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

Steve Shannon

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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.

Thank you for actual news and not just wild speculation.
 

jderimig

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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.

When are they going to share the pics?

[WILD SPECULATION} Several hundred kilo's = 500lb Russian torpedo from NOS Poland dropped from a helicopter or P8. [/WILD SPECULATION]

Swede's Lead Investigator
1665071142235.png
 
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boatgeek

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When are they going to share the pics?

[WILD SPECULATION} Several hundred kilo's = 500lb torpedo dropped from a helicopter or P8. [/WILD SPECULATION]
When they're damn good and ready. Professionals don't rush criminal investigations. They aren't conducting the investigation to please you or me.

Also, 500 lb is 227 kg. While that could be stretched to "several hundred kilos", especially with high efficiency explosives, my wild speculation is more like 750-1000 lbs.
 

jderimig

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When they're damn good and ready. Professionals don't rush criminal investigations. They aren't conducting the investigation to please you or me.

Also, 500 lb is 227 kg. While that could be stretched to "several hundred kilos", especially with high efficiency explosives, my wild speculation is more like 750-1000 lbs.
State sabotage a crime or is it an act of war?
 

jderimig

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This is kind of a grassy knoll for you isn’t it, John? 😄
Just trying to provoke 'alternate' critical thinking....Photos of the Kennedy assasination were made public WELL before the investigation concluded BTW.
 

Steve Shannon

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Just trying to provoke 'alternate' critical thinking....
Photos of the Kennedy assasination were made public WELL before the investigation concluded BTW.
AKA stirring the pot.
And there are still folks who don’t accept the findings of the Warren Report - which is another rabbit hole for folks who enjoy provoking ‘alternate’ critical thinking. Let’s not start a thread on that, shall we?
 

jderimig

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AKA stirring the pot.
And there are still folks who don’t accept the findings of the Warren Report - which is another rabbit hole for folks who enjoy provoking ‘alternate’ critical thinking. Let’s not start a thread on that, shall we?
Nah, everyone knows what really happened there....
 

Reinhard

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In a nutshell, that article speculates an US P8, that was tracked via public flight trackers attacked the pipeline with air dropped Mk54 torpedoes.

A couple thoughts about that:
  1. Torpedoes try to reject sea floor clutter, because that can interfere with their targeting of enemy vessels. If I had to guess, a Mk54 is about as inclined to attack a pipeline on the sea floor as an AMRAAM is inclined to attack a railway bridge. That doesn't mean that its impossible to build a torpedo that works for that, but one would have to justify the extra capability to the bean counters. There are all kinds of secret capabilities, so this clearly can't be ruled out, but the only reference to attacking the sea floor with torpedoes that I found on a very cursory search was a bug report about a misbehaving computer game. ;)
  2. The Mk54 warhead is equivalent to roughly 100kg of TNT. A bit short of the reported hundreds of kg, but the accuracy of the seismic estimation is surely limited.
  3. A Mk54 torpedo will leave identifiable debris, making the attack attributable. Edit: It might also show up on passive acoustic surveillance systems, that monitor submarine activity.
  4. Civilian flight trackers can only track cooperative planes that provide their location via ADS-B, Mode S, UAT etc. This is a legal requirement for most civilian flights, but not for military flights. If one checks adsbexchange.com and filters for military aircraft, one can see that NATO is willing to disclose transport aircraft, tankers and surveillance aircraft close to the Ukrainian border, but outside of some limited locations in Western Europe, the combat aircraft stay in the dark. Military aircraft are also known to transmit false ADS-B information on occasion. If the P8 was tracked as claimed for even part of its flight, this means it was fully willing to be tracked.
1 + 2 are technical aspects that imho make it less likely, but they can't be used to rule out anything. 3 + 4 would imply that the US openly admits responsibility.

Reinhard
 
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jderimig

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In a nutshell, that article speculates an US P8, that was tracked via public flight trackers attacked the pipeline with air dropped Mk54 torpedoes.

A couple thoughts about that:
  1. Torpedoes try to reject sea floor clutter, because that can interfere with their targeting of enemy vessels. If I had to guess, a Mk54 is about as inclined to attack a pipeline on the sea floor as an AMRAAM is inclined to attack a railway bridge. That doesn't mean that its impossible to build a torpedo that works for that, but one would have to justify the extra capability to the bean counters. There are all kinds of secret capabilities, so this clearly can't be ruled out, but the only reference to attacking the sea floor with torpedoes that I found on a very cursory search was a bug report about a misbehaving computer game. ;)
  2. The Mk54 warhead is equivalent to roughly 100kg of TNT. A bit short of the reported hundreds of kg, but the accuracy of the seismic estimation is surely limited.
  3. A Mk54 torpedo will leave identifiable debris, making the attack attributable. Edit: It might also show up on passive acoustic surveillance systems, that monitor submarine activity.
  4. Civilian flight trackers can only track cooperative planes that provide their location via ADS-B, Mode S, UAT etc. This is a legal requirement for most civilian flights, but not for military flights. If one checks adsbexchange.com and filters for military aircraft, one can see that NATO is willing to disclose transport aircraft, tankers and surveillance aircraft close to the Ukrainian border, but outside of some limited locations in Western Europe, the combat aircraft stay in the dark. Military aircraft are also known to transmit false ADS-B information on occasion. If the P8 was tracked as claimed for even part of its flight, this means it was fully willing to be tracked.
1 + 2 are technical aspects that imho make it less likely, but they can't be used to rule out anything. 3 + 4 would imply that the US openly admits responsibility.

Reinhard
I doubt that a covert US OP would use a Mk54. More likely it would use old Soviet munitions that Poland might still have. That being said, if the Swedes find Soviet weapon fragments on the sea floor the Russians will claim that is was a Pole-Nato operation. They seem to be replaying the MH-17 playbook.
 

SDramstad

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So an american military aircraft drops an unguided Russian out of date munition from 20000 feet and manages to hit a pipe thats all of 2 feet wide 50 to 100 meters below the surface and makes a direct hit on the first try? Really?? And realize anything short of a direct hit wouldnt even scratch the pipe?
 

jderimig

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So an american military aircraft drops an unguided Russian out of date munition from 20000 feet and manages to hit a pipe thats all of 2 feet wide 50 to 100 meters below the surface and makes a direct hit on the first try? Really?? And realize anything short of a direct hit wouldnt even scratch the pipe?
Pipe is 4 feet. Internal pressure is 105 bar. 1" steel and 4" concrete is not a pill box. Waiting for another bombshell revalation from the Swedes who concluded a detonation probably occurred (after 10 days of study).

At 105 bar the stress in the steel pipe is about 37000 psi. The yield strength of undersea pipeline steel is between 50,000 and 70000 psi. So the pipe is normally at 50% of failure stress. It would take less additional stress to fail it. A barrel bomb dropped from an inflatable might be all that was needed....
 
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Sandy H.

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So an american military aircraft drops an unguided Russian out of date munition from 20000 feet and manages to hit a pipe thats all of 2 feet wide 50 to 100 meters below the surface and makes a direct hit on the first try? Really?? And realize anything short of a direct hit wouldnt even scratch the pipe?

"I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home. They're not much bigger than two meters." - Hypothetical pilot of hypothetical P8.

Sandy.
 

cls

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...but the accuracy of the seismic estimation is surely limited.
I don't think so; for example,seismic data is good enough to peg exactly where N Korea lights off a test, what's it made of, and how did it actually work.
 

rocket_troy

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I think this was either Russia or an environment group.
There'd be no environmental group with the resources for this, besides, there are many less environmentally friendly fuel alternatives to target. IMHO it has Russia plastered all over it only by their reaction (or lack of it) - no outrage or "this is an act of war" or UN table thumping - just the "usual" finger point from Vlad we've come to expect from his covert naughtiness.

TP

ps: Which does make one wonder if there's an internal schism in the Russian oligarchal powerbase.
 
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rharshberger

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I don't think so; for example,seismic data is good enough to peg exactly where N Korea lights off a test, what's it made of, and how did it actually work.
I agree, I know of a certain Interferometry Observatory that can detect seismic events on the other side of the world with pinpoint precision and their research focus isnt even on this planet. They can also collect other data about the explosion too...but not who did it.

As for the accuracy of the needed hit to break the pipe 500 to 600lbs of explosive (a "couple" of hundred kgs) would probably need to be within 50 meters (based on a WW2 depth charge having 220 lbs only needeing to be within 30 meters of a submarine to disable but not destroy. Water over the explosions was in the 70 to 90 meter range so a "barrel bomb" as somebody put it would be reasonably accurate with a drop based on a simple handheld GPS. I am neither an underwater demolition expert nor a engineer, but dropping something vertically through the water 200-300' deep and only needing to be within 30-150' doesnt seem implausible.
 
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MidOH

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Why would they? It's their line. They can turn it off any time they want to.

This was to make sure that Germany and western Europe don't get "cold feet" when they run low on gas. It's a pretty safe bet, that they'd all cave in, and buy fuel from Russia, supporting their war effort.

I'm betting the US did it. Or Ukraine, Poland, and eastern Europe.

I love the commentary where people post "That's quite deep for divers!" As if big heavy steel bombs don't sink. [There's a bunch of rocks floating around my lake waiting for divers to take them down.]
 

modeltrains

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And now a bit about the related matter of effects of the disruption of natural gas supply:
Ben is originally from Germany, lived on La Palma island at time of volcano eruption & did an interesting video series. Also does travel videos.

 

cwbullet

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I agree, I know of a certain Interferometry Observatory that can detect seismic events on the other side of the world with pinpoint precision and their research focus isnt even on this planet. They can also collect other data about the explosion too...but not who did it.

As for the accuracy of the needed hit to break the pipe 500 to 600lbs of explosive (a "couple" of hundred kgs) would probably need to be within 50 meters (based on a WW2 depth charge having 220 lbs only needeing to be within 30 meters of a submarine to disable but not destroy. Water over the explosions was in the 70 to 90 meter range so a "barrel bomb" as somebody put it would be reasonably accurate with a drop based on a simple handheld GPS. I am neither an underwater demolition expert nor a engineer, but dropping something vertically through the water 200-300' deep and only needing to be within 30-150' doesnt seem implausible.
The problem with saying we used a torpedo to do this is lacking an understanding of how torpedos work. They home in on a moving target. I am pretty certain a modern torpedo would not home in a metal pipeline. I agree that depth charge would not do it and I doubt we stall have them in our inventory.
 

MidOH

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You can manually guide them in. They drag a wire.

You can also launch them slow, and silently. Let them swim out of the tube, instead of thrusting them forward with air. And that's just the old news. Not even OPSEC. But a pipeline is no different than a sub hiding in the mud.


Depth charges are no longer used because torpedos already do that job more effectively. And that's knowing that the best tool to get a sub off of a muddy shallow bottom, is a depth charge. And our newest subs are purposefully designed for shallow water operations. So it's a safe bet, that if we are prepped for a shallow war, and we don't have any, then there's a better tool for that job.


 
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rharshberger

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The problem with saying we used a torpedo to do this is lacking an understanding of how torpedos work. They home in on a moving target. I am pretty certain a modern torpedo would not home in a metal pipeline. I agree that depth charge would not do it and I doubt we stall have them in our inventory.
A depth charge type weapon would do the job, a 55 gallon barrel full of TNT would be approximately 412 kgs ( 907 lbs) close would count on a high pressure pipe, no need for a hydrostatic fuse either as a simple timer would do the job. Obviously this is just assumption based on a bit of research on my part, but I think its doable since the pipelines were in less than 300' of water and a depth charge with (no common WW2 era depth charge had that much explosive). The pressure wave underwater might well crack the pipe and its covering if its close enough ( inside 15meters maybe).
 

CalebJ

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You can manually guide them in. They drag a wire.

You can also launch them slow, and silently. Let them swim out of the tube, instead of thrusting them forward with air. And that's just the old news. Not even OPSEC. But a pipeline is no different than a sub hiding in the mud.


Depth charges are no longer used because torpedos already do that job more effectively. And that's knowing that the best tool to get a sub off of a muddy shallow bottom, is a depth charge. And our newest subs are purposefully designed for shallow water operations. So it's a safe bet, that if we are prepped for a shallow war, and we don't have any, then there's a better tool for that job.


How did you leap from 'wire guided ' to manually guided? Or the bit about submarines hiding in mud? There are some remarkable leaps of questionable logic in that post.
 

Dipstick

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Funny thing, has anyone else noticed that it simply disappeared off the mainstream news media?

Now we move on to nuclear mongering...
 

MidOH

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Because we did it. And it doesn't fit any popular narrative.

The nuclear mongering is interesting. Mostly because it's against the narrative completely. But it's scary and newsworthy. So maybe more ratings for that? I'm startled that ''bungled ourselves into nuclear threats again'', isn't also being buried.
 

cwbullet

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Even if it is possible, we would not do that. We have nothing to gain and a lot to lose.

It is either the Russians or their shotty quality.
 

MidOH

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We gained support from Europe. Most of which is about to be stuffing thier coats with newspaper this winter, to stay warm at home.
 
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