WASHINGTON, March 15. /TASS/. US investigative journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh thinks that the New York Times’ version of the Nord Stream sabotage being orchestrated by a "pro-Ukrainian group" is nonsense.
Speaking at a non-governmental Committee for the Republic event, he said that he knew more about the Nord Stream sabotage and hadn’t yet revealed everything. "I don’t say it publicly, I don’t say it to anybody," he said, commenting on the sources of his investigation. However, he pointed out that he didn’t believe that "Ukrainian dissidents" were behind the sabotage. He explained that this version did not stand up to criticism as amateur activists could not have executed it. "It was all him," he said, pointing to US President Joe Biden.
On February 8, Seymour Hersh, an American journalist who specializes in investigative reporting, stated in an article, citing a source, that explosive devices had been planted under the Russian gas pipelines in June 2022 under the cover of the Baltops exercise by US Navy divers with help from Norwegian experts. According to Hersh, the decision to conduct the operation was made by US President Joe Biden after nine months of discussions in the US administration with a small circle of insiders.
In response to a TASS request, White House National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson slammed the version presented by Hersh as "utterly false and complete fiction."
The New York Times reported last week, citing US officials, that the latest intelligence data suggest a pro-Ukrainian group could have been behind the sabotage at the pipelines. The US government wasn’t aware of the operation, the report said. The German newspaper Die Zeit issued a report that said German investigators had identified the ship that was used by the saboteurs. The company that rented it was allegedly owned by Ukrainian nationals and was registered in Poland.
As Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalist Pavel Zarubin in an interview on Tuesday, the version put forward by the New York Times was "complete nonsense". The Russian leader stressed that "such explosions - of such power and such depth - can only be carried out by experts with backing from a state that has such capabilities." When asked if Western countries were capable of doing so, he said: "Of course!"