For months, the investigation into who blew up Nord Stream appeared to have stalled. Now, bombshell evidence points to the reason for the silence. 

After a giant underwater explosion destroyed three of the four strands of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines last September, Ukraine’s Western allies and the Kremlin were quick to point the finger at one another. But in a spy drama plot twist, new intelligence suggests Ukraine could be behind the attack.

According to German newspaper Zeit Online, German investigators have identified the boat from which the Nord Stream attacks were launched. A team of six are thought to have carried it out, operating from a yacht, rented from a company owned by two Ukrainians. The sophisticated operation is thought to have involved the use of forged passports and shaped explosives only available to the gas and oil industry, which were placed at the bottom of the Baltic Sea by two specialist divers. 

Crucially, the Western intelligence community believes an influential Ukrainian bankrolled the entire operation from his own pocket – and his name has been circulating for months. 

There is no evidence to suggest that this private sponsor was in cahoots with the Ukrainian government. And, unsurprisingly, both the presidential administration and the defence ministry in Kyiv have fiercely denied any involvement.

Yet it’s not hard to understand why evidence of a Ukrainian national’s involvement in the attack has been hushed up. Even without direct government involvement, this still poses a risk of damaging Kyiv’s relations with vital allies. 

The explosion has rendered the Russo-German pipeline, laid from Russia to Germany at a combined cost of roughly £15 billion, inoperable. And the cost of repairing the damage has been estimated at up to £450 million.

Support amongst the German public for sending heavy military hardware to Kyiv is already lukewarm, to put it mildly. News of a Ukrainian-orchestrated sabotage of German energy infrastructure, launched from German soil, could be the final straw. 

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