Washington Post: Ukrainian colonel coordinated Nord Stream pipeline attack The officer, currently in a Kyiv detention center, denies any involvement
According to The Washington Post, Roman Chervinsky, a 48-year-old Ukrainian colonel who served in the country’s Special Operations Forces, coordinated the attack on the Nord Stream pipeline. The outlet cited Ukrainian and European officials, as well as people familiar with the details of the operation.
The sources say that Chervinsky led a group of six people. According to The Washington Post, they rented a sailboat under false identities and used deep-sea diving equipment to plant explosive devices on the gas pipelines.
According to the outlet, Chervinsky didn’t act alone and didn’t plan the operation, but was rather obeying the orders of high-ranking officers who ultimately answered to Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny.
Through his lawyer, Colonel Chervinsky stated that “all speculations about my involvement in the attack on Nord Stream are being spread by Russian propaganda without any basis.”
The Washington Post writes that Chervinsky’s role in the operation is currently the most direct evidence of the involvement of Ukraine’s Armed Forces and Security Service leadership in the Nord Stream attack, which Western officials have called a “dangerous attack on Europe’s energy infrastructure.”
According to the outlet, Chervinsky’s involvement in the sabotage illustrates the complex dynamics and internal rivalry within Ukraine’s leadership, where intelligence and military structures often clash with the political leadership.
The Washington Post, citing U.S. intelligence data, reports that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky didn’t know about the plans to sabotage the pipeline. “All of those involved in planning and execution reported directly to [chief of defense] Zaluzhny, so Zelensky wouldn’t have known about it,” the publication quotes intelligence obtained by the CIA.
The outlet also notes that Chervinsky is currently being held in a Kyiv detention facility on charges that he abused his power. According to the investigation, the colonel attempted to carry out an operation without the approval of Ukraine’s Security Service and Main Intelligence Directorate. The plan was to persuade a Russian pilot to defect to Ukraine. However, the operation failed, and information about the presence of Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel and equipment at the Kanatovo airfield was leaked. This prompted Russian forces to launch an attack on the airfield, killing the unit’s commander, injuring 17 servicemen, destroying two fighter jets, and damaging the runway.
Chervinsky told journalists that Ukraine’s Security Service, Air Force, and Special Operations Forces participated in the plan to recruit the Russian pilot.
The Ukrainian authorities have not yet commented on these reports.