DISINFO: Hersh's assertion about the US involvement in the Nord Stream explosion is correct
Nord Stream 2

DISINFO: Hersh's assertion about the US involvement in the Nord Stream explosion is correct


An article by Seymour Hersh about the United States' participation in Norway's bombing of the Nord Stream gas pipeline [...] seems very valid.

First, in November 2020, the Norwegian Ministry of Defense ratified a cooperation agreement with the US. In fact, the cooperation document may contain secret points related to the Norwegian Navy's facilities on the Baltic coast.

Second, there is at least one well-established fact about the covert cooperation between the Norwegian Navy Special Forces and the British Special Forces, which is that the naval saboteurs of the two countries worked very closely with the Americans. This is evidenced by the death of the commander of the British Naval Special Forces unit, Lieutenant-Colonel Richard van der Horst, at Olafsveren on 14 March 2005 as a result of a tragic accident.

Third is the classification of the investigation results by the Norwegian authorities. When their conscience is clear, they usually don't hide such information.


Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the US sabotaged the NS 1 and NS 2 gas pipelines.

Investigative journalist, and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Seymour Hersh claims that the US was behind the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines last year. In a self-published report, Hersh wrote that US Navy divers helped by Norway had planted explosives on the pipelines running under the Baltic Sea between Russia and Germany last June and detonated them three months later

Hersh's claim that US blew up Nord Stream pipelines relies on one anonymous source. Snopes portal asked Hersh to respond to criticism that his article's claims are based on a single source and also asked if any undisclosed parties verified or vetted any of that source's assertions as part of his reporting. In response, he told Snopes, that he protects his sources.

A number of factcheckers have pointed to numerous flaws in Hersh's story, which has received attention from Kremlin.

Recent Hersh work has been controversial and widely panned by journalists for promoting conspiratorial claims that hinge on dubious anonymous sources or speculation.

Examples of controversial claims made later in Hersh's career include allegations that Turkey, not Russia, was behind a chemical weapons attack in Syria, and that Trump authorized an airstrike in Syria in response to Russia's alleged use of chemical weapons, even while knowing Russia did not use such weapons.

White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson described Hersh's report as "complete fiction." A Central Intelligence Agency spokesperson echoed the White House denial, calling the report "completely and utterly false."

Asked about Hersh's claim that Oslo supported the operation, the Norwegian foreign ministry said: "These claims are false."

Sweden, Germany, and Denmark investigated the incident. The preliminary Danish investigation only found that the leaks in the pipelines were caused by powerful explosions. Sweden’s authorities found evidence of detonations, thus strengthening suspicions of “gross sabotage”. But so far investigations by Swedish, Danish, and German authorities have not pinned the blame on any one country or actor.

For a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the issue, please read Nord Stream 1 & 2 sabotage - disinformation a la MH-17. See other examples of similar disinformation narratives, such as claims that Western sabotage of Nord Stream pipelines caused an environmental disaster, that the UK took part in the explosion of the Nord Stream pipelines, or that the West blew up Nord Stream 1 and 2


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Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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