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Opinion

Threats to Ukraine's gas transportation system

In this episode:

- Explosion on the Ukrainian gas pipeline;
- Encrypted telegram SBU about the intention of the "Right sector" to capture "PricarpatZapadTran";
- Threats of interference in the activities of transit enterprises by nationalist groups.



Transcript:

Hello, I am Vasily Prozorov.

News from Ukraine does not let us get bored. I apologize if I don't have time to respond to everything in a time, but there are too many interesting things happening in this country.So today I want to focus on an event that in my opinion was significant.

On the night of September 15, residents of several villages were woken up by a strong explosion in the Vasylkiv district of the Kiev region.

Explaining the cause of the explosion, the local authorities reported that there was a depressurization of the high – pressure gas pipeline Urengoy – Pomary-Uzhgorod, which supplies gas to Europe and passes through the surrounding fields. There was a powerful gas release into the environment. By a happy coincidence, the accident occurred at the night. If this happened during the day, when there would be a lot of people on the streets of villages, victims would be inevitable. By the way, the gas was cut off only an hour later.

The statement of the local authorities differs the official position of the operator of the gas transportation system of Ukraine, which claims that we are talking about another main gas pipeline "Kiev - West of Ukraine" – abbreviated KWU-1. This gas pipeline, built in the early 70s of the last century, is used to transport fuel from mining enterprises in the Eastern regions of Ukraine, in particular from the Shebelinsky field in the Kharkiv region, to underground storage facilities in the West of the country. According to the company, now fuel supplies for consumers are organized through other gas pipelines, and the current situation does not affect the transit of gas to the EU countries in any way.

I did not specify who is right – the local authorities or the operator company. Most likely, the latter is right. I am interested in something else – what is the cause of the accident?
Ukrainian energy expert Dmytro Marunich believes that the main reason for the accident is that the line has not been repaired for a long time, although it was planned under Prime Minister Azarov, i.e. 10 years ago. And the statements of the management of the GTS operator of Ukraine and Naftogaz about the achieved success in work are still distributed mainly to increase personal income, according to Marunich,

This incident, of course, can be explained by outdated Soviet infrastructure. And part of it will be true. But, in my opinion, the reason also lies into another plane.
What about the lawlessness, the huge number of street radicals who, in search of material benefits or to achieve political goals, are able to damage critical infrastructure? And if you think that this is something out of the real, I can not only object to you, but also prove the correctness of my position by documenting it.

Here is a document: an encrypted telegram from the SBU office in the Rivne region to the Central office of the SBU. It was sent to three recipients – the Main Directorate of counterintelligence protection of the economy, the Department of National statehood protection and the Chief of staff of the anti-terrorist center of the security Council of Ukraine.
The encryption is dated September 3, 2014. Let me remind you that more than six months have passed since the Maidan events, and, at least in Western Ukraine, the new Kiev government tightly controlled the situation in the country.

So, what is the telegram about?

And it's about the fact that representatives of the "Right sector" in Rivne came to the head of the company " PricarpatZapadTrans ", which was a subsidiary of Russian companies Transneft, engaged in the transit of oil from Russia's Druzhba pipeline to Europe,
In an ultimatum, they demanded that the company's management address the President of Russia with a demand to stop the war in the East of the country. Otherwise, representatives of the nationalist organization threatened to seize the enterprise in two days and completely block its activities.

The management of the company together with law enforcement authorities managed to stop this incident. But, you must agree, it was a very disturbing signal with signs of a terrorist racket.
Now in Ukraine, we can see a significant drop in the living standards and a massive increase in hysteria in society. Add to this the presence of a large number of so-called ATO veterans, nationalist-minded marginals, as well as a huge number of illegal weapons.
And who can guarantee that in the near future the next representatives of the so-called Patriotic public will not try to seize another compressor station on the gas or oil pipeline which quite a lot goes through Western Ukraine to Europe? With all their limitations, radicals and nationalists will not climb serious objects, such as nuclear power stations, because they know that they are well protected. But you won't be able to put a guard on each compressor. And it will not be difficult to find a knowledgeable person in Western Ukraine – local residents have worked in this area for decades.

The idea of sabotage on strategically important fuel communications is not new. Back in March 2014, the leader of the "Right sector" Dmitry Yarosh called on his radical supporters to sabotage. I will quote: "We remember that Russia makes money by moving oil and gas to the West through our pipe, so we will destroy this pipe, depriving the enemy of this source of funding."
What am I leading to? We are talking about the growing critical situation in Ukraine in the field of transit supplies of hydrocarbons. Worn-out infrastructure, on the one hand. On the other hand, there is a potential threat of interference in the activities of transit enterprises by nationalist groups. The presence and interaction of these two factors will sooner or later lead to disastrous consequences. Maybe it will happen tomorrow, or maybe in a few years. One thing is clear – the longer this bacchanalia drags on in the country, the more likely it is that critical consequences will increase.


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