Does a viral CGTN video show how the US government blew up the Nord Stream gas pipelines?!
Take a look at the viral video, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : CGTN Video Shows How US Blew Up Nord Stream Pipelines!
People are sharing a CGTN video that claims to show how the US government blew up the Nord Stream gas pipelines.
Here is a transcript of the video which I will share in two parts below, but feel free to skip to the next section for the facts.
How they blew up Nord Stream
On February 24, 2022, the Ukrainian crisis erupted. Before and after that, the U.S. politicians have repeatedly threatened an attack on the Nord Stream pipeline.
US President Joe Biden : If Russia invades Ukraine, Nord Stream will cease to exist.
US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland : If Russia invades Ukraine, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.
119 days prior to the Nord Stream explosions, several members of the task force, allegedly led by U.S. President National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, flew to Norway to find a suitable place to plant explosives under the pipeline.
116 days prior to the Nord Stream explosions, a U.S. aircraft carrier has arrived in the Baltic Sea to participate in NATO’s annual naval exercise Baltops-22.
113 days prior to the Nord Stream explosions, the Baltops-22 military exercise has begun. The manoeuvres continued in the Baltic Sea for 13 days.
During the exercise, the U.S. planes regularly circled over the sites of future gas pipeline explosions. The minimum flight altitude was less than 600 meters.
Underwater explosive placement training was performed during the military drills in the water area near the gas pipelines.
103 days prior to the Nord Stream explosions, presumably, a group of Americans in plain clothes arrived at the exercise site by helicopter, and met with the Vice Admiral of the Sixth Fleet of the U.S. Navy, as well as a group of men in plain clothes.
The Americans then went on a deep dive. They placed the C4 explosive on pipes with a protective concrete coating. The operation lasted six hours.
24 days prior to the Nord Stream explosions, U.S. Navy helicopters circled the sites of future pipeline explosions.
On the day of the explosions, a P8 reconnaissance plane allegedly flew over the Baltic Sea and dropped a hydroacoustic buoy that detonated C4 explosives on the gas pipelines.
The explosive destroyed three out of the four gas pipelines. Methane from the pipelines began to spread across the surface of the water. The operator of Nord Streams [sic] estimates that the repair work will cost more than $500 million and take at least a year.
However, due to the U.S. and Western sanctions, the repair of the Nord Streams [sic] is not yet possible. The longer the repairs are delayed, the more difficult they will be.
4 days after the explosions at Nord Streams, Anthony [sic] Blinken said, “This is also a great opportunity to end Europe’s energy dependence on Russia once and for all.
148 days after the explosions at Nord Streams, on February 21, 2023, at Russia’s request, the UN Security Council held a meeting on the North [sic] Streams explosions where a heated debate about the incident and its investigations erupted.
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Here is Part 2 of the CGTN video that claims to show HOW the United States blew up the Nord Stream pipelines!
Read my fact check : https://t.co/d0GHPsm2tM#TechARP #CGTN #China #Russia #Ukraine #UkraineWar #NordStream #SeymourHersh #Conspiracy #Facts #FactsMatter #FactCheck pic.twitter.com/PJ86b2aYvn
— Dr. Adrian Wong (@AdrianTechARP) March 10, 2023
No Evidence CGTN Video Shows How US Blew Up Nord Stream Pipelines!
This is yet another example of Chinese propaganda, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : CGTN Is An Official Chinese State Media Outlet
China Global Television Network (CGTN) is a state-run and -funded news channel owned by Chinese state broadcaster China Central Television, and controlled by the Central Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
While it portrays itself as offering an alternative view of world affairs, it is known as a vital Chinese government propaganda outlet, with its accuracy often questioned.
Even here at Tech ARP, I have personally fact checked CGTN on several occasions.
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Fact #2 : CGTN Video Is Based On Seymour Hersh’s Claims
The CGTN video appears to be based entirely on claims by American journalist, Seymour Myron Hersh, and does not offer anything new to add to the story.
Fact #3 : CGTN Video + Seymour Hersh Offered No Actual Evidence
Like Seymour Hersh’s Substack article, the CGTN video is loud and dramatic. Quite unlike the Nord Stream explosions that took place underwater.
However, if you actually analyse both the CGTN video and/or Seymour Hersh’s article, you have to ask – where actually is the evidence?
Seymour Hersh himself based his article on a single anonymous source. Even more concerning, no one else has been able to corroborate his claims more than 5 weeks later.
The viral CGTN video just repeats whatever Seymour Hersh claimed, without offering any evidence. It is important to note that this video was created by what is ostensibly a news organisation that is supposed to verify the facts before publishing.
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Fact #4 : Seymour Hersh Claims Are In Dispute
The US government has naturally disputed Seymour Hersh’s claims, calling his article “utterly false and complete fiction”.
What’s concerning to me, as a common person, though is that some of Hersh’s claims are suspect and easily fact checked. Take for example, his claims that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was a committed anti-communist who had been cooperating with US intelligence since the Vietnam War.
It would be quite a feat for Stoltenberg to work with US intelligence during the Vietnam War since he was born in 1959, and would have been only 4-16 years old at that time! Stoltenberg was also pro-Communist as a young teen, and opposed US involvement in the Vietnam War by participating in protest rallies against the US embassy in Oslo.
Seymour Hersh’s claim that an Alta-class minesweeper was used in BALTOPS 2022 is also in dispute. Joe Galvin, OSINT editor of The Outlaw Ocean Project, showed that no Alta-class minesweepers were in the area at that time!
Hersh’s claim that the explosions were triggered by a sonobuoy dropped by a Norwegian P-8 Poseidon aircraft is also in dispute. Norway has five P-8 Poseidon aircraft, but none of them were seen in the area on the day of the explosion – September 26, 2022.
A US Navy P-8 aircraft was spotted in the area, but that aircraft only arrived 90 minutes after the first blast occurred! So it could not have been the P-8 aircraft that triggered the explosions as Hersh claimed.
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Fact #5 : Both Nord Stream 1 + 2 Were Not Operational
It is true that both US Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden were against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, and President Biden threatened to “end Nord Stream” if Russian invaded Ukraine.
However, Nord Stream 2 never became operational, after Germany suspended its certification on 22 February 2022 – two days before Russia invaded Ukraine.
More importantly, Russia cut or interrupted gas supplies on Nord Stream 1, before shutting it down completely in the months following its invasion of Ukraine:
- June 2022 : Russia cut Nord Stream 1 gas supply by 75%.
- July 2022 : Russia shut down Nord Stream 1 for 10 days. It reopened at 12.5% of normal capacity.
- August 2022 : Russia shut down Nord Stream 1 completely.
Both Nord Stream pipelines had long ceased to supply Europe with gas, long before explosions tore holes in them. There is simply no advantage for the Americans to destroy two pipelines that were no longer supplying Europe with gas.
Fact #6 : Europe Refused To Resume Gas Supply
Only three of the four gas pipelines were destroyed by the explosions, with Pipe B of Nord Stream 2 surviving. Russia offered to resume gas supply to Europe, which was promptly declined.
The refusal shows that Europe itself is eager to wean itself off Russian gas, and not because of earlier US threats to “end Nord Stream”.
The Americans did not have to destroy the Nord Stream pipelines, because Russia’s own actions in disrupting gas supplies and invading Ukraine already did that for them.
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Fact #7 : Many Countries Had Plausible Reasons To Destroy Nord Stream
As far as plausible reasons go, many countries had plausible reasons to destroy the Nord Stream pipelines:
- US : To prevent allies in Europe from being held hostage by their reliance on cheap Russian gas.
- UK : To encourage allies in Europe to support Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion.
- Russia : To stop supplying Europe without breaking its gas supply contracts, and/or to divide Europe.
- Ukraine : To unite Europe against Russia.
While motive is important, it is not evidence that a country has committed the crime. There has to be actual evidence that the US / UK / Russia / Ukraine did it.
Regardless of what CGTN or Seymour Hersh may claim, there is simply no conclusive evidence YET that any of those countries are responsible for the destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines.
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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