The EconomistThe Economist

Who blew up the Nord Stream pipelines?

08 Feb 2014 · 3 min read

Recent reports have suggested the possibility of Ukrainian involvement in the pipeline attack. But the evidence released so far remains "flimsy," according to this analysis in The Economist.

Curated by informed

LAST SEPTEMBER, when explosions damaged Nord Stream 1 and 2, two undersea gas pipelines that connected Russia to Germany, evidence of a culprit was scant. Some European governments suspected Russia. President Vladimir Putin had been threatening to cut off energy supplies to Europe in retaliation for sanctions imposed by the EU over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia, on the other hand, blamed America and Britain. Six months later American intelligence officials, as well as German and British news organisations, have suggested the possible involvement of an unidentified pro-Ukrainian group unaffiliated to the government. So whodunnit, and why?

On the morning of September 26th Danish monitoring equipment detected a seismic event equivalent to 500kg of TNT (roughly the same as a car-bomb) south-east of the island of Bornholm. At around the same time, a drop in pressure was recorded in Nord Stream 2, the southerly of the two parallel pipelines designed to transport Russian gas under the Baltic Sea. A plume of methane bubbles was then detected on the surface. Seventeen hours later, another leak was detected to the north-east. The blasts blew several holes in the steel and concrete casings of the two “strings” comprising Nord Stream 1, and one of the two Nord Stream 2 strings.

The news, curated.

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