1. First, about the materiel, that is, about the technical aspects of sabotage on pipes.
It's surprising that none of the investigators thought to analyse the technical stuff. Materiel should be a priority! Especially for those who are investigators. Also, the authors of the "newspaper scenario" on the omnipotence of the Ukrainian non-state group did not notice that Ukraine has no access to the Baltic and does not have any base point there. This sea is unknown to "perpetrators who received specialized government training in the past." And this is important so that there are no surprises during the unprecedented operation. I repeat, an unprecedented operation,
you will not find anything like it in the history of offshore pipelines, especially since there are not so many of them in the whole world.
What is a gas pipeline, how is it laid and what is needed to destroy it? The pipe is made of special high-strength ferrite-bainite steel, inner diameter is 1153 mm, wall thickness – up to 41 (!) mm. In addition, the pipe is also concreted. The concrete shell is made of crushed and compacted iron ore mixed with cement with a thickness of 110 mm. The pipe is tested under a pressure of up to 500 (!) atmospheres. This is important in the context of the fact that a few tens of kilograms of explosives will not solve the problem of blowing up the pipe. And that's not all.
The pipe does not lie just on the bottom of the sea. To stabilize the bottom and prevent the underwater gas pipeline from floating, it is filled with a good layer of stones using special stone-laying vessels. It seems that about 3 million tons of stones were dumped on each of the streams. That is, there is no direct access to the pipe itself. It is necessary either to rake the stones, or to make an undercut, or to increase the amount of explosives several times in order to be guaranteed to blow up the pipe under the stone "shell".
All this means that to carry out the relevant preparatory work although a civilian, but properly equipped vessel with a specially trained crew, equipped with a manipulator for conducting underwater technical work and an underwater apparatus must be used. And these works cannot be done in one descent to the bottom for about an hour, and also in several places.
This is an extract from the official message submitted sometime after the explosions by Deutsche Welle: "the length of the section of the Nord Stream pipe destroyed as a result of the alleged sabotage is about 250 meters, the operating company Nord Stream AG reported. According to preliminary results of the damage site inspection, technogenic craters with a depth of 3 to 5 meters were found on the seabed at a distance of about 248 m from each other. The section of the pipe between the craters is destroyed, the radius of pipe fragments dispersion is at least 250 m…" Imagine the power explosion, when the crater is up to 5 meters deep, and the fragments flies 250 m. And this is underwater, in a dense environment, not in the air!!!
Against this background, a part of the description of a German publication about a yacht or a boat with a skilled crew looks comical: "According to the results of the investigation, the group consisted of five people - the captain, two divers and two assistant divers, as well as a female doctor. This team delivered the explosives to the gas pipeline and secured it there." It's that simple - delivered and fixed! But this is not the belt of a martyr! If seismic stations in the Baltic recorded a bottom tremor, then it is possible to estimate, at least, the order of mass of explosives - it is several hundred kilograms!
Here is from one of the messages after the explosion: "The force of one of the explosions was 2.3 points on the Richter scale, which Danish experts characterized as the explosion of a powerful bomb of the Second World War times."
And the depth significantly complicates the relevant works. Of course, the Baltic is not the Black Sea with a depth of more than 2 km, but it is also not the Sea of Azov. The 80-100-meter depth of the NS1 and NS2 gas pipelines means that you need to work in heavy diving equipment - when working at a depth of more than 60 meters, you need it (according to the instructions), about an hour of staying at such a depth requires more than two hours for decompression, and installation of charges requires much more time. Moreover, for detonation at such a depth, you need to have a special charge so that the detonating mechanism can withstand the bottom pressure and work properly when it receives the detonation signal.
Experienced specialists in special underwater technical work claim that, most likely, either a dry-type underwater mini-boat with manipulators or a suitable remote-controlled underwater vehicle were used during the preparatory work. All this equipment is complex, expensive, and you cannot buy it in a supermarket, and it is practically impossible to take it from Ukraine and import it to another country imperceptibly. In the same way, the purchase of such equipment or its rental from someone would not go unnoticed by all-knowing Western and Russian intelligence agencies.
Of course, the statement that "the explosive device was most likely planted with the help of experienced divers" is true, but the further conclusion that they "did not work for the military or intelligence services ... it is possible that the perpetrators received special government training in the past" causes only laughter.
The Germans should imagine what the Baltic is like, because it washes the German shores. The Americans might not, because for them the Baltic is not the Hudson. But there is Marinetraffic to help, and it shows the high traffic density on this sea. And therefore, it is very difficult to do something hidden there. Even what the Russians did secretly during the completion of NS2 became known and it was described by us back in 2021. Link is below.
2. What is hidden behind the masterpieces of Western investigators?
First of all, it is not so much about "streams" as about causing another round of mutual suspicion and mistrust between the United States, Germany and Ukraine, and Ukraine and the European Union. And this is the most important goal of these publications against the background of attempts by Trumpists and Putinists of various calibers on both sides of the Atlantic to break solidarity with Ukraine and whitewash the Kremlin in order to make another attempt to negotiate with it. In this sense, there is nothing new. Divide and conquer!But there is something new that is worth paying attention to. This is an attempt to show as a package that Russia, the United States, Europe and Britain are not involved in sabotage:
"Some initial U.S. and European speculation focused on possible Russian culpability, particularly given its prowess in underwater operations, although it is unclear what motivation the Kremlin would have had for sabotaging the pipelines, given that they were an important source of revenue and a means for Moscow to exert influence over Europe. The estimated cost of repairing the pipelines is approximately $500 million. U.S. officials say they have found no evidence that the Russian government was involved in the attack... U.S. officials said no Americans or Britons were involved."
And, further in the development of the package approach, show that the sabotage was carried out by Ukrainians with anti-Putinist Russians: "Officials who have reviewed the intelligence said they believed the saboteurs were most likely Ukrainian or Russian nationals, or some combination of the two."
This excerpt from the NYT publication showing how Russian ears are sticking out, stringing together case after case of dubious claims in order to give credibility to the version of the Ukrainian trail:
“Despite Ukraine’s deep dependence on the United States for military, intelligence and diplomatic support, Ukrainian officials are not always transparent with their American counterparts about their military operations, especially those against Russian targets behind enemy lines. Those operations have frustrated U.S. officials, who believe that they have not measurably improved Ukraine’s position on the battlefield, but have risked alienating European allies and widening the war.
The operations that have unnerved the United States included a strike in early August on Russia’s Saki Air Base on the western coast of Crimea, a truck bombing in October that destroyed part of the Kerch Strait Bridge, which links Russia to Crimea, and drone strikes in December aimed at Russian military bases in Ryazan and Engels…
But there have been other acts of sabotage and violence of more ambiguous provenance that U.S. intelligence agencies have had a harder time attributing to Ukrainian security services. One of those was a car bomb near Moscow in August that killed Daria Dugina, the daughter of a prominent Russian nationalist.
Kyiv denied any involvement but U.S. intelligence agencies eventually came to believe that the killing was authorized by what officials called “elements” of the Ukrainian government.
The explosions that ruptured the Nord Stream pipelines took place five weeks after Ms. Dugina’s killing. After the Nord Stream operation, there was hushed speculation — and worry — in Washington that parts of the Ukrainian government might have been involved in that operation as well.
Somehow, all this reminds me of the "Kolchuga scandal" of 2002, when Ukraine was accused of supplying Saddam Hussein's regime with passive sensor in Iraq and suspected of supplying parts and technologies to North Korea for their missiles. "The success of North Korean missiles is connected with the Ukrainian plant," the same New York Times wrote in 2017. Neither that nor the other was confirmed.
3. Why did one thread out of four existing on both streams remain unexploded?
This is essentially one of the key questions. If an explosive charge was placed there and it did not work, then it would have been found immediately and the investigation, if it had not ended with the finding of the "authors", at least they would have reported about "an explosive device of unknown origin that did not work."
But this did not happen, because there was no fourth explosive device. One thread was deliberately left in a functional state. Who needed such a configuration - blow up three pipes, leave one, and leave one thread exactly of the NS2, not the thread of the NS1?
The answer is: the one who gave the Germans a chance to "come to their senses" and who was going to "save" them in the cold winter of 2022-2023, telling the whole world how Europe will freeze, while producing videos of primitive content. And in the case of a successful "saving of Europe", to mock the Germans, who, they say, despite your obstructionism of NS2, it was it who saved you. And then repair the pipes as a gesture of "good will". Only some 500 million dollars. The USA will be spared and Europe will again be warm and with cheap gas from Gazprom.
4. Why are there still no results of the investigation?
I assume that in fact everything is already clear who is the "author of the scenario" and who is the executor of the special underwater operation. But making it public would require a strong response. And our Western hybrid friends do not want to do this, because it is better to have a "war in Ukraine" than a "war in Europe", as they imagine. Because it will lead to an escalation, to a NATO war with Russia. Therefore, this is where the "creative masterpiece" comes from - the sabotage was done by some "pro-Ukrainian group", the official authorities of Ukraine have nothing to do with it, but some group appeared somewhere and did what it wanted. Like, non-state actors are not capable of such things in times of hybrid wars...
5. What does Western intelligence look like against the background of the voiced version?
In the German "Die Zeit" it is about a yacht with 6 saboteurs on board, which went out to sea from Rostock (a German port!), on which the necessary equipment and explosives were brought by truck.
If we assume that something like this took place, then it turns out that all the combined intelligence and special services of the United States, Britain, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Russia are worthless, because they did not notice anything suspicious in the corridor of gas pipelines, which they always had in the spotlight, as well as the entire Baltic, at the bottom of which are not only Russian streams, but also European fiber-optic communication lines and power cables for electricity transmission. It is hard to believe that the omniscient turned out to be blind...
6. Can players still be motivated to sabotage?
The disinformation volley from the New-York Times and Die Zeit is more subtle than the previous one from Pulitzer Prize laureate Seymour Hersh, but it is somehow based on a motivational basis - they say that the Ukrainians have a powerful motive to destroy the "streams" in order to leave Russia without an alternative route through Ukraine. It is indicative that the motivations of other potential "saboteurs" are ignored.
This is because it was an "investigation" with a customer-specified direction and predetermined "outcome". Pulitzer Prize laureate Seymour Hersh clearly went overboard with his argument about the motives of the US and Norway to destroy a competitor for their gas supplies to Europe. The phrase about cheap Russian gas repeated eight times with a hint of expensive American and Norwegian gas is clearly too much for such a text and shows whose ears are behind this main argument of the Kremlin's gas propaganda for decades!
P.S. To understand what happened (of course, I do not claim to have the only true version), see the 2021 and 2022 publications of the Center for Global Studies "Strategy XXI" about suspicious underwater activity in the NS2’s completion zone, as well as the January article in the Dzerkalo Tyzhnia . There are also about special civilian vessels, and about divers, and about specific personalities and organizations that were involved and that are definitely, not hypothetically, able to blow up not only underwater gas pipelines.