I am completely at a loss as to who would blow up the Nordstream pipelines. I guess if I was forced to make a choice, I would pick Russia just because they seem the most insane at the moment, but I certainly don’t blame anyone who does not find the Russia theory plausible either. The basic list of possible and farfetched culprits is well covered by this video….
The one thing not covered in video above is the idea that it was just an accident caused by bad Russian maintenance. Most people seemed to have ruled out that out but Lawdog lays out an argument for the incompetent Russian theory. I don’t buy that argument (one or two explosions maybe but four?) but you should read it because Lawdog makes a more compelling then you likely think is possible.
If (like me) you don’t buy the accident theory you are pretty much left with a NATO country or Russia as the culprit just on grounds of means. Both nether camp seems to have very good motives to me. Russia has already shut down the pipelines so why do they need to blow them? And what does the US gain by blowing the pipes when Russia is already taking the heat for refusing to sell gas? If there was some sign that Germany was going to cave in the near future I might buy it, but otherwise what is the rush? Also, I may be wrong, but it just don’t seem like the US has the balls for something like this at the moment. You run the risk of angering the EU big time and the damage is done in an area that the EU can watch pretty closely.
Speaking of watching, both Russians and Western sources are pointing to the other side’s ships having been seen in the area. A lot of pro-Russian sources are using the fact that the U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge was in the area as “100” proof that US did it. But if the US was going to do this, and amphibious assault ship would not be the ship that got used. Those ships are way too big with way to many people on them who might talk for it to be a good place to launch something covert from. In the past when the US has done sneaking things they have used subs which have smaller crews of people who are carefully screened to be able to keep their mouths shut but the water is kind of shallow for subs to be sneaking in the area where this happened. So the question of how you would do this without people knowing is something of mystery.
I think the same thing about claims that Russian ships were seen in the area. I have not heard what type of ships they are, but it seems too obvious of a way of going about it. Plus, it is the Baltic. There is always going to be Russian ships and NATO ships in the area. And unless somebody is not doing their job, these ships should always be closely watched by everyone on every side so how they would pull off a surprise like this is beyond me.
One very plausible way of damaging the pipelines without people noticing is via Pipeline Pigs with explosives attached. I have not heard many people talking about it but one person who claimed to have claimed to be an oil and gas guy said that his how he thought it was done. It seems like if you got something down there to take pictures it should be easy for experts to tell if the explosion came from inside the pipes or outside the pipes. If the explosion came from inside the pipes, it would pretty much rule out anyone but the Russians as it is my understanding is that the Pigs would have to come from upstream of where the explosions happened.
If it was not done by a Pipeline Pig, then I suppose it could have been done by an underwater drone. That is certainly the leading argument from the “NATO did it” camp. The only problem is that nobody has explained what kind of drone could have done it. It would have been big enough to be effective, small enough not be seen in the relatively shallow water, and most importantly, be able to operate independently or in some way communicate to its controllers in way that as not detectible to all the nations watching the Baltic.
What I am getting at is that drones are not magic. Sure they don’t need people in them but that only reduces the size so much and what they make up in smaller size they usually have to pay for in terms of needing to phone home to a controller. I would think that would be particularly true for a task like this. So I don’t see how invoking an unknown drone really explains how this was done without anyone knowing.
I honestly thought that after a few days had passed a semi plausible theory would have emerged but I don’t feel like that is the case. So I am throwing this out there mostly because I know people will ask me about it and I have no real good idea. But at least this way I have something to point to that has links to all I have been able to find out even if that is not much.
A lot of primary source info on the Russian call up disaster in the below video. I don’t normally find the below youtuber all that useful compared to others normally but he has the best collection this time.
Interesting video on what Russian banks are doing (but nothing earth shaking, just informative)