Recent revelations by two of Germany's prominent news sources, the weekly Spiegel and public service broadcaster ZDF, have sent ripples across Europe. The investigation implicates Ukraine in the major attack on the Nord Stream gas pipelines, an incident that had significant ramifications for Germany's energy supply.
Investigative Findings and Political Hesitation
Wolf Wiedmann-Schmidt, part of the investigative journalism team, observed an eerily muted response from Berlin's political echelons. The seeming reluctance to address the matter is perplexing, especially when a senior security official described the probe as "the most important investigation of Germany's postwar history because of its potential political implications." This gravity is further underscored by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) taking unprecedented measures.
Members of Department ST 24, those at the forefront of the Nord Stream investigation, have been specifically directed to refrain from discussing the case with anyone outside their team.
Connecting the Dots to Ukraine
The sequence of events last September disrupted Germany's potential to tap into economical Russian gas directly.
The Nord Stream, which sprawls under the Baltic Sea, suffered detonations close to the Danish island of Bornholm. The magnitude of this sabotage effectively incapacitated the pipeline. German investigators, according to Spiegel and ZDF, are meticulously combing through a plethora of evidence that seemingly implicates Ukrainian commandos.
Compelling data, like IP addresses, indicate the attackers' presence in Ukraine immediately before and after the strike. The probe unearthed that the saboteurs had allegedly chartered a yacht using counterfeit passports, embarking on their mission from Rostock.
And while the trail ostensibly leads to Ukraine, investigators remain cautious, considering the possibility that this might have been a Russian operation, cleverly designed to frame Ukrainians. Last year, The Washington Post reported on a European intelligence tip-off that the CIA had received.
Subsequent reports highlighted the Netherlands' involvement, indicating that Ukrainian general Valery Zaluzhny masterminded the plot. Intriguingly, both Spiegel and ZDF divulged another alarming piece of intel. There were purported plans to target the Turkish Stream, which snakes beneath the Black Sea and stretches to Turkey, Serbia, and other Balkan nations. For reasons still shrouded in mystery, this assault never materialized.
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