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US journalist Hersh points to ‘factors behind’ Putin’s decision to start Ukraine operation

According to the journalist, "it wasn’t without justification"

NEW YORK, February 18. /TASS/. There were certain factors behind Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch a special military operation in Ukraine, US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said in an interview with the Consortium News outlet.

"There were factors behind it," he said, adding: "It wasn’t without justification."

"The expansion of NATO, the thought that NATO might bring Ukraine into NATO, there was some worrisome stuff," Hersh pointed out.

"We put missiles on the border with China that are called defensive but that could be easily converted into missiles that could take out Moscow in 7-8 minutes," the journalist explained.

On February 8, Hersh wrote in an article, citing a source, that US Navy divers, with the assistance of Norwegian specialists, had planted explosive devices under the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines with the assistance of Norwegian specialists under the cover of the BALTOPS exercise in June 2022. According to Hersh, US President Joe Biden made the decision to conduct the operation following nine months of consultations with national security officials. White House National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a comment to TASS that Hersh’s account was utterly false and complete fiction.