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White House Knew of Ukrainian Plot to Blow Up Nord Stream Pipeline Months in Advance: Report

This news, which is shocking enough, is made even weirder by how The Washington Post received this information: leaks of classified intel on Discord.

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Three months before the Nord Stream pipeline exploded in what was almost certainly a brazen act of international sabotage, the Biden administration was briefed on a plot by the Ukrainian military to target the energy project for destruction, according to a new report from the Washington Post.

The warning about Ukraine’s plans came months before the oil pipeline—which stretches across the Baltic sea from Russia to Germany and formerly delivered cheap natural gas to a slew of European energy markets—exploded, disrupting a contentious partnership between the Russian state owned energy firm Gazprom and a host of EU-based energy companies.


For months, governments have publicly speculated about who might have been responsible for the energy project’s sabotage, but the Post now reports that the news of an apparent Ukrainian plot was delivered to American and European leaders as early as last June. The news initially came from a European intelligence service, which delivered the information to the CIA. The CIA then briefed both the White House and a number of European governments on the intelligence. The report, which was based on information provided by a person inside Ukraine, spoke of an apparent plot by six Ukrainian special operations officers who planned to assume false identities, rent a boat, and then dive to the bottom of the Baltic sea to destroy the major pipeline.

This newly reported intelligence also seems to confirm what investigators in Germany—one of three governments currently investigating the Nord Stream explosion—have recently uncovered about the attack. The Post reports:

German investigators now believe that six individuals using fake passports rented a sailing yacht in September, embarked from Germany and planted explosives that severed the pipelines, according to officials familiar with that investigation. They believe the operatives were skilled divers, given that the explosives were planted at a depth of about 240 feet, in the range that experts say helium would be helpful for maintaining mental focus.

Investigators have matched explosive residue found on the pipeline to traces found inside the cabin of the yacht, called Andromeda. And they have linked Ukrainian individuals to the rental of the boat via an apparent front company in Poland. Investigators also suspect that at least one individual who serves in the Ukrainian military was involved in the sabotage operation.


This news, which is shocking enough, is made even weirder by the way in which the Post received this information. The newspaper says it got ahold of the aforementioned intelligence report involving Ukraine’s plot via an “online friend” of Jack Teixeira, the 21-year-old U.S. Airman who has been accused of leaking highly classified defense information to the internet. The intelligence was previously shared by Teixeira on Discord, which is presumably where this friend got it.

The Nord Stream sabotage: an ever-shifting narrative

As it stands, the Nord Stream’s destruction could go down in history as one of the most consequential acts of international terrorism ever—a fact that makes finding the parties responsible a clear priority. Nevertheless, attempts to unmask the culprits have been frustrated by ongoing speculation that has perpetually shifted over time.

In the immediate aftermath of the pipeline’s destruction, Western and Ukrainian officials blamed Russia—with an advisor to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy calling the explosion “a terrorist attack planned by Russia and an act of aggression toward [the European Union].” But there were obvious problems with this theory. Critics pointed out that it made little sense for Russia to blow up its own pipeline. The Nord Stream was a considered a big moneymaker for the Kremlin and, with its connections to European energy markets, it was thought to be an important bargaining chip for Putin in his diplomatic spats with the EU over the war in Ukraine.

Russia, meanwhile, accused the West of behind behind the attack, pointing a finger specifically at the United Kingdom. “Our intelligence services have data indicating that British military specialists were directing and coordinating the attack,” said Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, in October, shortly after the explosion. At the time, Peskov declined to comment further or share information about why Russia suspected British involvement.


In February, Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh published a report to his Substack that found a new culprit for the crime. Citing an anonymous high-level government insider, Hersh accused the Biden administration of being behind the Nord Stream attack, alleging that the White House and other elements of the government—including the CIA—had orchestrated a sophisticated operation that utilized Navy divers to plant explosives on the pipeline. The plan purportedly used BALTOPs, an annual Navy diving exercise, as a cover for the mission. After Hersh’s story came out, the White House vehemently denied the allegations.

Not long after Hersh’s story was published, The New York Times released its own version of events citing anonymous government insiders, who said a mysterious “pro-Ukrainian group” may have been behind the attack. The story was pretty flimsy. Anonymous sources told the Times that this so-called group was potentially made up of Ukrainian and/or Russian individuals but was not thought to have ties to the Ukrainian government or its military. The one thing the sources seemed sure about was that this group definitely didn’t have ties to the U.S. or British governments; outside of that, almost nothing else was known about its members or activities.


Now, with the Post’s story, we have an entirely new version of events—one that doesn’t appear to match any of the previous iterations of this ongoing speculative saga. The one thing that the Post’s story has in common with its predecessors is that it raises more questions than it answers.

Lingering questions

The first question the Post’s report naturally raises is: if the Biden administration had intelligence that Ukraine planned to blow up the Nord Stream pipeline, did it make any meaningful attempt to intervene and stop such an attack from happening? If not, why not?


Another pertinent question is about the Post’s sourcing: just who is this “online friend” of Jack Teixeira who provided this intel report? If intelligence of this sensitivity has been shared with other web users, why has there been no effort to investigate and unmask them? How many “friends” did Teixeira have? What’s the deal?

Finally, maybe the biggest question—how this news may impact the outcome of the Ukrainian war itself. If further investigation validates the Post’s version of events, and it turns out that the Ukrainian military is responsible for destroying the Nord Stream, it basically puts the EU in the position of supporting a country that has instigated one of the worst acts of economic terrorism in living memory. How might that impact the ongoing diplomatic entanglements that characterize Europe’s relationship to the war?


Calls for an international investigation into the Nord Stream incident were recently rejected by the United Nations Security Council, but it really seems like they might want to rethink that one. Somebody needs to get to the bottom of this thing and, in the interest of avoiding anymore wild-eyed finger pointing, it might be helpful if we all just did it together.