Drone footage shows damaged Nord Stream pipeline incident ‘undoubtedly sabotage’

Drone footage shows Nord Stream pipeline incident ‘undoubtedly sabotage’

A new video of the blast-damaged Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, taken by an underwater drone, has indicated that this was undoubtedly an act of sabotage, says a military analyst.

Bubbles on the water surface above the leaks; Source: Danish Defense

After the Danish television broadcaster, TV2 Bornholm, released the first video of the damaged Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline last week, showing the destruction caused to the pipeline in the exclusive economic zone of Denmark, Jens Wenzel Kristoffersen, a military analyst at the University of Copenhagen, says the video indicates that this was “undoubtedly an act of sabotage against the gas carrier.”

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The TV channel obtained permission to film the site of the explosion 20 kilometres away from the southern tip of Bornholm from the Danish Maritime Authority. This comes after Sweden’s Expressen published its own footage of the damage done to the Nord Stream pipeline in the Swedish economic zone.

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Following four gas leaks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in September – two in Sweden’s EEZ and two in the Danish territory – the Norwegian and Swedish seismic institutes confirmed that underwater blasts preceded the leaks. In line with this, the European authorities suspected that the incident could be the result of “deliberate actions.” 

These two pipelines were not in operation at the time of the incident since Russia shut Nord Stream 1 at the end of August and Olaf Scholz, German chancellor, halted the process of certifying Nord Stream 2 earlier this year due to the crisis in Ukraine.

Once gas leaks stopped at the beginning of October, damage assessment started and the Switzerland-based Nord Stream AG found technogenic craters in early November 2022 at the damaged parts of the Nord Stream gas pipeline during site inspections in the Baltic Sea.

In addition, Swedish prosecutor, Mats Ljungqvist, who is leading the ongoing preliminary probe at the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, claimed in a statement on 18 November, that the incident was a “gross sabotage.”

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While Denmark, Sweden and the EU have labelled the destruction of the pipelines as sabotage, Putin called it “an act of international terrorism” and the Russian Prosecutor-General’s office has launched criminal proceedings, as reported by the Russian news agency, TASS.

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