German website compiled data on Russia’s alleged involvement in the emergency at Nord Stream

BERLIN, 25 Mar — Investigation of sabotage at Nord Stream may lead to the “Russian trail”, claims the German online publication T-online citing unconfirmed anonymous sources.
The material, among other things, claims that at least three “suspicious ships” left the naval base in Kaliningrad on the night of September 21, 2022, that is, shortly before the explosions on gas pipelines that occurred on September 26. Citing unnamed law enforcement sources, the authors of the article stated that the Russian Navy unit allegedly operated in the area of ​​the subsequent crime scene “under strict cover” without transmitting information about its location. The ships could have the equipment needed to install explosive devices, the publication adds.
The media also published a screenshot of the release of the Russian Ministry of Defense, which on September 21 stated that the swimmers of the special forces detachment of the Baltic Naval Base carried out underwater firing. The authors of the publication argue that the ship for transporting submarines SS-750 was supposed to be the most important for the operation. The publication writes that this vessel regularly takes part in exercises during which accidents on the seabed are simulated. On board the ship, according to T-online, there was an AC-26 mini-submarine, which evacuates the crew in an emergency. It is equipped with gripping devices that can move loads weighing up to 50 kilograms under water, the article specifies.
It is noted that usually the SS-750 is based at the Baltiysk base in Kaliningrad as part of the Baltic Fleet. However, according to the authors of the material, according to satellite images, this ship “apparently” sailed on the night of September 21. At a speed of nine knots, the ship is said to have reached the scene at 19:50. At the same time, according to the publication, the system that transmits information about the location of the ship was turned off. However, citing satellite images from the American company SpaceKnow, T-online said that the length of the vessel at 95 meters corresponds to the size of a ship without a position signal, which was not far from the site of the explosions.
In addition, the publication, referring to these footage, claims that in the same period of time – between midnight and one in the morning – two other ships “presumably” participating in the operation left the port of Kaliningrad. According to the authors of the publication, we are talking about rescue tugs SB-123 and Alexander Frolov. On the deck of each of them there are cargo cranes capable of launching explosive devices or mines weighing hundreds of kilograms, according to the media.
As T-online clarified, in the official statements of the parties, the activities of the Russian fleet in the days preceding the sabotage still did not play any role.
At the same time, the authors of the publication admitted that the criminal case of the explosions remains unsolved, and information about the alleged involvement of Russia is based only on assumptions. The T-online article was also distributed in English. It was also reprinted by several major publications in Germany and Austria.
Explosions occurred on September 26, 2022, on two Russian export gas pipelines to Europe at once – Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2. Germany, Denmark and Sweden did not rule out targeted sabotage. The Nord Stream operator Nord Stream AG reported that the state of emergency on gas pipelines was unprecedented and it was impossible to estimate the timing of repairs. The Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia initiated a case on an act of international terrorism. On October 31, President Vladimir Putin reported that Gazprom was allowed to inspect the site of the explosion and the head of the company, Alexei Miller, reported to him about the inspection. The Russian leader said that the explosion on the gas pipeline is an obvious terrorist attack.
American journalist, Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh on February 8 published his investigation into the Nord Stream explosions, in which, citing a source, he stated that explosive devices under Russian gas pipelines were planted in June 2022 under the cover of Baltops exercises by US Navy divers with the support of Norwegian specialists . According to Hersh, the decision to conduct the operation was made by US President Joe Biden after nine months of discussions with administration officials involved in national security issues. Later, the Pentagon said that the United States had nothing to do with the blowing up of Russian gas pipelines last year.

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