It was a deliberate detonation: Energy expert on Nord Stream 1 damage

October 19, 2022

Maksym Bielawski: In addition to publicly released photos, at least in Swedish and Norwegian news reports, there are videos. Publication of specific materials is an element of a public response to the claims, which the Russian propaganda is trying to spread on its platforms in the EU.

A deliberate attack?

Maksym Bielawski: I personally analysed each picture. As a person who has the experience of operation of main gas pipelines and dealing with emergency situations, I can say that the nature of the destruction corresponds to the nature of a centralised explosion. If there were depressurisation of the pipe body, triggered by the pressure, temperature or environment change, the nature of the damage would be completely different. Now we can actually see cut metal, note — at the welding joint.

I have the impression that the detonation occurred at a junction of two segments. The depressurisation was local, caused by the external action on the weld, most likely — an explosive device. In my opinion, it was a deliberate detonation. This was done by the people who know exactly where one segment contacts another one. Builders and operators know these details best of all. I suspect that the operators or the people who have access to the database used those coordinates and activated the internal explosive device. Such a device cannot accidentally appear at the place of the weld. So yes, I believe that it was a deliberate attack.


Maksym Bielawski: Nord Stream-1 and Nord Stream-2 were insured. They were built for borrowed funds. This means that "Gazprom" is to pay the principal amount plus the interest. Since there were no transportation activities or income generated over the past 1.5–2 months, it must be paid out of the insurance in the amount of roughly double capital investments. This is approximately 40 billion euros. "Gazprom" receives this amount in parts due to the force majeure.

In monetary terms, Gazprom's daily losses may amount to approximately 200 million euros.


Maksym Bielawski

Leading Expert, Energy Programmes

Born in 1986 in Zhytomyr oblast


Zhytomyr State Technological University (2008)

Ph.D in Technical Science (2010)

Ivano-Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas (2012)

Author of 17 patents and 100 scientific works

Work Experience:

2008 – 2011 — Operator of Gas Infrastructure Units, Controller of Gas Transmission System in Rivne Division of PJSC "Ukrtransgas"

2011 – 2017 — Leading Engineer, Deputy Head of Press-Service, Head of Public Relation Department of PJSC "Ukrtransgas"

2017 – 2018 — HR Director of PJSC "Maine Gas Pipelines of Ukraine", Advisor to the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine

2021 — Director of Integrated Communications of NJSC "Naftogaz of Ukraine"