The Bornholm Blow-Up Repeats the Bornholm Bash — Poland Attacks Germany and Blames Russia

Lambert here:

Helmer sheds some light on this extraordinary tweet by global thinker, Bullingdon Club member, AEI fellow, former Minister of Defense of Poland, and Blob spouse Radek Sikorski:

Thanks for what? Helmer explains.

By John Helmer, the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Helmer has also been a professor of political science, and an advisor to government heads in Greece, the United States, and Asia. He is the first and only member of a US presidential administration (Jimmy Carter) to establish himself in Russia. Originally published at Dances with Bears

The military operation on Monday night which fired munitions to blow holes in the Nord Stream I and Nord Stream II pipelines on the Baltic Sea floor, near Bornholm Island,  was executed by the Polish Navy and special forces.

It was aided by the Danish and Swedish military; planned and coordinated with US intelligence and technical support; and approved by the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

The operation is a repeat of the Bornholm Bash operation of April 2021, which attempted to sabotage Russian vessels laying the gas pipes, but ended in ignominious retreat by the Polish forces. That was a direct attack on Russia. This time the attack is targeting the Germans, especially the business and union lobby and the East German voters, with a scheme to blame Moscow for the troubles they already have — and their troubles to come with winter.

Morawiecki is bluffing. “It is a very strange coincidence,” he has announced, “that on the same day that the Baltic Gas Pipeline  opens, someone is most likely committing an act of sabotage. This shows what means the Russians can resort to in order to destabilize Europe. They are to blame for the very high gas prices”.   The truth bubbling up from the seabed at Bornholm is the opposite of what Morawiecki says.

But the political value to Morawiecki, already running for the Polish election in eleven months’ time, is his government’s claim to have solved all of Poland’s needs for gas and electricity through the winter — when he knows that won’t come true.  

Inaugurating the 21-year old Baltic Pipe project from the Norwegian and Danish gas networks, Morawiecki announced: “This gas pipeline is the end of the era of dependence on Russian gas. It is also a gas pipeline of security, sovereignty and freedom not only for Polish, but in the future, also for others…[Opposition Civic Platform leader Donald] Tusk’s government preferred Russian gas. They wanted to conclude a deal with the Russians even by 2045…thanks to the Baltic Pipe, extraction from Polish deposits,  LNG supply from the USA and Qatar, as well as interconnection with its neighbours, Poland is now secured in terms of gas supplies.”

Civic Platform’s former defence and foreign minister Radek Sikorski also celebrated the Bornholm Blow-up. “As we say in Polish, a small thing, but so much joy”.  “Thank you USA,” Sikorski added,   diverting the credit for the operation, away from domestic rival Morawiecki to President Joseph Biden; he had publicly threatened to sabotage the line in February.  Biden’s ambassador in Warsaw is also backing Sikorski’s Civic Platform party to replace  Morawiecki next year.  

The attack not only escalates the Polish election campaign. It also continues the Morawiecki government’s plan to attack Germany, first by reviving the reparations claim for the invasion and occupation of 1939-45;  and second, by targeting alleged German complicity, corruption,  and appeasement in the Russian scheme to rule Europe at Poland’s expense. .

“The appeasement policy towards Putin”, announced PISM, the official government think tank in Warsaw in June,  “is part of an American attempt to free itself from its obligations of maintaining peace in Europe. The bargain is that Americans will allow Putin to finish building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in exchange for Putin’s commitment not use it to blackmail Eastern Europe. Sounds convincing? Sounds like something you heard before? It’s not without reason that Winston Churchill commented on the American decision-making process: ‘Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted.’ However, by pursuing such a policy now, the Biden administration takes even more responsibility for the security of Europe, including Ukraine, which is the stake for subsequent American mistakes.”

“Where does this place Poland? Almost 18 years ago the Federal Republic of Germany, our European ally, decided to prioritize its own business interests with Putin’s Russia over solidarity and cooperation with allies in Central Europe. It was a wrong decision to make and all Polish governments – regardless of political differences – communicated this clearly and forcefully to Berlin. But since Putin succeeded in corrupting the German elite and already decided to pay the price of infamy, ignoring the Polish objections was the only strategy Germany was left with.”

The explosions at Bornholm are the new Polish strike for war in Europe against Chancellor Olaf Scholz. So far the Chancellery in Berlin is silent, tellingly.

Follow on the map where the Bornholm Blow-up – three simultaneous bomb or torpedo explosions – was arranged.

The Nord Stream operating company posted first notice of the attack on its website on the evening of September 26. “Tonight [Swiss time] the dispatchers of the Nord Stream 1 control centre registered a pressure drop on both lines of the gas pipeline. The reasons are being investigated.”  

The following morning the company added: “The significant pressure drop caused by the gas leak on both lines of the gas pipeline registered yesterday leads to a strong assumption of the pipeline physical damage. Nord Stream AG immediately informed the relevant coast guards about the incident. The positions of two assumed damages have been identified and are located north-east from Bornholm in Swedish and Danish EEZ, respectively. Currently the Swedish and Danish maritime authorities established a 5nm safety zone around the identified locations (Nautical information | Danish Maritime Authority ( Nord Stream AG has started mobilization of all necessary resources for a survey campaign to assess the damages in cooperation exchange with relevant local authorities. Currently, it is not possible to estimate a timeframe for restoring the gas transport infrastructure. The causes of the incident will be clarified as a result of the investigation.” The European sanctions regime blocked company officials from investigating at the site.

Russian satellite, aviation, and electronic monitoring of the area is comprehensive; Ukrainian double-agents corroborate. The Russian account of what happened is provided in this summary of open sources by   The military preparations in the days and hours before the blasts have not been disclosed, yet.

“The operator company Nord Stream said that at the same time destruction was recorded on three lines of the offshore gas pipelines Nord Stream and Nord Stream–2. ‘The destruction that occurred in one day simultaneously on three lines of offshore gas pipelines of the Nord Stream system is unprecedented. It is impossible to estimate the time frame for restoring the operability of the gas transportation infrastructure,’ the operator of Nord Stream noted.”

“The Kremlin is concerned about the situation. ‘This is very disturbing news. We are talking about some kind of destruction in the pipe of an unclear nature in the Danish economic zone,’ said Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin spokesman stressed that the pressure in the gas pipelines had dropped significantly: ‘This is a completely unprecedented situation that requires urgent investigation.’ Peskov noted that the nature of the destruction is unknown. Sabotage is not excluded. ‘No option can be ruled out now. Obviously, there is some kind of destruction of the pipe. And what was the reason – before the results of the research appear, it is impossible to exclude any option,’ Putin’s press secretary added.”

“The opinion that the destruction occurred because of someone’s ‘ill will’ was expressed earlier by the deputy head of the National Energy Security Fund Alexei Grivach. ‘If a leak on one line could still be an accident, the consequence of a defect or an involuntary impact, then on three [lines] it is clearly someone’s ill will. Well, who is fighting with Russian gas in Europe is not really hiding,’ RIA Novosti quotes him as saying. Grivach believes that it will take months to repair the gas pipeline lines. ‘The representative of the operator company Ulrich Lissek drew attention to the fact that it is difficult to determine the causes of the pressure drop due to ‘the sanctions regime and the lack of personnel on the ground.’ On the night of September 26, a leak occurred on one of the lines of the Nord Stream-2 pipeline. According to the representative of Nord Stream 2 AG,  Ulrich Lissek, ‘in some place’ along the pipeline, ‘most likely a hole has appeared.’ He said that in normal mode, the pressure inside the gas pipeline lines ‘is 105 bar“,  but on the German segment it has decreased to 7 bar. The Danish Maritime Administration has discovered damage to a gas pipeline near the island of Bornholm. Presumably, the alleged point of emergency is located in the exclusive economic zone – just beyond the border of the territorial waters of Denmark. The leak was located at the position of 54 °52.60′ north latitude— 015 ° 24.60′ east longitude, writes RBK.”

For RBK’s coverage, including surface filming by the Danes of gas bubbling above the pipeline holes, click.

This is what the government in Warsaw arranged at Bornholm a year and five months ago.  At that time Morawiecki was prime minister; the German chancellor was Angela Merkel. The official Warsaw innuendo in Merkel’s direction was more restrained than it is now against Scholz.

Left: Angela Merkel; right, Mateusz Morawiecki. Source:

Then the Polish spokesman for the security and intelligence services, Stanislaw Żaryn, launched a stream of accusations on his Twitter account.  According to Zaryn, Russian public disclosure of the Baltic engagements was “information warfare” intended as a “pretext for launching activities aimed at enhancing its military presence in the Baltic region”.  He went on: “#NordStream2 may be used by #Russia as a pretext for the deployment of its naval forces along pipeline’s route. This may lead to a partial closure of the Baltic Sea.”

Now Zaryn’s innuendo is plainer.  What Zaryn means to say is that Germany “jeopardizes the security of Poland”.   

Western propaganda media have tried to create the appearance of German government approval for the Polish attack.

“Denmark, Germany and Poland warn of ‘sabotage’ after Nord Stream leaks”, the Financial Times, the Japanese platform in London, headlined: “Berlin says Russia’s involvement cannot be excluded after damage to gas pipelines at centre of Europe’s energy crisis.”    Scholz and his ministers were not quoted. Instead, low-ranking, anonymous “German officials said there was concern in Berlin that the sudden loss of pressure in both pipelines could be the result of a ‘targeted attack’. They added that Russia’s involvement could ‘not be excluded’, but said Germany was not involved in the investigation being run by Denmark and Sweden.”

In Washington, the local newspaper claimed “European leaders blame Russian ‘sabotage’ after Nord Stream explosions”, quoting Danes, Swedes, Poles, Ukrainians, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and “five European officials with direct knowledge of security discussions [who] said there was a widespread assumption that Russia was behind the incident. Only Russia had the motivation, the submersible equipment and the capability, several of them said.” Not a single German government official could be found to speak by the newspaper’s Berlin bureau.    

The temptation for Morawiecki to break out of the political stalemate he and his Law and Justice (PiS) party have been in since June has also been driven by fear that, following the fresh Russian reinforcements, the Ukrainian battlefield will move west and south; Ukrainian electric light and heat will be cut off; and millions of fresh refugees will attempt to cross into Poland again.  

Tracking polls for Polish voter intentions illustrate the flat lines for the two leading parties, and the potential growth of the left and right minority parties. On September 1, the PiS party leader launched the Polish reparations attack on Germany, declaring “we have also taken the decision as to the further steps…We will turn to Germany to open negotiations on the reparations.” The  move didn’t shift the party’s  poll rating. The Bornholm Blow-up was already in planning for three weeks later.


Independent Warsaw political analyst Stanislas Balcerac comments: “Poland is not a place where brainstorms happen. Only the brainless Sikkie [Sikorski] is having his day.”

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Greg

    If true, I would be marking the shiny new Polish pipeline as likely next target for the new battlezone noone sane wanted.

    And I’m assuming the USA has provided Poland with assurances, should Russia decide payback is due on firm ground.

    1. fairleft

      It’s a paid-for-by-Germany pipeline, and the sabotage is directed at Germany. Russia is only upset by a loss of leverage that might’ve helped end the war early (and on better terms for Ukraine and the West). But Russia is also fine with winning the war unambiguously. Gas-wise, it had decided many months ago to stake its energy future on China/Asia. Germany/EU has established itself as untrustworthy and unreliable.

      1. digi_owl

        Speaking of Ukraine, i ran into a claim that the Polish government is slowly but steadily introducing legislation that is effectively dissolving the Polish-Ukrainian border. Supposedly this had lead to some anti-Ukrainian protests in Poland, but i suspect this will be a downright pain to find any evidence of in English. Also, i wonder how EU is taking it all, as that border is also an outer border of the Schengen area.

      2. chris a

        It seems from all indications, the only negotiated settlement with Ukraine is unconditional surrender, and that has been the case for some time. The sabotage of the pipelines ensures Germany cannot do what is best for its people.

      3. Matthew G. Saroff

        Russia still has leverage, they can shut down the lines into the Ukraine, which also has the effect of crippling Ukrainian power generation.

      4. Appel Tom

        There were talks between Russia and Germany to open NS2. Hence the pressurized pipe. It was ready for use. If Russia did it, why first pressurize with expensive gas?

    2. Mike

      Yeah joke will be on Poland regardless because that shiny new pipeline will someday be shut off or run out of gas anyway. Norwegian oil fields have been in structural decline for 2 decades, gas production could peak in the next 10 years or sooner. Someday Norway will get their head on straight to hoard the resource instead of giving it to U.K. and Poland.

      In the end Russia’s reserves are far larger than Norway’s.

      At this point still cant rule out Russia technically. The simplest operation, would be pipeline inspection drone’s packed with explosives. Way easier than a stealth diving operation I could imagine.

      1. digi_owl

        On that note, there is a ongoing debate about extending oil and gas activity northwards. But the ROI on doing so is abysmal. And it also risk polluting some of the nation’s richest fish stocks.

      2. Lenny

        Diving operations are unnecessary for the destruction of the pipeline. A simple downrigger lowering explosives to the line would be sufficient. A fisherman’s depth finder could locate the line.

          1. Stefan

            I heard of 100kg (not tons!) equivalent to destroy the 4cm steel and 10cm ferro-concrete wall, seems reasonable.

      3. Kouros

        That is the most expensive operation run by Russia then, with 600-800 mil USD worth of gas blown into the atmosphere in a matter of minutes. I would say that it is not technically possible for Russia to do that.

        Immediately after this one could hear from the Poles that gas could be shipped through Poland or Ukraine. Probably they would charge an arm and two legs for that now… if they decide (and US approves) to reopen the transit…And Ukraine could be rearmed on Russia’s dime, once again…

    3. Martina

      Now I understand why EU is threatening dire consequences for attacks on its active energy infrastructure. It’s not a threat against unknown for attacking NS1 and NS2. They are threatening Russia in case Russia intends to retaliate against them for their destruction of NS1 and NS2 by destroying the new Polish pipeline.

  2. fairleft

    The sabotage was directly carried out by either the US or Poland, both of which have the capacity and it’s a NATO sea so no alarm bells would sound like they would if Russian vessels had entered the Bornholm island area. The great Moon of Alabama provides all the available evidence.

    Big picture, the US is responsible for the attack. Poland would’ve run it by the US, knowing the Neocons would approve. US policy is ‘keep Germany down’, and de-industrialization is ‘down’. Catastrophically down but apparently the only alternative to a Russia-gas-enabled ‘up’.

    1. 1 Kings

      Yeah, what could ever go wrong if Germany turns economically depressed?.. madness.

      Guess we’re going to learn the Lebenstraum shuffle again..

      1. Louis Fyne

        bye bye German surpluses = bye bye Italian banks = bye bye Credit Suisse/Deutsche Bank = bye bye EU grants to Poland = bye bye bye German demand for Polish widgets.

        Reality has turned into a Tom Clancy novel. Waiting for the revelation that Nuland personally drove the submersible.

        worst timeline ever (for the EU/UK)

        1. ambrit

          The right person to ask about any submersible that could have been used in the sabotage would be Robert Ballard. Such submersibles were the item of expertise for the man when he was active duty in US Naval Intelligence.

  3. Altandmain

    Who else has a motive to do this apart from the US?

    Basically the evidence suggests that the US is ultimately responsible for the whole operation. It seems the US used Poland as an intermediary to do the actual work, although ultimately I have no doubt Washington called the real shots here.

    The big question is what will happen now? Will The Germans blindly follow the tune of blaming Russia?

    Or will this be a bigger geopolitical shift? Germany should not take a close look at who is their ally and who has their best interests at heart. That’s putting this very mildly.

    Alex Christoforou has done a pretty interesting segment about this.

    It does close the option of Germany declaring a settlement with Russia and become a major importer of Russian gas after the current conflict is over. It could be a while before the pipelines are repaired.

    Let’s just say it’s going to be a cold winter for Germany this year.

    1. digi_owl

      Frankly it seems like those “green” parties that has been sprouting all over Europe are US puppets, thinking they can somehow balance a globalist consumerist lifestyle with going “green” while seeding chaos among the electorate.

    2. russell1200

      Actually a lot of people would be motivated to do it. There is a whole variety of competing Southern European pipelines to start with.

      So no, I am not saying Turkey blew up the pipeline. Just saying that fossil fuel politics are awfully squirrelly and nothing is ever that straightforward.

      FWIW, I find the Poles to be compelling candidates, although I am not sure why the author of this post rules out the Ukrainians. But then you have the Germans saying it might have been the Russians. Which doesn’t make sense given this post. Why would they say that if the Poles are fighting a [low grade] war against the Germans.

      1. Altandmain

        The Ukrainians would need the naval capabilities to operate in the Baltic Sea and a commando team to carry out this operation.

        To give a sense of perspective, they would have to send a vessel (most likely a submarine to avoid detection) out of the Black Sea into the Mediterranean, through the English Channel, and to the Baltic Sea to carry out an operation like this.

        Here is their fleet.

        Unless they have a Black Op not on this list, and one they could spare from the current conflict with Russia, it’s not something that they could easily do.

        1. Paul Jurczak

          Ukrainians wouldn’t need naval capability on Baltic Sea. They could use a Polish fishing vessel, locate the pipeline using fish sonar, lower the explosives with a winch and depart. Timed detonation would occur when they were safely way, possibly many days later. This could be done on a low budget. Polish intelligence services would be happy to assist.

          1. Yves Smith

            You can’t lower the equivalent of 100 tons of TNT on a winch. You’d have to loiter way too long….even assuming a fishing boat big enough to carry that much cargo would be plausible there.

            1. russell1200

              The number I heard was 100kg which is 220lbs. Not 100 tons.

              By way of comparison the Oklahoma City Bomb, which fit in a truck, was ~2 tons of ammonium nitrate. Your vanilla Mark 48 torpedo weighs ~ 2tons total, but only has 293kg (647 pounds) in warhead weight. Given that these are supposed to crack submarine pressure hulls, I think it is safe to say that a well placed bomb of 800 pounds will do the job.

            2. Paul Jurczak

              100 tons of TNT are 4 orders of magnitude off. I assure you that a standard torpedo warhead with 200-300 kg of high explosives is more than sufficient to punch a big hole in this pipeline. Water conducts a shockwave very well. Bloomberg, Washington Post and other places cite 100 kg of TNT. Google “nordstream explosion 100 kg of TNT”.

              1. Yves Smith

                Sorry, you are correct. That is per Swedish seismologists at Lund University who said that that is was “at least” that powerful. So the 100kg is a minimum level.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Why should I assume that the US is the ultimate shot-caller? Why shouldn’t I suppose that a nasty little country full of anti-russianitic zbiggy-new burrzinski-type anti-russianites wouldn’t think this up all on their own? And con some stupid bigger-country fools into going along?

    4. Ips Prez

      Although remote and understandably not mainstream, who would the biggest winner be if this sabotage set off a war between Russia and the West. Even if that war never went nuclear it would decimate the West and Russia economically and militarily. Who would be left standing? China. The big winner, and I mean hugely so, would be China. Not that China would ever think of doing anything so subversive and selfish. No, not China. However does China have the tech to pull this off? Certainly, and they would not need to be present to do so. Underwater drones have long been developed that can operate independently and getting the correct coordinates would not be too difficult for any state actor. And what if this did not set off a war, China would still be one of the winners since Russia would have very little economic interest in rebuilding the pipelines since Asia has become a much larger customer. Again, probably remote but I would not take China off the table.

      1. SocalJimObjects

        I disagree it’s China. The risk is too high. If they got caught in the act, it will unite the world against them.
        If it’s some country (say Poland) under the cover of the US though, that country will never be punished by the West even if there’s a ton of evidence.

    5. Karl

      Thanks for that link. Here’s another–yesterday’s update by Alex Mercouris, who surmises, by chains of inference like Christoforo, that the country with greatest motivation–and ability–to do this was the USA. He says, if he’s right, that such a move indicates that the U.S. is now a “nihilistic” power.

      Mercouris seems to rule out direct U.K. involvement, but my guess is Truss would have at least lent immoral support.

      Almost certainly, the German people will draw their own conclusions. This won’t be good for EU unity in any case, with Germans shivering this winter and Poland bragging about their shiny new Baltic Pipe gas pipeline from Norway to Poland. This will be ready by November 2022, free of pesky competition from Nordstream 1&2, but has only about 15% the capacity of Nordstream 1. I wasn’t aware that this pipeline even existed until I saw the Christoforo video.

      Perhaps Germany or Russia will retaliate by attacking Baltic Pipe?

      The Gods must be crazy.

  4. Fazal Majid

    7 bar is the water column pressure at 70m depth where the pipeline lies. To this layman, this suggests that section of pipeline has been completely destroyed, not just holed, and will require extensive repairs taking years.

    1. juno mas

      For those in the US, 1bar (pressure) equals 14.5 psi (pressure per square inch).

      I don’t see how ~90 psi water column pressure would collapse a steel pipeline (even after an explosion).

      1. BillC

        No one is saying an external pressure of 7 bar crushed the pipe (IIRC, its previous internal pressure when filled with gas was 150 bar!). If they’re reading 7 bar pressure in the pipe, that suggests the pipe is breached and filled with sea water at 70 m depth.

        1. Skip Intro

          Filled or filling with sea water. In any case the pressure is due only to the weight of the water, rather than resistance from the pipe in any way — proof it is not a ‘leak’.

  5. NN Cassandra

    That Sikorski tweet was very, very stupid indeed. I think when unemployed and freezing Germans take it into streets, whoever will want to lead the mob could find some use for it. Especially if Poles start throwing around outlandish demands for allowing gas thorough Yamal.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Or maybe Poles will allow gas trough Poland if Germany concedes to pay the demanded reparations? They will need a lot of dough to bring those soon-to-be-Polish parts of Ukraine up to any modern standard of European nation…

      /mostly in jest, but one doesn’t really know anymore

      1. The Rev Kev

        Don’t laugh. I have read that that is precisely the situation. No reparations, no freedom molecules. And as Poland – and the Baltic States – are the most fanatical anti-Russian countries, they will have an assured energy source which western Europe won’t which will give them more say in EU policy.

        1. Exiled_in_Boston

          Any idea why the Poles and Baltic nations are the most fanatical anti-Russian countries? Is there any recent history to their relationship with Russia that might cause this!

          1. The Rev Kev

            I’ve met Scots who were still personally riled about the Battle of Culloden – and that was in 1746. There is such a thing as taking a grudge too far. And if it was the Poles that blew up those pipelines to freeze the Germans this winter, then that is another reason why holding grudges really ends up destroying yourself.

            1. digi_owl

              Heck, people are still using the siege of Vienna in 1529 as a rallying cry. Never mind that the Ottoman empire has been gone for 100 years.

          2. digi_owl

            Check the family history of the principle players.

            Invariably they end up being a generation or two removed from people that got out as the communists took over.

          3. Gibson_sln

            If you’re talking about the recent history, for some in Poland it must be the Smolensk air disaster. The surviving twin brother Jaroslaw, who currently is the leader of the ruling party PIS, has been fueling conspiracy theories for the last decade stating that the Russians blew up the plane. It didn’t help that the ruling party at that time wasn’t competent enough to conduct proper investigation and as far as I know the plane wreckage still remains in Russia. Besides that, you have to go back to Tsarist Russia and the partitions at the end of the 18th century, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (funny how Putin who is a student of history never invokes September 17th 1939 in his speeches), and Soviet communism that engulfed Poland after WWII. So for a lot of Poles, these animosities towards Russia still burn brightly to a point that they are willing to whitewash their own history. A quick anecdote, after Russia started their SMO, I went on the Polilsh Wikipedia page of the Volhynia massacre (Rzez Wolynska). The name of Stepan Bandera was completely erased from the Wiki which would correspond to all of those western MSM articles about Ukrainian’s neo-nazis from 2014 – 2022 disappearing from the pages of these publications.

            1. Exiled_in_Boston

              For how many years did the Soviet government deny their role in the Katyn massacre? 47 years I believe. Governments don’t always tell the truth. In fact sometimes they even blame others.

            2. Polar Socialist

              Actually Poland and the Baltics have been between Eastern and Western expansion churches since 12-14th century. So some schisms may go that far. At least some prejudices do.
              Also for Poland part of the issues is that it’s national-romantic phase in the mid 19th century involved an image of Poland that had “reclaimed” Lithuania, Belarus and the left bank of Dniepr (a.k.a. Western Ukraine).

          4. HotFlash

            Dunno. My Polish-identifying neighbours here in Toronto who have expressed an opinion to me (Polish Canadians to be sure, either born here or emigrated) are Ukraine supporters (or rather, Russia-bashers) to a woman. The only Ukrainian I have spoken to about this, and she is a Polish national who identifies as ethnic Ukrainian, says Ukraine is not only the poorest country in Europe but the most corrupt. She has no use for Zelensky (“brainless puppet”) but is neutral about Russia. She says that the Ukrainian people are being used shamefully, but she doesn’t talk about it much. She gets news from her brother in Poland as well as Cdn MSM and some alternative stuff from bitchute et al.

            My Latvian neighbour, born circa 1945, very active in the Latvian Cultural Centre here, hates Russia and all Russians with a burning passion. Her eyes go to slits, “When the war ended, our soldiers handed their guns to the Russians, raised their hands, and were marched away. They never came back.” Which suggested to me that Latvia had been on the Axis side — no, I don’t know much history — so I looked it up and did a little reading. Well, it seems that the Latvians didn’t kill quite as many of their Jews and the Lithuanians. She’s a very nice neighbour, BTW.

            The second-most rabid Russia-haters in my circle are college-educated white-bread Cdn types who listen to CBC.

            Why can’t we all just get along?

            1. hk

              Latvians in WW2 have, eh, complicated history.

              1. Latvia, along with other Baltic States cone under “orotection” of the Red Army then are subsequently annexed.

              2. Germans occupy Latvia and find that quite a lot of Latvians hate Russians enough to volunteer for SS and make pretty good soldiers.

              3. Germans start losing and they start drafting Latvians, but, due to complicated politicking between Nazi Party and German Army, the Latvian forces organized by Germans, now numbering in tens of thousands, are under SS command, although they are designated a bit differently and have Latvian national insignia in place of SS runes.

              4. Nazis lose. Many Latvians are captured by Soviets and get sent to camps, but many also escape West. Western powers, who did not recognize Soviet occupation of the Baltics, allow Latvian and Estonian soldiers, despite having been SS, to immigrate West, after performing some duties for them. One rather notable role played by Latvian troops was to guard Nazi leaders being tried at Nuremberg (possibly, how Goering could get cyanide smuggled to him.)

              1. digi_owl

                That is the dirty think about WW2 and the nazis. Most nations had smaller or larger groups that supported them, even after they went rampaging across Europe.

                Even occupied Norway had people that volunteered to fight for them under SS command.

                Frankly when thinking about it, Stalin and Molotov likely pulled a genius move when splitting Poland between USSR and Germany. Because that forced UK and France to activate the defense pact with Poland.

                It may well have been that if Germany had avoided Poland and targeted USSR first, they could have dedicated their whole army towards taking Moscow and securing access to Baku oil.

                And once that was done, Germany would have been in a far better position to get into a slugging match with UK.

                That said, Hitler was a brilliant agitator but a political and military idiot. Had he kept his mouth shut after Pearl Harbor Churchill and FDR would have had a far harder time convincing Congress et al to prioritize Europe over Asia. Never mind that he let Mussolini drag him into wasting men and material in Africa.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Unless the countries of Western Europe ( which Rumsfeld sneered at as ” Old Europe” ) can learn to operate whatever political economies they end up having on precisely zero nat-gas coming through or from Poland or any Baltic country ever ever ever again.

          If Western Europe can do that, then Western Europe will be separated from Non Western Europe by a very high wall and a very deep moat and not just an “iron curtain”.

          The Lords of EU-Davostan wanted to have it all and may end up losing it all.

      2. Alan Roxdale

        Or maybe Poles will allow gas trough Poland if Germany concedes to pay the demanded reparations?

        Maybe the Germans will blow up the Norway Poland pipe.

        I thought Brexit might lead to the return of war in Europe, but I didn’t expect the Europeans to return to type quite so swiftly. Honestly, there is really no hope for this continent.

    2. Werther

      They are already on the streets; the Thüringer Allgemeine (newspaper) reports 24000 people in towns and cities through that Bundesrepublik on the streets, demanding change of politics.
      Nuancing in this is that the reports also make clear that demonstrating over there is very common starting from the COVID complaints… From history it seems clear to me that eastern germans are much more motivated to protest than their west-german compatriots…

      1. digi_owl

        Likely it is also the former DDR that is most connected to Russia through the old soviet pipes, and thus affected by all this.

        1. Werther

          Yes, it seems possible that part of Germany will suffer first and harder… Strange when a personal impression in a holiday-week on the coast, just three weeks ago, was that of lots and lots of our German neighbours enjoying the watersports over here, many expensive campers etcetera… mainly from the west, Nordrhein-Westfalen of course.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            What if the former East Germany were to try secceding from Germany as a ” Social Democratic Republic of Eastern Germany”? Is such a thing even thinkable? If it becomes thinkable, is it even possible?

            1. square coats

              I’ve read that 20% of Germans support rebuilding the wall. I don’t know how many of that 20% live in east vs west Germany (though I’d guess the majority would be in the east).

    3. Louis Fyne

      should be noted Sikorski’s wife is WaPo journalist Anne Applebaum.

      Or that on one of their frequent trips to Ukraine, John McCain brought along Amy Koblucbar…Jake Sullivan’s first DC job was as an aide to Kobluchar

      time to play 7 degrees of Victoria Nuland.

      1. digi_owl

        Ugh, this mental inbreeding along the coasts is getting as bad as the biological inbreeding they like to laugh at the flyover states for.

      1. Paul Jurczak

        The only upside of narcissist-sociopathic ruling elites is their compulsion for self aggrandizing bragging. Without it, we would know very little about their dirty deeds.

  6. Ignacio

    Now it seems legit to attack crucial infrastructures. Legit by some twisted logic or at least some want to whitewash illegal actions. The final objective? EU to shit and total breakdown? Possibly not an objective by itself but an outcome of repeated mistakes, misjudgements and mismanagement.

    It is amazing to see how fast this is unfolding. EU turns opposite of original intentions becoming a malignant tumour with no easy escape. Eastwards expansion could possibly have marked the beginning of the end of the adventure.

    1. Werther

      That’s what I fear too, Ignacio. It is just nervebreaking how fast this is all coming down. I just hope the wonderful personal relations I had within the western and southern european countries remain embedded in good unilateral relations built up in 70 years between our nations…

    2. timbers

      “Now it seems legit to attack crucial infrastructures.” Yes, even nuclear power plants. Whatever has become of our “civilization”.

    3. digi_owl

      What was EU initial intentions? It is an overgrown free trade agreement between France and West Germany. And the rapid eastward expansion was in part pushed for by UK, where as the initial plan was for the eastern nations to adopt something akin to the EEA agreement that Iceland and Norway are subject to.

      1. Ignacio

        It all started above the ruins of WW2 by late 50s and the idea (one of the ideas) was to create interdependence and avoid wars in this way. This has been forgotten and now it is about creating rules above member states and imposing sanctions when these are not followed. And supporting wars actively lately.

      2. Soredemos

        My understanding is that the original goal was to prevent future European wars by sheer pragmatism: if every economy is tightly interlinked, you can’t attack anyone without effectively bombing your own supply lines.

        At some point this shifted over to pure idealism, free passage across the United States of Europe type of stuff.

        1. chuck roast

          The European Coal and Steel Community – 1952. France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg and Netherlands. These heady days are far behind us.

    4. OIFVet

      “Eastwards expansion could possibly have marked the beginning of the end of the adventure.”

      I not only think it’s possible, I view it as highly likely and have said on numerous occasions that the Eastern European members, particularly Poland and the Balts, are the tail that wags the EU dog. Frankly, they are also the biggest conduit of US influence over the EU as a whole. Spite is what drives Eastern Europe, not reason. We in the East have replaced one colonial master for neocolonial one and are doing our level best to do his bidding to our own detriment and that of the EU. Not that I am a big fan of its current incarnation and leadership, but the fact is that destroying its economic engine, i.e. German industry, is the very definition of imbecility.

      This is the long way to say that it makes eminent sense to me that Poland may have been the perpetrator acting on behalf of and with the active support of the US. They are both spiteful enough to do it and stupid enough to think that any quid pro quo arrangements with the US will be honored and will provide a bigger benefit to them than the EU could provide.

      Seeing Radek Sikorski celebrate the destruction and thank the US, I can’t help but to be reminded about his bitter complaints about Poland being being an American lackey back in 2014: “You know, the Polish-American alliance is worthless. In fact, it’s harmful, because it gives Poland a false sense of security. [. . .] Total BS. We’ll come into conflict with Germany and Russia, and we’ll think that everything is cool because we gave the Americans a bl0wjob. Suckers. Absolute suckers.”

      Yes Radek, you are. And if Poland had anything to do with this then it will find out again just how dangerous it is to do America’s bidding. The shame of it is that it will be a very cold comfort for those of US in the EU who will be paying the price for years to come.

      It will be a long, cold, and expensive winter for us.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Perhaps ” Eastern Europe” should be viewed as the “Northern Balkans” in cultural and psychological terms. Maybe we should take a page from that book title and refer to “Eastern Europe” as Blood Landistan.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            I meant figuratively in psychological and cultural terms. Not in the literal sense of being part of that mountainous area conquered by the Ottomans and referred to by the Turkish word “Balkan” which means “mountain” in Turkish, I believe.

            You are exactly correct in that Hungary and Romania are not within the “Balkan/Mountain” zone referred to literally by the word “Balkan”.

            But I think they are becoming more psycho-Balkan with every passing week. Perhaps we could borrow a term I remember from the National Lampoon magazine of many decades ago . . . ” Balkanosian methane bears”.

  7. Tom Stone

    So..what happens to “Polish” Galicia now?
    The actors, especially the USA have once again done something no sane or responsible person would have considered and raised the odds of a Nuclear exchange substantially, they have also pretty much guaranteed serious unrest in Germany. And the end of Scholz regime.
    Tit for tat would be the destruction of the old river control structure on the Mississipi…
    More likely would be hypersonic missile attacks on Command and Control centers in Kiev and Poland.
    I wish my daughter lived closer to Ground Zero,…

    1. Werther

      I hate to say, but instead of that control structure another part of the States is up for a big punch… Hurricane Ian is about to deal one to Florida. Seems to me TPTB over there need to concentrate on that coming disaster, not on worsening conflict over here in Europe.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Blowing up the old river control structure wouldn’t be very nice on anyone’s part. It would send the Mississippi down the Atchafalya River. Global warming deniers might want to buy all the land they can possibly afford between New Iberia and Morgan City in case this happens, either from sabotage or from so much natural megaflooding that the old river control structure gives way on its own.

  8. Stephen

    The Telegraph in the UK is running an article speculating on how Putin could have done it. Classic propaganda stuff: no evidence or rational motive that Russia did it but jumping to the “how” so as to get people to internalize the message and not question it.

    Russia gains zero from this so impossible to believe that they have anything to do with it. They lose leverage over controlling gas flows directly. They could choose either to turn off the NS1 taps openly or use turbine travel schedules as a good “no blame” reason to slow down the flow. Lots of negotiation options available as winter hit. They were also using the leverage they had to suggest that NS2 be opened. That hardly suggests they had any intention of sabotaging their own pipelines either.

    The people who gain from this are the pro war anti Russia groups in the west.

    Given that direct Germany-Russia pipelines are now shut, I guess that Poland and Ukraine gain more power to determine how much energy Germany gets and accordingly how much revenue Russia earns from the pipelines over their territory. There are other routes but all of them seem tricky.

    I actually understand Poland’s behaviour in all this: a strong Russia and a strong Germany / Prussia has historically meant no independent Poland. So, weakening both states, stopping them from aligning and keeping the American “umbrella” is at least a coherent policy for Poland. We might not like it or agree that it is moral but it is what it is. Similarly, the American policy elite want to keep the European empire and the British elite like to think they still have an empire so pursue their traditional divide and rule (sorry “balance of power”) policy in Europe.

    For the life of me, I do not understand Germany. This whole conflict is aimed at them as much as it is at Russia. They became dependent on Russian gas but the direct pipelines being destroyed makes them again dependent too on a whole host of additional countries who do not wish them well, as we are seeing with Poland’s demands for wartime reparations. If you accept Russian gas as a necessity, then NS direct pipelines helped reduce German dependence on other states.

    There was some speculation by The Duran last night that having the NS pipelines out of action helps Scholz versus his population: they cannot now demand that NS2 be opened! That may be true but it sums up the paradox: why are the German political elites behaving like kamikazes for their entire economic and societal model? When will they wake up that they are as much seen as the enemy here as Russia? Have they really been indoctrinated so much by American soft power? Likely that they will now go with the flow of the western narrative which will be to blame Russia. Just like the false flag events in Syria.

    If anyone has an answer for why Germany is behaving this way then it would be good!

    1. WJ

      Recall that the NSA has been spying on European political elites for more than a decade.

      There is a lot of blackmail opportunity out there.

      1. Oh

        Maybe the “leaders” in the EU countries have been bribed and in addition to blackmail they dance the Washington jig.

      2. norm de plume

        ‘Blackmail opportunities’ are probably the common element in the CVs of leadership hopefuls in the EU and throughout the West generally nowadays. Command and control; if carrots fail, sticks will have to do. TPTB have no use for cleanskins like Corbyn, whose very harmlessness is in fact dangerous to them.

        Remember Hans Blix and the strip club or whatever it was? No one bought it. Evidence is required. The good Colonel the other day mentioned in passing a certain Lord who was once very close to the top dog in the UK who might have some unclean linen, and the Epstein/Maxwell operation was surely not the whole iceberg.

        Blackmail is certainly not sufficient in its explanatory power, but it would certainly be necessary on occasion. An essential instrument in the toolbox when ‘all options are on the table’.

    2. nippersdad

      It strikes me that if it is determined that Poland was the culprit in all of this, the very first sanction Russia would place on them would be the closure of the Yamal pipeline. Why would they allow Poland to profit from their actions? It is not like Poland has been particularly friendly lately, and Russia has other, less fraught, sources of income.

        1. nippersdad

          But I have been seeing reports that they are still using the gas from it. That they have closed it to Germany is not the same thing as Russia closing it to Poland.

          1. digi_owl

            Even before the whole Ukraine thing kicked off, Russia was furious at Poland and Ukraine for siphoning the pipelines beyond the amounts agreed upon as a transit fee.

            Best i can tell, these pipes behave very similar to power lines. Meaning that when the NG is used at one end, the other end can tell thanks to the drop in pressure and thus pumping more in to build it back up.

            This similar to how a power plant can tell when devices are turned on or off as the voltage shifts, requiring them to adjust their output accordingly. A glorious example was how UK power plants could tell when there was a commercial break in a popular TV show, as everyone got up and put a fresh kettle on.

    3. Mike

      Ok now… Do I believe Russia did it? No.

      But you can’t rule them out either. False flags can work both ways. Ukraine war certainly has been much more difficult for Russia then I think they originally imagined and Putin is painted into a corner. IF there is any truth to Putin’s latest conscription effort backfiring, a false flag can reinforce his position. Yes I know Russia is making more money then ever but not everyone could be on his side. They have lost a lot of soldiers and equipment. What’s the price tag on that versus the premium they are making on their marked up exports right now? Just trying to imagine all sides right now.

        1. Greg

          It’s a very large corner with more than the usual two sides, and complete control of entrances and exits. Also it seems to be getting bigger. Otherwise totally trapped in a corner!

        2. Mike

          Any leader who proactively invades another nation limits their options going forward. Especially if the invasion is costlier than imagined. The political pressure on him must be immense currently.

      1. Sibiryak

        Mike: …Putin’s latest conscription effort backfiring, a false flag can reinforce his position.

        Seriously? That makes no sense at all. Not from my perspective here in Russia.

        First of all, while the mobilization of reservists has encountered problems, they are far from being anywhere near dire enough to motivate Putin to take such an extremely radical, risky and in so many ways patently self-harming step as a response.

        Second, even if the mobilization problems were so bad that some extremely radical action had to be taken, it’s hard to see how sabotaging the pipelines could possibly be of help.

        The pipeline attacks are being portrayed in Russia as a huge, dangerous escalation by the US that has seriously harmed Russian interests.

        Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, spokesperson Dmitry Peskov explained that the damage to the pipelines posed a “big problem” for Russia as it had essentially lost its gas supply routes to Europe.

        Both lines of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline were pumped full of gas and were prepared to deliver it to Europe at the time of the alleged explosion, said Peskov, adding that “this gas is very expensive and now it is all going up in the air .” –RT News

        Diane Johnstone (Consortium News) summed up the political significance of the sabotage this way:

        This act of sabotage is above all a deliberate sabotage of any prospect of a negotiated peace in Europe. The next move from the West has been for NATO governments to call on all their citizens to leave Russia immediately . In preparation of what?

        * * * * *

        The sabotage has virtually announced that the war can only intensify with no end in sight.

        Intensified war with no end in sight! How could the Russian leadership possibly think such a message could “bolster” mobilization efforts? I don’t see it. This escalation is scary as hell for Russians! If anything it might provide more motivation, not less, for people who might be thinking of leaving the country.

        1. Mike

          Thought experiment: lets say Russia did pull this off and effectively passed blame onto the US/Poland, how is that not going to have severe repercussions for the NATO alliance internally that benefits Russia? I just want people to realize there are multiple ways to look at this. If Russian already believed that “war can only intensify with no end in sight.” prior to the pipeline explosion then they benefit by an action such as this; hoarding a resource, providing a nice wedge issue for NATO alliances, etc.

          Russian I am sure has old conservatives that would love a hot war with NATO. You can look to the likes of the US for examples of this, Lemay, LBJ, Bush, Mattis, our current congress, none of these guys cared about the economic impact of the wars they either started or attempted to escalate.

          Either way I appreciate your insight from your side of the issue. In the end no matter who started this we all lose and hopefully we can all do our part if this escalates to say no to war.

      2. Karl

        Great thought experiment.

        Here’s another thought on why Russia might do this, or at least exploit it. Russia now has ample justification to enlarge its aims beyond the four oblasts in the Southeast, and keep driving West until Zelensky is overthrown and a puppet State installed. Very simply, An independent Ukraine now has too much leverage in natural gas transit to Europe.

        At the very least, Putin may be even more motivated to continue to Odessa/Transnistria. This would give Russia a friendly land route for another pipeline, by-passing Ukraine altogether…?

        This would suggest the possibility of a rump independent Ukraine may just have passed.

    4. lyman alpha blob

      Several months ago it was supposedly the whole world allied with the West against Russia, if you were to believe the propaganda.

      Now it’s the US, a handful of EU technocrats, BoJo who doesn’t hold office any more, and Poland, which has been the butt of jokes for a long time in the US for no particularly good reason.

      So, how many Poles does it take to screw in the EU’s lightbulb, and does it even matter if the power’s shut off?

      1. tegnost

        So, how many Poles does it take to screw in the EU’s lightbulb

        Well, I would say at least two…how big is the lightbulb?

    5. NotTimothyGeithner

      For the life of me, I do not understand Germany.

      Scholz is weak, and its important to note that Merkel was Chancellor for 16 years. She wasn’t toppled or forced out despite arguably being weak too but more from her position within the CDU and the real position of the CDU, but Germany’s nominal left is like neoliberal parties everywhere. Not that elections are everything, but they are proving grounds for a minimum level of strength. The clock ran out on a Merkel who could have been toppled by a stronger left.

      The sanctioning of Russia’s oligarchs betrayed a real value of Scholz. He thinks the moneyed interests are necessary to governing. Its part of his weakness, but he’s throwing his lot in with The City and New York. Now he’s too deep. The German economy goes kaboom. His only way out is a Russian capitulation with new energy supplies being gifted to Germany. Those energy bills will break companies, and the migration to the information economy has been done.

      Now he needs to be worried about his own position. The calamity coming for Germany isn’t one of paper that can be assuaged through legislation. He’s poisoned the well. Pointing out the insanity of policies leading to the SMO and not working out a deal early by accusing partners who don’t really have a great track record is going to be a problem. He’ll be accused of having been blackmailed by Putin.

      Like Merkel, I think he knows that under the current EU, there won’t be so much a Berlin-Moscow axis as much as Russia would be a balance. France (a country on the UN security council) could be more independent. Italy (depending on the day a bigger economy than the UK) could be more independent, especially with the UK leaving. London was fine supporting Berlin’s leadership, but now its gone. Countries like Turkey aren’t minor players with a bunch of conscripts. Turkish youth (30 and under) are being educated at the same rate as German youth. Turkey may not be in the EU, but its a power with different strengths and its own industrial base.

      1. Karl

        His [Scholt’s] only way out is a Russian capitulation with new energy supplies being gifted to Germany.

        I believe that the strong likelihood is that those gas supplies will now be gifted Eastward, to China.

        If this war stays conventional (BIG IF), China and Asia are the clear winners here; and Germany is clearly the big loser. The second big loser is the EU, which will have lost one of its big economic engines. As Germany goes, so goes (probably) Northern Italy, by far the anchor of the Italian economy. France won’t be far behind.

        We are now seeing how big the stakes are. The U.S., NATO and the EU keep doubling down with a weak hand and the pot is huge. My great fear is that the big guns (nukes) may come out of the holsters and laid on the table.

        Mercouris says that the US’s many (increasingly public) warnings against Russia using their using nukes is a veiled threat that the US is 1) thinking about them and 2) thinking about using them if conventional war alone can’t achieve US/EU aims.

        Here’s the doom loop: growing stakes, doubling down, and no face-saving exit by either side. The approach to a nuclear exchange may well be accelerating like the approach of the DART spacecraft to its asteroid target.

        The Gods must be crazy.

    6. Lysias

      The solution for Germany is a coalition government of AfD and Die Linke. When is the next election that could bring such a coalition to power?

      1. vao

        If there is no confidence vote that would bring the government down, then the next general election will take place in 2025.

        There are elections in the Land of Lower Saxony on the 9th October, but while regional elections are influenced by political considerations at the national level, they are first and foremost driven by regional issues and personalities. The result is that the strength of political parties and the government coalitions in Länder often depart very significantly from the situation at the national level.

        I presume it would require a succession of crushing defeats in regional elections before Olaf Scholz and several of his ministers get replaced in a behind-the-scenes deal by powerful regional barons of the SPD.

    7. Lenny

      Maybe because of all the economic benefits of the numerous US military bases in Germany?
      Maybe because of all the easy Federal Reserve notes the US sends them for NATO operations?
      Maybe because the US imports nearly 2x as much from Germany as Germany imports from the US?

  9. DJG, Reality Czar

    So now an EU member state is allowed to damage the infrastructure of another EU member state?

    What sanctions are available against the Polish government for engaging in an act of war against an EU state?

    Where is Ursula Von Der Bloviation when the EU should now be coming down like a ton of bricks on such stupidity by the Polish government?

    What does occupied Germany do? How about for starters ejecting the U.S., Polish, and Ukrainian ambassadors? And this is all complicated by the U.S. bases on Germany–which, it sure looks like it, will have to go. Maybe they can be moved to Poloukrainia.

    Is it time for a serious slowdown at the German-Danish border? A little pinchy-point?

    Would I be correct in thinking that whatever is left of NATO’s mask just fell off? [This tactic is at the same level of the U.S. and its relations with Bolivia, such as they are.]

    Time to end all sanctions on Russia by EU nations. Next up, ending sanctions on Iran.

    [The West is stupid enough to believe that the Iranians are now going to elect as president Tiffany Hosseini, who will accede to all Western desires. Not with sanctions in place.]

    [Sanctions are like torture–meant only to hurt. The sanctions have blown back on the geniuses, and the governments are torturing their own people. Enough is enough.]

    1. Mikel

      While I wouldn’t doubt there is major concern in Russia, isn’t this just the kind of backstabbing and infighting Putin hinted at in speeches that would occur as the war progressed?

  10. Job

    There is no evidence I can find in this article of it being perpetrated by Poland, US, Sweden and Denmark. A lot of guessing about motivation though. Or have I missed something?

    1. hunkerdown

      You’re missing that war isn’t The Wire and that you aren’t entitled to courtroom roleplay. This is intelligence, not Puritan valuation. If the PMC can’t handle uncertainty, they should be abolished, simple as that.

    2. WJ

      b on the M of A blog has a detailed write up this morning that lays out the known facts and history leading up to the sabotage. His analysis combined with Helmer’s combined with basic common sense points clearly in one direction in my view.

  11. Irrational

    DJG, I share your sentiments. However, I fear it is hard to prove who did it and it will be more convenient to blame Russia. Russia, which has apparently offered to do a joint investigation – like that is going to happen. I am profoundly depressed about the future of the continent and considering uprooting myself. Where to I don’t know.

    1. pjay

      Yeah, there will be an “investigation.” Just like the “investigation” of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 or the Skripals’ poisoning (about which Helmer is very familiar). The Rooskies won’t be invited to participate, since of course they did it. Case closed.

      The difference here is that the victim is Germany. Will the Germans do anything about it, or will they be obedient lapdogs to the end?

    2. digi_owl

      The rich seems to be building compounds in New Zealand.

      But i wonder how well that will work once the rest of the world has become a radioactive hellscape, and they can’t import their favorite brand of luxury ice cream.

      1. Thistlebreath

        A freelance editor with whom we work is a Kiwi, residing in NZ. Their report: bunker builders may be in for a rough ride if the balloon goes up; the locals roundly loathe and despise the toffs. That could prove awkward.

        And a casual search for “post nuclear exchange soot clouds” will yield several animated shorts that prove any small nuclear conflict will >99% render all of our planet’s surface uninhabitable.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          How awkward could it get? Would the locals go so far as to stop up all the toffs’ deep bunker air vents?

          1. norm de plume

            Those would be guarded you would think. However the guards might consider their options if surrounded by angry locals doing their traditional war dance, the haka. It would make me think twice.

        2. Greg

          Tall poppy syndrome is alive and well in the lands down under. Expect any would-be barons of the bunkers to be left to starve as soon as they try to push local farmers to supply their food in exchange for meaningless green paper, or even more hilariously, numbers on a computer screen.

      2. Jeotsu

        The ‘Kapiti’ brand premium ice cream is quite good, with some fun flavour varieties. Our lizard overlords might just be able to sustain themselves.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Why not to Paraguay? The world’s very largest fresh water aquifer is under Paraguay. There is lots of food growing land in and around Paraguay.

  12. HH

    Information on pipeline repair methods is readily available online. The Nordstream pipeline depth is only around 90 meters, so repairs are quite feasible. The press coverage suggests that the pipelines are gone forever, but that is not the case. The U.S. should reconsider its clandestine destruction of undersea infrastructure. It has more to lose in this domain than Russia.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Yup. It seems that the most efficient method is to cut off the broken part, then push stuff out from each end with robotic pistons, seal the ends, attach new pipeline between the seals and finally open the seals.
        I saw somewhere it wouldn’t take more than a month (or maybe two) if Germany and Russia collaborated efficiently.

        1. square coats

          That sounds remarkably straightforward. It will be interesting to see what might be dreamed up to prevent that from happening..

  13. Yves Smith

    The MoA article was removed because we do not have republication rights with MoA. It was a mistake by one of our new writers.

    We can’t steal other sites’ copyrighted material, which is what having that post up amounted to.

    1. Tom Pfotzer

      It was good to get it posted and thank you to NC for putting it up, even for a short while.

      MoA’s work is careful, fast, and generally pretty accurate. They deserve the recognition.

      1. Soredemos

        MoA also has an extremely bad habit of never admitting when it’s been wrong about something. If you read it enough (and I read it almost daily), after a while you notice that what usually happens is that b will deny something, never overtly admit to having been wrong, and then about six months later will quietly concede some point he earlier denied, usually as a little aside in a larger sentence or paragraph, and hope nobody notices.

        But I notice. The latest I can think of is him conceding that yes, Russia in fact failed to cross a certain river and got slaughtered in the process. Meanwhile at the time he shrugged off the photo evidence. “Oh, well this could easily just be of the Ukrainian side.” It wasn’t. it was the massed carcasses of burned out Russian vehicles.

        1. Greg

          I’ve noticed Dreizin uses similar tactics. Lots of crowing over any correct prediction, memory hole any complete wrong’uns.
          Both are highly valuable, with salt and caution. NC spoils us with excellent curation, so we don’t have to work as hard to separate the chaff when here, can easily form bad habits.

          1. Soredemos

            No, actually I’ve been doing fine.

            I’ve never liked Helmer, I’ve just never said so before (I usually just ignore posts related to him). I find that as the ‘longest serving Western reporter in Russia’ he’s gone completely native. I don’t trust his objectivity or his judgement; I find he’s always going to bend over backwards to present Russia in the best possible light.

            MoA’s credibility has taken a beating with me over the last six months or so. He went from ‘there is no Russian invasion’ on February 23 to ‘disarming Ukraine – day 1’ on February 24. He has never displayed any contrition or humility about being catastrophically wrong.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          There aren’t enough Germans left to be interested in ‘Lebenraum’. China might be very interested, starting a few decades from now.

  14. Peter Nightingale

    For pipelines that weren’t pumping gas (or were they?) there seem to be a lot of methane bubbles. Something doesn’t add up for me. Is that just me?

    1. Polar Socialist

      Not an expert, but I assume the sensors for leakages etc. require some minimum pressure to be kept in underground and undersea pipelines for them to work. Probably stated in requirements for safety and such documents.

      I believe that the operating pressure of NS1 is 200 bars (3,200 psi), and the pressure before these leaks was around 100 bars (1,600 psi).

    2. The Rev Kev

      Maybe they had to have gas in those pipelines to keep them pressured and so more stable – structurally speaking – underwater. So that is a lot of gas that will be released into the atmosphere now.

      1. dandyandy

        At 100m depth pressure is about 1MPa and even if internal pressure dropped to zero, a 1.15m diameter pipe with a ~45mm wall thickness would not be overstressed. However the explosion would have caused a rupture and water will then flow into the pipe displacing whatever gas was inside, up to some point beyond the explosion site, meaning internal and external pressures will equalize. But what you have now is that what was meant to be a lovely and polished internal pipe surface is now exposed to seawater which is rather corrosive. Very soon this will become a technical problem, with the rust and that.

    3. Tom Pfotzer

      My reading indicates that the pipelines are filled with gas, at pressure, as a pipeline preservation strategy.

      The pressurized gas keeps water vapor and oxygen out (prevents corrosion) and equalizes the pressure on the pipeline from the ocean surrounding the pipeline, resulting in less flex-stress on the pipeline.

    4. elkern

      NS2 was filled with gas before Sanctions blocked delivery. “It has remained pressurized but idle ever since, serving as a 750-mile-long storage tank for some $350 million worth of Russian natural gas.”

      IMO, this rules out Russian sabotage. Sure, they are as capable as anybody of False Flag ops, but there is zero advantage in this (they lost a BIG bargaining chip), and serious cost (millions of $ of gas).

      Source of Quote: Maritime Executive, a real straight source for smart rich people, where I’ve never seen pro- or anti-Russian bias. I follow them on FB to keep tabs on International Shipping issues, and because Big Boats are really cool.

      (if Link doesn’t work, google “Maritime Executive pipeline leak”)

  15. Tom Pfotzer

    There is another possible reason for a pipeline attack at this moment.

    I listened to Altanmain’s recommended video by Alex Christoforou (link is in Altanmain’s post above).

    In his video Alex Cristoforou asserts that some negotiations are occurring in the background between the U.S. and Russia – moderated by Saudi Arabia – regarding the end-game status of Ukraine, Germany, and EU.

    He makes a good case that the main antagonists – U.S. and Russia, may have good reason to negotiate at this moment.

    In a negotiation, it’s useful to gain some leverage, or to remove some of the leverage your negotiating counterpart has.

    “Your pipeline only works if we allow it. You see that now, right?”.

    “We want a skim on all Russia-West commerce. A meter, if you will. Can we agree on a percentage?”

    “I mean, that’s what this is all about, right? Who gets the skim.”

    Remember, a lot of the players at the table are experienced gangsters. This type of dialogue is not alien to them.

    1. digi_owl

      So in the end the world really needs a global godfather that gets to decide who get to collect protection money from what nation.

      1. hunkerdown

        A “world” defined as a community of sovereign states in commercial intercourse might need it, but humans can form many other kinds of “worlds” that don’t, if they are allowed to.

      2. Tom Pfotzer

        This is “political economy” writ large.

        “political” means “who gets what”.

        This story is has been ongoing since day 1. We little people aren’t at the table where the conversation is taking place, but it is taking place.

        War is diplomacy by other means.

        Diplomacy is politics.

        If you can’t get what you want with “diplomacy”, well, you take out the crowbar (military).

    2. Kouros

      Russia seems to be saying niet to that and moving all the flows to Asia. Much harder to skim that one. Maybe this is the big upset after all…

  16. Jack

    The US submarine force is more than capable of operating at a depth of 80-110m, which is the depth of the Nordstream pipelines. That’s only 360 ft. Modern US nuclear subs normally do not submerge in less than 600 ft. for safety reasons, but of course can easily do so if necessary. Modern US submarines have test depths in excess of 1000 ft. The US Navy tapped Russian undersea communication cables with no problem (USS Halibut).

      1. Jack

        I would think that everyone knows, either Poland or the US, or both, did this. Its ok that everyone “knows” but you can’t say it out loud. An attack on a fellow NATO country? Lawsuits? Too much exposure if you clearly admit to an attack. The US could easily have done this using the Medusa (torpedo like submarine tube launched mine layer). Or a Mk 48 torp could have done the job. The pipeline authorities say it would have taken 100 kg of explosives to cause this damage. Just one Mk 48 torp carries 3x that. MOA has an interesting take on this, an outlines flights of US helicopters in the area of the pipeline at the same time damage was caused.

    1. Darthbobber

      The problem in the Baltic isn’t depth, but the lack of it. More like littoral waters than like an ocean or deep sea.

  17. Ignacio

    Alex Christoforou at The Duran does a cogent speculation which I find very well focused. He says it is not Russia to blame, not the US, not even Poland (officially). He believes that this could have been done by lunatic fringes (whether these are Polish or not, coordinated or not with other lunatics elsewhere, you can speculate).

    Such fringes do not give a damn about destroying infrastructure not fearing themselves about infrastructures they do not possess. They just have ‘ideas’ and ways forward their objectives now matter how. This is indeed my biggest fear. What if one day people like this put their hands in nuclear stuff.

    1. Bsn

      About the most lunatic group in this subject are the Ukrainians, though I don’t think they have the ability to pull off something like this by themselves. The definition of lunacy is bombing your own nuclear power station, now that’s lunacy.

    2. Basil Pesto

      Surely if no state-actor was responsible, then at least one of the western state-actors would be tripping over themselves to at least raise this possibility? (I realise a lot of people are credulous/only tuned in to this crisis at the most superficial level, but “it was Russia” really must be a hard sell in this case)

      1. hunkerdown

        Abusive fathers tend to portray themselves and their potestas as forces of nature. In this case they have their assets playing it up as ambiguous evidence of American potestas and American moral rectitude at once.

      2. Anon

        No state actor wants to admit they are not the ones in control either… corporate power has long allowed for the artifice of government… part of what Bill Gates being so involved in the COVID response was about (I surmise), was to accustom populations to our corporate overlords; and the pending overt neutralization of government power. Defund, decry, displace, the neoliberal method.

    3. Stephen

      It’s an interesting video.

      The perpetrators on this logic may not be totally fringe: they might well be central state operators but the approval loops that usually apply were possibly not followed in every country.

      To be fair, I struggle to see this in totality though. You need to use naval assets to do something like this and officers typically do things by the book. Maybe an intelligence service would have this capability but I would be surprised if they could do it with zero use of regular naval infrastructure. If a country did this then there would be need to be full approval somewhere to be be able to deploy.

      Potentially, it could be Poland (although I have no idea what type of navy they have) with a green light from certain segments of the US administration but not necessarily total sign off. Depending on how dysfunctional the Biden administration really is, I could see that.

      1. hk

        I don’t know enough about naval balance in the Baltic to assert this confidently, but I don’t think Poland would have been able to pull this off by itself. It had to have been a multinational operation, with at least some resources coming from elsewhere.

      2. Tom Pfotzer

        If a country did this then there would be need to be full approval somewhere to be able to deploy.

        I agree.

        This activity has crossed national lines (U.S., Poland, probably Germany also, possibly Denmark) and it’s involved several components of each gov’t. There’s no way this happened without chain of command engagement and careful planning.

        Just consider the fact that the Norway-Poland pipeline opening was announced the day of the attack, and the fact that nothing in the Baltic happens without NATO’s awareness. That takes quite a bit of coordination to pull together.

        Germany is part of NATO, of course. Did they somehow not get wind of the fact that lots of military gear was hovering about the NS pipelines? Nobody asked any questions?

        That said, I do believe that there’s plenty of infighting and disagreement within the U.S. and German governments and between the governments and their citizens about how Germany relates to the East (Russia, China, SCO, etc.), and I do believe that there is a great deal of supra-national coordination happening that’s outside the control of any one government.

        It’s the stuff that’s happening at the supra-national level that is hidden to us. The rest of the mechanics we can see; it’s happening in broad daylight.

      3. Jack

        The US Navy could have easily done this. And submariners are used to doing things and keeping their mouths shut. Ex US Navy sub guy here. Biden threatened this very type of thing less than a year ago. Its in the US strategic interest to keep Germany weak. No way would the US want Germany caving and making peace with the Russians. The US is assisting Ukraine with intelligence, officers on the ground in Ukraine at command center, satellite intel, and weapons. Ukraine is attacking a nuclear power plant and shelling/attacking civilian infrastructure. Why would the US balk on an attack like this? Its all upside and little down for them. One final point. The US has the surveillance capability to know who did this. Between our subs and the SOSUS arrays there is now way US Navy did not know someone attacked this pipeline.

        1. Tom Pfotzer


          These two statements of yours appear to contradict one another:

          “Its in the US strategic interest to keep Germany weak. ”

          “No way would the US want Germany caving and making peace with the Russians.”


          Strong countries don’t cave. Weak ones cave.

          Making peace is bad?

          Please explain how it is in the U.S.’ national interest for Germany to be weak.

          1. schmoe

            A strong Germany might have the audacity to trade with China on its own terms, including perhaps sharing EV technology with them, or even worse, using Huawei equipment.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            Keeping Germany too weak to defy DC FedRegime wishes that Germany not make a “separate peace” with Russia?

          3. Stephen

            Germany is a potential geo political competitor. Especially if aligned with Russia and trading with China. Not a super power of any form but still a challenge.

            Empires want vassals and to be in control. It is the whole point. The US foreign policy establishment wants a weak Europe that is subservient. It is a form of consolation prize for loss of the unipolar moment.

            A weak Europe, dependent on the U.S. for energy and funds cannot make independent policy and challenge America. A strong Europe can. I believe it is as simple as that.

            The U.S. foreign policy establishment does not want peace. It has always been at war, pretty much every year since WW2 in one form or another. The American people are great but their government does not reflect their desires at all in foreign affairs.

            1. digi_owl

              Yep. Ever since WW2, western Europe has been a captive market for US companies. and since the 90s, the whole of Europe. This much to the chagrin of say France, that is very sensitive about cultural imports.

              EU was getting uppity of late though, slapping US tech companies with fines and regulations etc. And while smaller nations where heeding US security “warnings” regarding Chinese mobile tech, i am unsure if Germany was playing along. Quick searching suggests Germany has fallen in line since Merkel resigned. Shades of Bismarck?

  18. Exiled_in_Boston

    Appropriate day for this article. On this date in 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a treaty calling for the partitioning of Poland.

    1. Kouros

      The treaty was signed to the effect that Germany and USSR would not attack each-other. The annex clarified that other, smaller actors are potentially subject to one or both parties attacks and occupations.

      Germany wanted to attack Poland and did not want to be upset by Russia. Russia did not want to be attacked by Germany. The price for that was Poland et al…

      1. Polar Socialist

        The part of Poland that the USSR got was the part that had belonged to Russian Empire until 1919-20. Poland was split along the Curzon line, which was the border between Russia and Poland pushed by the UK, among others, at the end of the WW1.

        That was one of the reasons UK did not declare war to USSR when it invaded Eastern Poland – according to UK those parts more or less belonged to USSR already.

        Except the most northern part, the population was Belorusian and Ukrainian, anyway.

  19. Mike Gramig

    I follow current events almost obsessively and I’m finding this post and its comments very difficult to unwind. It is nearly impossible to unwind the commenters and their viewpoints with any firm understanding of the posters’ political frame of reference. Most of us will need a program to unwind fact from fiction. This the fog of political cmmentary war. I will welcome continuing commentary to clear the smoke.

    1. David

      I think the point to start from is that there’s no hard evidence of any kind linking anyone to anything. That evidence might be forthcoming, or it might not, and if it is, some will believe it and some won’t.
      Human beings are pattern-making and tale-telling individuals, and it’s very hard to resist the temptation to make a “story” out of an event like this, whose plot will depend very much on the political preconceptions you start from. In turn, these preconceptions mean that, from all of the huge variety of potentially connected events going on at the moment, we select those that we feel support our narrative structure, and we define those as “evidence.” In fact there is no “evidence” at the moment, and no theories that can be tested empirically. We have a series of hypotheses, which we find more or less convincing depending on our prejudices.

      One useful rule of thumb in a case like this is to see what you can rule out, by purely objective criteria: for example, country X may not have the capability, country Y is too far away and so forth. But this only gets you so far. In a case like this, the cui bono argument is not very useful, because it’s always possible to find a rationalisation for any behaviour you want to attribute to another actor, no matter how bizarre: after all it could be a false flag, a false flag that went wrong, something that was intended to look like a false flag but wasn’t … that way lies insanity.
      Better to wait for a bit, I think.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I think the problem with a ‘wait and see’ attitude to this is that so many of the countries with the capacity to investigate this have a strong interest in suppressing the truth if it turns out to be embarrassing for almost anyone except the Russians (and the Russians of course will have their own incentives to throw shade on someone else). You can apply Occams Razor, but that still just reduces it to a fairly wide number of actors – and when you throw in the possibility of a rogue government agency action, that adds even more.

        I do wonder though what is being said behind closed doors in Berlin. If the the government is advised by their security advisors that there is a strong possibility that this was done by one of their Nato partners…. well, they’d have a very big decision to make. On past form, they’d fudge it.

    2. Mike

      Yes….all speculation at this point. Can’t rule out Russia either. Plenty of reasons for them, Putin could use a false flag to bolster his expanded conscription efforts. So many potential players at this point. Problem is with these kinds of events is some times the longer they go on the origins of the conflicts can be muddied by wrong history. I think Syria is a good example of this.

      1. Louis Fyne

        that area of the Baltic Sea is essentially a NATO lake.

        If it was Russia, the US Navy might as well surrender on day 1 of World War 3

        1. digi_owl

          Given the apparent state of the NATO MIC, as the amount of arms being donated to Ukraine may take years to replenish, that may well be the outcome baring wanton use of nukes.

        2. Mike

          Pipeline inspection drone packed with explosives would be the only plausible case I could see from the Russian side, doubtful but easier than sending a submersible from NATO. Trying to apply Occam’s Razor from an operational perspective.

  20. Skip Intro

    It has been my opinion that a primary goal of the Ukraine gambit was to close Nordstream2 and other economic interconnections between Russia and Europe, and thus that the reopening of NS2 would signal the failure of that gambit. Now that the option is off the table, Ukraine becomes extraneous. Was this act a recognition that the military game changed after the referenda, a response to growing domestic pressure in Germany to open NS2? If I were Zelensky, I wouldn’t celebrate becoming a worthless bargaining chip as Poland ascends to political dominance.

    1. digi_owl

      Zelensky may already be drawing up plans to merge remaining Ukraine with Poland.

      There is supposedly something odd going on within Polish politics regarding the Poland-Ukraine border.

      Dunno how well the Azov boyz will take such a move though, as i think Poles are second only to Russians on their shit list.

      1. Tom Bradford

        A big, big reason for Russia’s actions in Ukraine was to stop NATO moving up to its borders via Ukraine joining. It’s not going to be happy if it moves its border westward only to find NATO member Poland moving its borders eastwards to meet it.

        Russia is best suited by an enfeebled, neutral rump Ukraine between its new borders and Poland, so isn’t going to be happy if Poland gets too greedy.

        1. digi_owl

          It was likely not just that the NATO border was moving east, but any would be tank battalions would have a straight run to Moscow.

          After all, the border is where one saw the fiercest fighting during WW2. The famous city of Kursk is right on the Russian side. Due north of Kharkov, and a stopping point on the way to Moscow.

          That said, there is always that curious map that Medvedev provided to ponder.

          As the curse goes, these be interesting times indeed…

  21. Exiled_in_Boston

    With all of the conspiracy theories being bandied about, it is getting difficult to figure out which is the least/most hallucinatory.

    1. hunkerdown

      Any particular reason you feel the need to deride all theories of power in action as “conspiracy theories”? Be specific.

      1. Exiled_in_Boston

        Why, you ask?
        Because most of the world’s leaders are idiots and incapable of such things as those being thrown about.

        1. OIFVet

          It has been my experience that natural born idiots do things without even trying that others would fail at no matter how hard they tried.

        2. Yves Smith

          The 6th Fleet was practicing underwater mining in its big naval practice operations in the Baltics, so why is this so inconceivable? Victoria Nuland is an evil genius who has a lot of power, for starters.

    2. pjay

      On the contrary, it is not difficult at all to figure out which is the “least hallucinatory,” or most likely, based on (1) past historical actions of the potential perps, (2) existing circumstantial evidence (see the last two postings at Moon of Alabama for a useful summary), and (3) asking: cui bono? We can’t be *certain* at this point, of course. But the various competing theories are not equivalent.

      Of course, by “conspiracy theory” I assume you are referring to the *actual* conspiracy by the party or parties who carried out the act. At least you didn’t use scare quotes around “conspiracy theory.”

      1. David

        Ah, you see, that’s what the real perpetrators want you to think! How long do you suppose they’ve been preparing for this, laying all the false trails?

        1. pjay

          Yes, I get your point – we can always rationalize any scenario. You are right, of course, but that doesn’t mean that every scenario is equally likely based on existing evidence, interests, or prior actions. Leaving aside some less likely culprits – undetected meteor strikes, Greta in diving gear, etc. – I think we can rank order the most likely culprits based on the criteria I’ve mentioned. Is it *possible* Russia carried out a false flag attack? Well, it’s possible, but extremely unlikely given the costs to Russia of a *successful* mission, let alone the likelihood of getting caught in NATO controlled waters. Benefits would be slim to none. So we move on to consider the more likely perpetrators based on what we know. I agree it’s speculative at this point, but it’s not like we have no information. Treating all theories as equally likely simply adds to obfuscation in my view.

          Of course if I were in a position to actually respond to such an attack, then more certainty would be desirable. But unlike us, I’m pretty sure those in such positions already know what happened.

        2. Michaelmas

          Thank you. David.

          “I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.”

          — Richard Feynman

          1. pjay

            So, how do we go about finding the answers that might be *right*? I assume you are not arguing that “ignorance is bliss.” And to compare the type of questions to which Feynman refers with the issues we are dealing with here is very misleading. There are definite answers to the latter that not only can be known, but damn well better be if we are to survive.

            1. Michaelmas

              There are definite answers to the latter ….


              …that not only can be known …

              But maybe not by us.

              ….but damn well better be if we are to survive.

              Chill, dude. This is just one more incident — not that serious a step up the escalation ladder — in an unhappy sequence of events that have already escalated into a potential war of attrition that’s likely to proceed globally for years and bring societal breakdowns in a bunch of places. And I’m being optimistic here.

              how do we go about finding the answers that might be *right*?

              There’ve actually been times in my life when I got paid money to think about things like this. The primary thing to avoid was being too attached to some set of priors and some particular narrative. You’ll only arrive at correct answers by looking at the evidence, knowing the possible technical capabilities/contexts of the potential actors, and putting yourself in those actors’ places and considering their priors (and allowing for absolute ruthlessness of those actors in pursuit of their objectives).

              Here there are too many potential actors. That’s just the way it is.

              Still, in ‘Fog of War’type situations, the course of events over 6 months–2 years often has a way of clarifying matters. The 2006 Israel–Hezbollah War was like that: the whole damned thing only lasted 34 days and the significance of it only became clear from the post-game analysis.

              1. pjay

                – “The primary thing to avoid was being too attached to some set of priors and some particular narrative. You’ll only arrive at correct answers by looking at the evidence, knowing the possible technical capabilities/contexts of the potential actors, and putting yourself in those actors’ places and considering their priors (and allowing for absolute ruthlessness of those actors in pursuit of their objectives).”

                Not much to disagree with here. I like this answer a lot better than the Feynman quote.

            2. Akash

              Agreed pjay. Of course one can remain aloof to the question of culpability in this case, claiming insufficient factual information, but that doesn’t preclude the ability to rank order possible culprits, excluding some more confidently than others. And to apply the same standards to questions/answers posed in the physical sciences to affairs of geopolitics is just silly.

    3. David

      Hard to imagine this took place without a “conspiracy” of sorts. Thus, any and all speculation regarding the root causes necessarily boils down to “conspiracy theory”.

  22. ddt

    Well, whoever it is, the Germans don’t forget. The dissolution of Yugoslavia was eagerly facilitated because the partisans decimated the retreating German army in WW2. It may take a generation or two or three but they’ll get theirs.

  23. Bugs

    I think it was Greta, down there with her eco-warriors from Extinction Rebellion. I can see her angry eyes in a diving mask, planting the explosives…”how dare you!”

    1. elkern

      Yeah, she swam there from Sweden & blew it up, just to release a few million cubic meters of Nat Gas (mostly Methane, a particularly nasty Greenhouse Gas) into the atmosphere, hoping this would speed up Global Warming, raising sea levels enough to flood the homes of all those rich people’s beach houses…

  24. Glen

    I have no reason to think Biden is lying when he says America can do it, and will do it. Spend my tax dollars to blow somebody’s elses $hit up? Yeah, he’s been for that his whole career.

    Now, if he had told Russia they would get a $2000 check from the government, I would warn the Russians that his track record is not so good when it comes to things like that.

  25. Pfharris

    1. Both Biden and Nuland have stated on record publicly (Jan/22) that they would put an end to N1 & N2 if Russia invaded Ukraine.
    2. USA has the most to gain from cutting off gas supplies to Europe.
    3. Russia spent years and overcame many obstacles and rubles to put these pipelines and partnerships in place.
    4. To even think otherwise is proof of how effective is this enormous USA gaslighting/propaganda machine.
    5. There were NATO navy vessels doing exercises in the area within the last three weeks.
    6. NATO countries were involved in previous attempt to damage pipeline.

  26. Tom Bradford

    My initial reaction was that it was the US wot dun it as it has the motive, and Alexander Mercouris argues the same forcefully in his latest blog:

    However in light of the above I’m no longer so sure. Mercouris dismisses Poland as culprit quickly on the basis that the attack requires super-power levels of technology but I’m not sure that’s the case – any power with a reasonably competent military could prepare explosive packages with timers that could be lowered from a smallish boat to sit on top of the pipelines.

    Certainly Poland has no love for either the Germans or the Russians and could bloody both their noses with this, it might hope to be able to pick up some of the industry being forced out of Germany, can duck its head below the parapet as everyone points at Russia while suspecting the US and adding its own finger-pointing, and anyway even if the US and Germany know it was the Poles, coming out with accusations against fellow NATO and EU member at the heart of Europe would strain both projects perhaps beyond bearing, forcing them to keep mum.

  27. Robert

    What a load of rubbish.
    Why publish Russian fake news.

    Let’s see what the investigation shows.

    Putin was burning the gas off anyway and not exporting it, this way he can claim its not him anymore.

    Time to stop burning fossil fuels anyway.

    1. elkern

      NS2 was full of pressurized Nat Gas, but not flowing – essentially acting as a storage facility for gas owned by Russia. Blowing the pipeline cost Russia a *lot* just in lost gas. More importantly, they have lost a very important negotiation card: the ability to quickly supply Germany/Europe with enough gas to save them from (1) a cold winter and (2) loss of energy-intensive industries. What motivations would Russia have for this that would outweigh all that?

      1. Robert

        Thanks for the reply.
        The lost gas is less than they are burning just across the border from finland. Unless you completely cap the tap, you have to either send it via the pipe or burn it off. Its been closed for 3 weeks, that is far more than any residual in the pipes.

        Point 2, the political climate in Germany and Europe has changed a lot, noone is going back to be dependent on Russian gas. E.g. total has stated its not going back and has signed deals with Qatar fir 20% of Europe demand. For months in Russia (if you watch their tv) they have talked of Europe coming back when they get a bit cold. Won’t happen. Countries have told their citizens to prepare for power cuts etc. They have seen what Russia has done to Ukrainians and don’t want to support that regime. Hence putin knows it is no longer a card he can play.
        Germany has nuclear and other power stations back online. Poland has coal.

        Don’t forget all the pipes on land that go through eastern Europe.

        It will be a tough winter, but thr landscape has changed forever.

    2. hunkerdown

      That’s nice, dear. Any other infantile PMC religious feeling you would like to vent? Any particular reason you and every other neo-Puritan shouldn’t have your life ruined or at least be billed a minimum 2 hours for wasting other people’s time with your virtue signalling? Serious questions.

    3. Polar Socialist

      The reports of Russia burning gas near Vyborg was corrected after the journalists bothered to actually check what was going on, and it turned out to be the brand new gas liquefaction facility starting operations. So Russia is now capable of storing the undelivered gas in liquid form and deliver it to all over the world.

      As for the fake news part, so far the official Russian statements have been “it appears to be an attack”, “if so, could Biden clarify if USA was the culprit” and “Nordstream should be invited to the investigation, being the owner”. Really hard to find anything fake about that.

      Pretty much all the pondering in this article is western-based, so far. Russia is not really giving out anything regarding the pipelines.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Remember when that girl – Darya Dugina – was murdered in Moscow by that Ukrainian agent? It only took the Russians a day or so to nail out the exact sequence of how that whole operation was carried out. I would be pretty sure that the Russians will have turned loose all their intelligence assets to work out who did those bombings and how they were carried out. I think that they have already called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. You would think that German or the EU would have done that already but apparently not. Odd that.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Several Russian parliamentarians have indeed pointed out that Sweden and Denmark do have rather extensive sensor networks in the area, and should have quite clear picture of what has been going on in there. Maybe, just maybe, they are trying to tell those countries that Russia knows that they know and that it will become public on Friday. Who knows?

          And considering that the Ukrainian hitwoman and her daughter escaped to Estonia, you just gave me the idea that maybe she’s of the same Slavic Super Agent Breed as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, and she rented a rowing boat, cooked some high explosive from shoe polish with a looking glass and with a sensitive compass tracked the pipelines to international waters and blew them up. Western media could probably sell even that story to the public…

  28. Socrates 983

    By that logic if the Alaska Pipeline were blown up you’d assume it’s possible the Americans blew it up as part of a false flag operation to blame the Russians.

  29. Dave in Austin

    Helmers gives no evidence about who destroyed the pipelines. He makes a claim based on who he believes might benefit.

    Some background. The Poles opposed both the two-pipe NordStream I and the single, large-pipe NordStream II for national security and economic reasons. So the pipelines went through Swedish and Danish waters to reach Germany. “Waters” include national territory out to 12 miles and what is called an Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) which can go out to 200 miles or the edge of a continental shelf, whichever is further. The Baltic is a small sea. It is all either territorial waters or EEZ. Here’s the map:

    Bornholm is a small Danish tourist island with an unusual history. The Russians occupied it in 1945 and refused to return it if it were potentially going to be used by NATO. “Arrangements were made”. The island was returned, has never hosted NATO maneuvers and, based on my short visit, has no military installations. The same deal was made between the British and the Russians after Crimean War to demilitarize the nearby Aaland Islands. The Aalands got a treaty; the Danish deal may be unofficial.

    The Helmers article’s map indicates (correctly I believe) that NordStream I went through Danish territorial waters near Bornholm but NordStream II skirted Danish territorial waters and used only the Bornholm EEZ, probably to limit domestic political opposition. Both attacks were in the EEZ. The damage to Nordstream II was just outside Danish territorial waters and the damaged spots on Nordstream I’s two pipes were, it appears, also in the Danish EEZ. The damage to NordStream I may have been in the Swedish EEZ. Time will tell.

    The Washington Post this morning reported Swedish seismic instruments recorded only two explosions, hours apart; one small one and a second bigger one. The first small blast probably hit Nordstream II and the second larger one many hours later probably destroyed the two slightly separated NordStream I pipes (I don’t subscribe to the Post. If anyone has the link, please post). Note that the Helmers’ RBK map shows no maritime traffic near the pipeline.

    Why attack in the Danish Bornholm EEZ? The Baltic is shallow and muddy; no place for a submarine. Because of Russian Cold War mini-sub scares, the Swedes have their part of the Baltic totally wired. My guess is even a frogman would probably be noticed. But because of Bornholm’s demilitarization, the Danes probably left the waters unmonitored- no sonar, no magnetic detectors, no sound buoys. That belief is reinforced by the Post article which says that after the explosions the Danes sent a frigate and other ships to Bornholm.

    Here are my tentative conclusions. First, there was one team and it stayed around to make sure each explosion had damaged the pipes because the two explosions were many hours apart and a timer could have set them off simultaneously after the team was safely away. Second, because the Helmers RBK radar map shows no surface craft in the area and subs would be easy to spot by sonar, the attackers were probably underwater with a motorized sled that can do 3-5 knots. Third they were probably released from and returned to one of the small stationary fishing boats (the small purple squares on the RBK map).

    Who did it? I don’t have a clue

    1. Yves Smith

      You are assuming the mines were placed recently.

      As Lambert pointed out by e-mail:

      FWIW, it looks to me that the US project to deindustrialize Europe also includes planting a foot firmly in the so-called Intermarium*, even though or perhaps more accurately because of its population of irredentists, fascists, and loons (rather like our State Department). After all, Poland is the clear winner here (it retains its pipeline from Norway) and Germany the clear loser, both humiliated and cornered. Of course, the Poles would never have gone ahead without a green light from the US. I read Sikorski’s bizarre statement as simultaneously thanking the US, blaming the US, and erasing the Pole’s own role (as Helmer would have it). These people going to take us to the cleaners, just as happened in the Middle East.

      1. JohnA

        According to one of the main Swedish dailies, Svenska Dagbladet, the Swedish and Danish authorities are preventing Nord Stream AG, the pipeline owners, from investigating the site. I expect it will be like the MH17 investigation, Russia will be named prime suspect, but prevented from engaging in or with the investigation.

        1. WJ

          How is Russia supposed to have planted, and detonated, mines in the middle of the Baltic sea, controlled by NATO, and which is under total 24/7 sonar and radar monitoring systems? Recall that NATO has live full surveillance over all Russian movements in theater, and has been in war-time operations in Baltic sea since February and probably before.

          Even if we accept the very dubious rationale proposed for Russia’s destruction–i.e. Putin is crazy and wants to prove it; Russia wants to blame the US and divide Europe, and so forth–I am not sure how this is supposed to be operationally possible.

  30. Paul Jurczak

    Radosław “Radek” Sikorski wasn’t a Minister of Defense, he was a Minister of Foreign Affairs in Donald Tusk’s cabinet between 2007 and 2014.

    1. Gangster

      Check out where Sikorski went to school. Look at his wife and where she went to school. Oxford. Von der Leyen? London School of Economics. Jake Sullivan? Oxford. Nobody has pushed for war against Russia more than London.

  31. Michalc

    Question for the commentariat:

    Blinken said the pipeline destruction was in ‘nobody’s interest’

    As head of the US State dept that makes sense, as no state actor gains an advantage.

    And since it’s true he might not have been lying, instead coming clean that he’s just a tool.

    But the attack does advance the long term objectives of the CIA agenda and Blinkens capitulative language gives state cover that they, in this administration, as well as prior and future ones have no control over the CIA or their neocon/neoliberal masters.

    I’d like to be wrong, but from my seat no one in a nominal position of power is calling the shots, (ex Putin).

  32. JB

    All possibilities for who is responsible for this, are incredibly disturbing.

    I don’t like seeing the fighting of narratives over something, where every speculated possibility from each narrative, represents something extremely dangerous having happened (whether that be an attack within EU territory, Western leaders manufacturing a casus belli, or one EU state attacking the assets of another).

    The prospect of having something extraordinary and dangerous happen like this, and not having the extraordinary evidence required to prove who is actually responsible, is very uncomfortable and doesn’t make any sides narrative look good/respectable (even if I understand the need to fight a potential casus belli, absent full information).

    1. Wolf Goehring

      As of August 23, “Das Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland” reported the following: Polands president Duda was claiming that Nordstream II should be destroyed and not only closed. see , headline: “Appell an den Westen. Polens Präsident Duda fordert Abriss von Nord Stream 2”.
      In Germany there had been a growing movement to operate Nordstream II in order to flatten the gasprize. This option has been bombed away. Instead of buying cheap Russian gas Germans have to buy gas from Poland because the other pipes also have been shut down.

      1. JB

        Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence – and one EU nation attacking the assets of another, is an incredibly extraordinary event – with nothing so far coming anywhere close to meeting the burden of extraordinary evidence.

  33. Seer

    BALTOPS 22: A Perfect Opportunity for Research and Resting New Technology

    BALTIC SEA — A significant focus of BALTOPS every year is the demonstration of NATO mine hunting capabilities, and this year the U.S. Navy continues to use the exercise as an opportunity to test emerging technology, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Public Affairs said June 14.

    In support of BALTOPS, U.S. Navy 6th Fleet partnered with U.S. Navy research and warfare centers to bring the latest advancements in unmanned underwater vehicle mine hunting technology to the Baltic Sea to demonstrate the vehicle’s effectiveness in operational scenarios.

    Experimentation was conducted off the coast of Bornholm, Denmark, with participants from Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Newport, and Mine Warfare Readiness and Effectiveness Measuring all under the direction of U.S. 6th Fleet Task Force 68.

    Just a coincidence…

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