One day after Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine over a pricing dispute, a Ukrainian gas pipeline carrying natural gas from Russia to the EU mysteriously blew up. While the gas flow to Europe was not disrupted, there is more than a fair share of suspicion about the cause of the explosion.
Accompanied by a techno ringtone, this video captures the flames surging over 200 feet into the air:
A statement by Ukraine's Energy Ministry placed the incident within this context, referring to explosions in western Ukraine earlier in the spring: "It is not the first attempted terrorist attack on the Ukrainian gas transportation system."
The Ukrainian Interior Minister also chimed in:
A statement on the Ukrainian Ministry of the Interior, however, was less subtle:
Sabotage on the pipeline in the Poltava region - another attempt by Russia to discredit Ukraine as a partner in the gas sector."
There are some compelling factors, that make exact cause uncertain. The explosion happened a long way from the central points of fighting and unrest in eastern Ukraine. Also, rather than an outright bombing, the cause of the explosion has been narrowed down to a "depressurization" that ultimately led to the explosion. Of course, what led to the depressurization is now being suspected as sabotage, but no definitive proof has been offered yet.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.