Nordstream 2 explosion. A great whodunit continues to mystify

Lee Heidhues 5.4.2023

The mystery of which country and who blew up the Nordstream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea last September 26 continues to go unrsesolved.

Four days earlier, on Sept. 22, a Danish naval patrol vessel, P524 Nymfen, took 112 photographs of several Russian vessels near the blast site, the Danish Defence Command said in a response to a freedom of information request from The Wall Street Journal.

After several weeks of the story disappearing from the headlines it is surfacing, again. Courtesy of Danish authorities who, in response to a Freedom of Information Request, have released photos of Russian naval vessels near the site.

Excerpted from The BBC 5.3.2023

Russian ships able to perform underwater operations were present near to where explosions later took place on the Nord Stream pipelines, according to an investigative documentary.

The vessels were reportedly located using intercepted Russian navy communications.

Underwater explosions last September knocked the two Nord Stream pipelines – built to carry gas from Russia to Europe – out of action.

The cause of the blasts is unclear.

Formal investigations are still taking place in countries close to the blast site. So far, they have said only that they believe the explosions were the result of sabotage rather than any kind of accident.

But one possible lead pointing towards Russian involvement has emerged from details of suspicious Russian ship movements in the run-up to the Nord Stream blasts, reported by four Nordic public broadcasters and an accompanying English-language podcast Cold Front.

And Denmark’s Defence Command has confirmed a separate report that a Danish patrol boat called Nymfen took 26 photos of a Russian submarine-rescue ship in the area days before the explosions. The Information website said the SS-750 had sailed from Kaliningrad and was close to Bornholm island on 22 September 2022.

The investigation by Denmark’s DR, Norway’s NRK, Sweden’s SVT, and Finland’s Yle focuses on the movements and actions of ships between June and September last year which they describe as highly unusual.

The ships are believed to include the Russian naval research vessel Sibiryakov, the tugboat SB-123 (photo shown at top), and a third ship from the Russian naval fleet that the media outlets have not been able to identify by name.

These were so-called “ghost-ships”, which had their transmitters turned off. The broadcasters, however, say they were able to track their movements, using intercepted radio communications the vessels sent to Russian naval bases.