A Ukrainian military officer involved with the country’s intelligence services allegedly played a leading role in the bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines in 2022, sources familiar with the matter told The Washington Post.

Roman Chervinsky, a 48-year-old colonel who served in Ukrainian Special Forces, was the “coordinator” of the operation to blow up the pipeline, according to the Post. Chervinsky’s role allegedly involved managing logistics for the team that rented a sailboat and used diving equipment to plant explosives on the pipelines.

Chervinsky allegedly took orders from senior Ukrainian officials who reported to the Ukrainian Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, sources familiar with the matter told the Post. Chervinsky denied being involved in sabotaging the pipeline.

“All speculations about my involvement in the attack on Nord Stream are being spread by Russian propaganda without any basis,” Chervinsky told the Post.

Chervinsky served in a unit of the Ukrainian Special Forces focused on resistance in Russian-occupied areas earlier in the conflict, sources familiar with the matter told the Post. He reported to Maj. Gen. Viktor Hanushchak who communicated with Zaluzhny.

Chervinsky previously served in the Ukraine’s military intelligence agency as well as Ukraine’s Security Service, the SBU, according to the Post.

Authorities allege that Chervinsky, who was arrested in April, acted without permission and that the operation gave away the coordinates of a Ukrainian airfield, prompting a Russian rocket attack that killed a soldier and injured 17 others. Chervinsky is being held in a Kyiv jail on charges that he abused his power stemming from a plot to lure a Russian pilot to defect to Ukraine in July 2022.

“All of those involved in planning and execution reported directly to [chief of defense] Zaluzhnyy, so Zelensky wouldn’t have known about it,” according to intelligence obtained by the CIA allegedly shared by Jack Teixeira, a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Officials in multiple countries privately said they did not believe Zelensky approved the Nord Stream attack, according to the Post.

Accusations flew following the pipeline explosion, with world leaders blaming a multitude of different actors. Former President Donald Trump hinted that it might have been done by the U.S. and European Parliament representative for Poland Radek Sikorski appeared to cheer on the pipeline explosion. Some pointed to Russia and Vladimir Putin for the bombings, according to The Hill.

Chervinsky could not be reached for comment.

Brandon Poulter on November 11, 2023

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