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.