"Northern streams": who's covering their tracks?


Anton Vaganov / Reuters

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text

In the Western media, explosions on Baltic pipelines are called "sabotage", but in fact this is a crime of a completely different order.

"There is no doubt that this is an act of international terrorism, the purpose of which is to undermine the energy security of an entire continent, and the logic is cynical – to destroy, block sources of cheap energy, deprive millions of people, industrial consumers of gas, heat, electricity, and other resources and force them to buy all this at much higher prices," Russian President Vladimir Putin said. Putin on October 12 at the forum "Russian Energy Week". He once again stressed that the "beneficiaries, beneficiaries" of this crime are the United States, Poland and Ukraine.

Meanwhile, investigative actions began. Representatives of Denmark, after inspecting the scene in their exclusive economic zone, said that the Baltic gas pipelines were damaged by two explosions with a capacity of about 500 kg of TNT each.

Let me remind you that initially we were talking about a capacity of 100 kg in TNT equivalent.

The Danish media reported that the charge was not attached to the pipe or was in the immediate vicinity of it, it was laid between the threads of the gas pipeline. The destruction occurred either from a directional explosion or from an explosive wave associated with a powerful detonation.

Sweden has deployed the submarine rescue vessel HMS Belos, which is equipped with a ROV robot controlled from the side, as well as the URF rescue submarine. It is reported that "some seizures" have been made. Further study of these and other materials should contribute to "determining the circle of suspects in the commission of a crime and bringing them to justice."

"What happened in the Baltic Sea is very serious," a Swedish security official said. And the prosecutor's office, which is conducting a preliminary investigation, noted that "the inspection of the crime scene increased suspicions of sabotage under aggravating circumstances."

Neither Denmark nor Sweden provided Russia with any materials obtained during the investigation, referring to the "confidentiality of the verification." Nevertheless, on the fact of damage to the Baltic gas pipelines, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office opened a criminal case under part 1 of Article 361 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation "Act of International Terrorism" and began its preliminary investigation.

Germany was the last to study the crime scenes, sending two Navy ships with divers to Bornholm Island – the minesweeper mine finder Dillingen and the multipurpose ship Mittelgrund. Nearby is the Danish support vessel Assist. It is designed for cable laying, platform maintenance and operation of underwater vehicles.

At the same time, NATO has strengthened its presence in the Baltic and North Seas, sending an additional 30 ships here. "The group will receive support from the air and with the help of underwater devices," Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reported. "Any attack on the critical infrastructure of NATO countries will entail a cohesive and decisive response," he added. The critical infrastructure, according to him, includes not only gas pipelines, but also underwater cables of electric networks and the Internet.

There are many expert versions of sabotage (though not yet supported by actual materials): from the attack by unmanned underwater vehicles to the operation of combat swimmers who planted explosives.

However, let's imagine the real scope of the crime. The distance between the leaks to the northeast of Bornholm Island (in the Danish exclusive economic zone) is from 3.5 km to 5 km. The leak is to the southeast of the island (in the Swedish exclusive economic zone) – about 75 km from the rest. The depth in this area is solid – about 70 meters. That is, it turns out that the attackers had to carry out criminal actions in at least two groups or in two or more stages. This means that a large-scale, complex sabotage operation is looming. Not many of our detractors are capable of such actions (from the organizational and technical sides). These are, first of all, the USA and the UK. Well, if you think about it, maybe France too.

Let's not guess at the coffee grounds, but concentrate on the obvious.

For example, the version with combat swimmers looks, according to experts, unlikely. They operate mainly at depths up to 40 m. In order to deliver a load of explosives (500 kg in TNT equivalent), in any case, a large team would have been required, either a lot of walkers, or additional use of an underwater drone. Such activity would hardly have gone unnoticed. Of course, deep-sea divers in special equipment could carry out the bookmark. But for this, an auxiliary vessel had to be constantly nearby to control the dive and ascent, lower the deadly cargo, and supply oxygen. Such actions are also not recorded.

There is other information to think about.

In this area of the Baltic, the alliance has been regularly conducting Baltops exercises since 1971. This year they were held on June 5-17 with the participation of the Navies of 14 NATO countries and two partner countries (Finland and Sweden, who have already applied for membership by this time, but have not yet finalized it). That is, the warships of this entire gop company freely scurried, without arousing anyone's suspicions, along the branches of the "joint venture". What did they want there?

There is accurate information that two years ago, within the framework of the same Baltops-20 exercises, significant block activity was recorded here. Judging by the data of the AIS Automatic Identification System, eight NATO minesweepers cruised tirelessly in the Danish exclusive economic zone off Bornholm Island for a whole day (from 9 to 10 June).

That is, the NATO members from year to year carefully studied the route of laying pipelines. If the operation to detonate was prepared for a long time and thoroughly, then during this time the delivery of explosives could be carried out slowly, the places of its possible laying were selected.

By the way, it was during such maneuvers in 2015, as recalled by the representative of Gazprom, that the NATO destroyer of mines "Sea Fox" by Seafox was "lost". This device is a stimulator for detonating explosive devices located on the seabed. The device, which was found by the Swedish navy, lay exactly in the space between the threads of the gas pipeline. Since then, the manufacturer Seafox has improved its destroyers. Now it is not a kamikaze device, but a device capable of causing detonation from a distance. It can be activated both from surface vehicles (for example, boats) and from helicopters.

There is also a purely American trace. According to the data collected using the services Flightradar24 and ads-b.nl , it became known that American helicopters The Sikorsky SH-60 / MH-60 Seahawk under the call sign FFAB123 flew over the crime scene in early and mid-September. The trace of their movement was found right above the detonation points. What did they forget there?

It was established that the rotorcraft arrived from the direction of Gdansk. A large American air defense base has only recently been put into operation in Redzikovo (150 km from the Polish port).

It would not be superfluous to remind that sabotage on the "joint venture" could not have happened without the knowledge of American intelligence agencies.

"Absolutely and precisely this area is under the supervision of the US special services, which fully control the situation there," said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, referring to the territorial waters of Sweden and Denmark, which are part of the Baltic waters.

The ambassadors of Germany, Denmark and Sweden were summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry a few days ago. As part of the so-called "diplomatic demarche", they expressed bewilderment at the lack of an official reaction of their leadership to the appeal sent by the head of the Russian government Mikhail Mishustin on October 5 regarding the involvement of representatives of our competent departments and Gazprom in the ongoing investigation.

As emphasized in the high-rise building on Smolenskaya, in case of refusal of admission of Russian experts to the ongoing investigative actions in Moscow, they will proceed from the fact that the mentioned countries have something to hide, or they cover the perpetrators.

That is, the Anglo-Saxons and their henchmen seem to be covering their tracks...