspaper. He neither planned the operation nor acted alone, taking his orders from higher-ranking Ukrainian officials, the Washington Post added.

Through his lawyer, Roman Tchervinsky denied any role to the two newspapers: “All speculations about my involvement in the Nord Stream attack are spread by Russian propaganda without any basis.”

The sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines on September 16, 2022 cut off a major route for Russian gas exports to Europe and further increased tensions after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine at the end of February. the same year. Responsibility for the explosions was attributed, according to sources, to Ukraine, Russia or the United States, but all denied it.

Zelensky kept in the dark?

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in particular, has repeatedly denied that his country could be involved. “I would never do that,” he told German daily Bild last June, adding that he “would like to see proof.” According to The Washington Post, the sabotage operation was designed by keeping Volodymyr Zelensky in the dark.

The American newspaper and Der Spiegel say they have requested the Ukrainian government’s reaction to their investigation, but it has not responded.

Roman Chervinsky is currently on trial in kyiv, accused of having abused his power during an attempt to push a Russian pilot to defect. He claims the prosecutions constitute political retaliation for criticizing President Zelensky, according to media reports.

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