Thoughts and Comments on Who Sabotaged the Russian Nord Stream 1 & 2 Pipelines

gorillamotors

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Thoughts and Comments on Who Sabotaged the Russian Nord Stream 1 & 2 Pipelines!!
 

Arnie

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USA! USA! USA! (Now watch that I get "insufficient privileges to respond to this thread)
 

boatgeek

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Putting together a couple of comments from the main Ukraine thread.

1664635852548.png

First of all, a handy map from @afadeev showing water depths in the Baltic. There were two explosions in the lower left, roughly at the red dot, and one explosion at the green dot. There was a fourth -somewhere- but I don't have a good map of that. The main thing to note is that water depths at the sabotage sites are ~50m to ~75m. Also note that the sabotage used something like 200 lbs of high explosives. As noted in the other thread, that would take a team of very experienced technical divers, a high grade subsea construction ROV, or a military sub. Yes, in theory some random group of civilians could have done it, but that's a little like saying that anyone could drop a 200-lb bomb into the Pentagon because quadcopters are available on the Internet. The expertise, equipment, and most importantly explosives aren't that readily available.

From this post, I think the possible actors are, in no particular order:
US, UK, France, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Germany
Russia and Germany could access either end of the pipeline to blow it from the inside. The navies of the other countries all operate submarines that could have done it. More on why I don't think it was a surface ship in the link just above and this one.

So that's who could. Who would is even more limited. I don't think the UK, France, Norway, Sweden, or Finland would pick the fight. The first three because they don't have that much interest and the last two because it would jeopardize their entry into NATO.

I tend to discount Germany because they could just keep the valves closed if they don't want Russian gas now, and they might want Russian gas in a post-Putin future.

Biden did promise to close the Nord Stream 2 pipeline "by other means" if it opened, but (a) the pipeline wasn't flowing and had no immediate prospects of flowing, (b) the pipelines attacked were the Nord Stream 1 and one pipe of the Nord Stream 2 (the other pipe of Nrod Stream 2 was apparently undamaged), and (c) "by other means" could be all kinds of things, including cutting the German companies off of international financial markets if they take Russian gas.

Russia's reasons for closing the pipeline have been discussed in the other thread, notably here and here. They also had surface ships in the area of the sabotage. Of course, it doesn't help that the sabotage sites are right next to the major shipping lanes in the Baltic.
1664636077162.png

Before suspecting the US, I would actually take a hard look at Poland. They have the capability, they have a long-standing grudge against Russia, and they have an economic interest because one of the major land-based pipelines crosses their territory. I'm not saying they did, or even that it's more likely than the Russians. I'm just saying that it bears some thought.
 

modeltrains

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Before suspecting the US, I would actually take a hard look at Poland.
Something about that brings to mind this excerpt, particularly that last bit,
"
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called the events “an act of sabotage,” while Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said she could not rule it out after three leaks were detected over the past day on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which are filled with gas but not delivering the fuel to Europe. An energy standoff over Russia’s war in Ukraine halted flows on Nord Stream 1 and prevented them from ever starting in the parallel Nord Stream 2.

Frederiksen, Morawiecki and Polish President Andrzej Duda symbolically opened a valve of a yellow pipe belonging to the Baltic Pipe, a new system that will bring Norway’s gas across Denmark and the Baltic Sea to Poland.

“The era of Russian domination in the gas sphere is coming to an end,” Morawiecki declared. “An era that was marked by blackmail, threats and extortion.”
"
 

jderimig

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Or its not blowed up. Waiting for the undersea photos, has anyone seen those?
 

jderimig

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Possible actors:
1. Russia: Why would Russia destroy their biggest leverage chip with Europe?
2. Germany: No.
3. States or global actors who want to remove the temptation for Germany to get squishy on the war. <<<<------
 

boatgeek

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Or its not blowed up. Waiting for the undersea photos, has anyone seen those?
Blowed up, blowed in, potato, potahto. The moment of sabotage has been described as an explosion in every piece of news about the incident, and at least one of them registered on seismometers. The size of the gas stream rising to the surface also indicates a very large hole. How else would you get that large a hole in a 5-inch-thick pipeline?

Possible actors:
1. Russia: Why would Russia destroy their biggest leverage chip with Europe?
2. Germany: No.
3. States or global actors who want to remove the temptation for Germany to get squishy on the war. <<<<------
The most plausible reasons for #1 that I've seen are that the pipelines aren't in use anyway and unlikely to come back into use before Putin is gone, therefore they are no use to Putin. Blowing the pipelines serves as a warning to others that Russia could blow other pipelines and infrastructure (like say the Oresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden). It also may get Rosneft out of penalties for not flowing gas to Germany--they can't if the pipeline is inoperable. The latter one depends on the contract language, so may or may not be real.

#3 is definitely plausible, and could be a reason for either Poland or the US to blow the pipeline.

A final piece of bluff/double bluff is that the pipeline was blown in international waters within the Swedish and Danish EEZs. One would think that if #3 was the answer, it would have been blown closer to Russia. It would also have been easier if #1 was the answer. Of course, having it be further from Russia makes it seem more likely that it was the Russians. Clearly, I cannot choose the wine in front of me!
 

dhbarr

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Pretty standard part of the Putin Playbook though, isn't it? Didn't he do this to Georgia a couple of times during one of his previous illegal invasions of a sovereign nation? Did Moldova have pipelines? Chechnya?
 

jderimig

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Blowed up, blowed in, potato, potahto. The moment of sabotage has been described as an explosion in every piece of news about the incident, and at least one of them registered on seismometers. The size of the gas stream rising to the surface also indicates a very large hole. How else would you get that large a hole in a 5-inch-thick pipeline?
Show me the pics of the hole. Not that I don't think its blowed up, show show the pics.
 

cls

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I nominate Mohammed bin Salmon al Saud, certainly has motives, and could purchase the method...
 

boatgeek

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One more potential reason for Russia to blow the pipelines: they've gotten a week of favorable press from Russia-friendly Western media, who are asking why Biden blew the pipeline, why we're so mean to Russia anyway, and by the way what if Russia is forced, forced to start a nuclear war over this? Being able to replay Western hosts on Russian TV repeating Russian talking points is worth something for internal consumption, not to mention dividing their opponents politically.
 

Arnie

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hobie1dog

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Wow, how did he get all that information?
 

Steve Shannon

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Wow, how did he get all that information?
More importantly is the shopping experience associated with the site. Arnie, what the hell is Pumpkin Brûlée body butter?

Before accepting the writings at MonkeyWerx, a person might wish to review some of his other posts. I’ve always been fascinated by unusual personalities and this guy is pretty interesting.
 
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Dotini

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In my opinion, it's certainly possible the US sabotaged the pipeline. But it's not proven. However, it does makes sense in that the US would benefit in the long run by taking over the business of supplying natural gas to Europe from Russia. Our European friends got themselves into this pickle, and we're merely helping them out...maybe. The New York Times published that one of the NS2 pipeline remains functional. So it's still a confused story. But in any case, it is clearly an escalatory act by some interested party. Much more is yet to come.
 

CalebJ

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In my opinion, it's certainly possible the US sabotaged the pipeline. But it's not proven. However, it does makes sense in that the US would benefit in the long run by taking over the business of supplying natural gas to Europe from Russia. Our European friends got themselves into this pickle, and we're merely helping them out...maybe. The New York Times published that one of the NS2 pipeline remains functional. So it's still a confused story. But in any case, it is clearly an escalatory act by some interested party. Much more is yet to come.
Which 'european friends' are you referring to?
 

Dotini

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Which 'european friends' are you referring to?
Primarily the Germans. But since most of Europe has been using Russian nat gas to some degree or other, and all those pipeline are disrupted to some extent, all of Europe is faced with gas shortages and steeply rising prices. So eventually most of Europe will potentially benefit from US LNG.
 
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jderimig

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Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia claims that there is direct radar evidence of US aircraft circling the area around the time of the explosions. No link or reference provided by him though. A photo of the damage (for sure must exist by now) would show whether the explosion was internal (pig) or external. If internal that implicates Russia. If external then anything is possible.
 

boatgeek

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This news will please pretty much nobody. TL;DR: The Swedes have determined that the pipelines were sabotaged, have impounded some evidence, but haven't released anything useful. Also, the Danes say that the two largest explosions were each caused by several hundred kilos of explosives. [Editorializing] That pretty much rules out non-state actors.

 
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