Nord stream 2 blast
© Twitter / @flugkindA view of the Nord Stream 2 blast site under the Baltic Sea near Bornholm, Denmark, June 2023
Video footage published by multiple European news outlets shows that one of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines was severed cleanly, potentially with a small, shaped explosive charge. The recording was released amid a flurry of reports blaming Ukraine for the attack.

Filmed using a submersible drone by Norwegian firm Blueye, the footage was published on Wednesday by Germany's RTL, Denmark's TV2, and France's La Liberation. It shows one of the two Nord Stream 2 lines split neatly in two, with jagged metal the only sign that an explosion had taken place.

Footage of the Nord Stream 1 pipelines released last year showed greater damage, with at least 50 meters of pipe torn apart and a large gouge taken out of the seabed. Both Nord Stream 1 lines were destroyed, while only one Nord Stream 2 line was severed.

It clearly looks like a shaped charge to me," former Danish military officer Niels Kamp told RTL. "Huge forces were at work that were very focused. It was a small explosive device." A retired French military diver seconded Kamp's opinion, telling RTL that the charge likely weighed "a few kilograms."

"This would also make it more feasible for a smaller commando unit," RTL noted.

The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines were destroyed in a series of near-simultaneous explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm in late September. The blasts severed a key conduit for Russian natural gas to Europe, effectively removing the possibility of European countries lifting their sanctions on Moscow and restarting gas purchases.

A small commando unit deploying light explosives fits in with the theory - recently set out by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and several European news outlets - that a team of Ukrainians used a rented yacht to transport explosives to the blast sites. Kiev denies any involvement in the alleged plot, which the Wall Street Journal claims was known to the CIA months in advance.

One theory left unexamined by the Western media is that of American reporter Seymour Hersh. Citing US intelligence sources, Hersh claimed in February that the CIA destroyed the pipelines with the help of the Norwegian navy, under direct orders from the White House. According to Hersh, the explosives were planted during NATO exercises in the Baltic Sea last June and detonated remotely three months later.

Hersh claimed that the story of Ukrainian commandos using a rented yacht was planted in the US and German media as a red herring by the CIA and its German counterpart, the BND.