Ukrainian Biological Weapons
US President Joe Biden warned 21 March 2022 that Russia may be considering using biological or chemical weapons against Ukraine. Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin's "back is against the wall" because of unified support from Western countries for Ukraine. He warned that Putin may turn to more intense tactics. He said Putin is asserting that both Ukraine and the United States have biological and chemical weapons, which is "simply not true." He explained, "That's a clear sign he's considering using both of those."
A biological agent is an infectious disease. They can be naturally occurring or be used in biological warfare. There are more than 1200 different kinds of biological agents, some of which can be used as biological weapons. Although it signed the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, the Soviet Union covertly developed the world’s largest offensive biological weapons program, which relied on a network of military and nonmilitary scientific institutes, according to a January 2000 Department of Defense report to Congress. The United States achieved some access to more than 30 former Soviet biological weapons institutes in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Armenia. The United States remained concerned about the extent of Russia’s compliance with the Convention.
The U.S. Department of Defense’s Biological Threat Reduction Program collaborates with partner countries to counter the threat of outbreaks (deliberate, accidental, or natural) of the world’s most dangerous infectious diseases. The program accomplishes its bio-threat reduction mission through development of a bio-risk management culture; international research partnerships; and partner capacity for enhanced bio-security, bio-safety, and bio-surveillance measures. The Biological Threat Reduction Program’s priorities in Ukraine are to consolidate and secure pathogens and toxins of security concern and to continue to ensure Ukraine can detect and report outbreaks caused by dangerous pathogens before they pose security or stability threats.
Sanitary-Epidemiological Department (SED) of the Medical Command of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense received four mobile laboratories from DTRA with the goal of reinforcing the system of epidemiological surveillance in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense received an official Order from the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine concerning the deployment of the mobile labs to the regions of Kyiv, Lviv and Eastern Ukraine to help with the COVID-19 response.
In order to assist Ukraine in preventing the proliferation of technology, pathogens, and expertise that are located at the Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene (Lviv), the Ukrainian Scientific Research Anti-Plague Institute (Odessa), the Central Sanitary Epidemiological Station (Kyiv), and other facilities in Ukraine identified by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, and that could be used in the development of biological weapons, the U.S. Department of Defense agreed 29 August 2005 to provide assistance to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine at no cost, material (including equipment, instruments, and other supplies), training of personnel and services for the purpose of preventing the proliferation of technology, pathogens and expertise that are located at facilities in Ukraine and that could be used in the development of biological weapons.
The United Nations is not aware of any ‘biological weapons program’ in Ukraine, the U.N. disarmament chief told a Security Council meeting 11 March 2022, but warned that the possibility of an accident at Ukraine nuclear power plants was ‘growing by the day’. Speaking at a UN Security Council meeting requested by Russia, to discuss Moscow’s claims, presented without evidence, of U.S. “biological activities”, Izumi Nakamitsu said situations like the war in Ukraine required strengthening of the international ban on biological weapons.
The World Health Organization (WHO) advised Ukraine to destroy high-threat pathogens housed in the country’s public health laboratories to prevent “any potential spills” that would spread disease among the population. In response to questions from the news agency about its work with Ukraine ahead of and during Russia’s invasion, WHO said in an email that it has collaborated with Ukrainian public health labs for several years to promote security practices that help prevent “accidental or deliberate release of pathogens”. The UN agency said “As part of this work, WHO has strongly recommended to the Ministry of Health in Ukraine and other responsible bodies to destroy high-threat pathogens to prevent any potential spills”. The Pentagon believes that the information provided by the Russian Ministry of Defense about the presence in Ukraine of biological laboratories for the implementation of Kiev's military biological program is "false and absurd." The European Union is aware of the information about the US biological laboratories on the territory of Ukraine, which was presented by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, but does not trust it, Peter Stano, a representative of the EU foreign service, told reporters.
Russia, through its actions in Ukraine, is saving the world from a full-scale nuclear and biological war, which the United States planned to start from the territory of Ukraine, the council of the international association of veterans of the Alpha anti-terror unit said in a statement 11 March 2022.
The State Duma adopted an appeal to the UN and the OSCE PA on 11 March 2022 with a call to investigate the activities of biological laboratories in Ukraine, where experiments could be carried out to develop bioweapons. The State Duma will initiate a parliamentary investigation into the work of biological laboratories together with the Federation Council, one of the first to be interviewed is US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said. Ukrainian authorities have been instructed to scrub clean evidence related to the operation of a Pentagon-funded biological warfare program in Ukraine, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said 06 March 2022. "To prevent the disclosure of facts of violations by the United States and Ukraine of Article 1 of the Biological Weapons Convention, the Ukrainian Ministry of Health sent instructions to all biological laboratories to urgently eliminate stored stocks of dangerous pathogens," Konashenkov said in a briefing.
The military spokesman accompanied his remarks with excerpts of documents provided by employees of Ukrainian biolabs regarding a 24 February letter by Ukrainian Minister of Health Viktor Liashko ordering the destruction of pathogens including anthrax, the plague, tularemia, cholera and other deadly diseases.
"The documents confirm that the development of biological weapons components were carried out in Ukrainian biolaboratories in close proximity to Russian territory," Konashenkov said. "Obviously, with the start of the [Russian] special military operation [in Ukraine], the Pentagon has been given cause for serious concerns about the disclosures of the secret biological experiments being carried out on Ukrainian territory. In the near future, we will present the results of an analysis of the documents received," the spokesman promised.
The Russian Ministry of Defense presented an analysis of the conduct of US military biological activities on the territory of Ukraine. In particular, the infrastructure of funded laboratories is presented. Among them are research institutes and sanitary and epidemiological laboratories, including the Kyiv Research Institute of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases. L. V. Gromashevsky, Institute of Veterinary Medicine in Kyiv, Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine in Kyiv, Institute of Microbiology and Immunology. I. I. Mechnikov in Kharkov, Ukrainian Research Anti-Plague Institute. II Mechnikov in Odessa and the Lvov Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene. In total, funding amounted to about $200 million. Among the US activities in the framework of military biological research on the territory of Ukraine are monitoring of the biological situation, selection and transfer of strains and biomaterials, including those obtained from military personnel, as well as research work.
As many as 30 biological laboratories have been established in Ukraine that are actively cooperating with the US military, the commander of the Russian radiological, chemical and biological defense force, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, said at a news briefing 07 March 2022. The list of these laboratories’ partners includes the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) – the largest biomedical research facility administered by the US military. Many of these laboratories have been active since the 2014 coup d’état in Ukraine and their emergence in the country has coincided with a spike in infectious diseases in the region, including German measles, diphtheria and tuberculosis, the Russian military said.
Russia has released more documents on supposed Pentagon bioweapons research in Ukraine. The presented materials also show a map of the deterioration of the biological situation in Europe and the world. In particular, according to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, in Europe, Ukraine showed the highest rates of measles in 2018. Shortly thereafter, the website of the Russian Ministry of Defense was no longer available. The claim that the United States is illegally researching pathogens in the Pentagon-controlled biological laboratories in Ukraine and Georgia, i.e. in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention, is not new.
Analysis of the documents shows that the laboratories had been working with dangerous infections such as anthrax and the plague. “Assortment and the excessive quantity of the biological agents suggest that the work done in these laboratories had been part of some military biological programs,” the general has said, adding that just one such laboratory in the western Ukrainian city of Lvov had destroyed as many as 320 containers with pathogens causing plague, swamp fever and Malta fever among others.
“If these collections fall into the hands of the Russian experts, they will highly likely prove Ukraine and the US have been in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention,” Kirillov has said, adding that “this is the only reason that can explain the hasty destruction” of those materials.
Moscow had been raising alarm about the activities of the US-financed biological laboratories located in the former Soviet states for quite some time. Earlier, it pointed to the Lugar Research Center – a US-funded laboratory in Georgia – as a place where some dangerous experiments are being conducted. The Pentagon brushed off such accusations as a “Russian disinformation campaign” at that time.
China has urged the US to make full clarification of its biological militarization activities at home and abroad and accept multilateral inspections, said the Chinese Foreign Ministry on 08 March 2022, following media reports that revealed a network of about 30 biological laboratories were formed in Ukraine at the request of the US. The US' biological laboratories in Ukraine have aroused great concern, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said in remarks during a press conference. Zhao cited media reports as saying that the biological laboratories store large quantities of dangerous viruses, and Russia found during its military operations that the US was using these facilities for biomilitary projects.
The US' biological military activities in Ukraine are just the "tip of the iceberg," said Zhao, noting that the US Department of Defense controls a total of 336 biological laboratories in 30 countries in the name of reducing biosecurity risks and strengthening global public health. "What is the real intention of the US? What exactly did it do?" Zhao questioned, stressing that the international community has always had misgivings, but the US has always responded perfunctorily.
One of the tasks of the United States and its allies is the creation of bioagents capable of selectively infecting various ethnic groups, in particular the Slavs. This was stated on 10 March 2022 by Igor Kirillov, head of the radiation, chemical and biological (RCB) protection troops of the Russian Armed Forces, at a briefing on the results of an analysis of documents related to the US military biological activities in Ukraine. He noted that representatives of Western states are extremely cautious about the transfer of their biomaterials, while a large amount of blood serum from residents of various regions of Ukraine belonging exclusively to the Slavic ethnic group was transferred abroad. "With a high degree of probability, we can say that one of the tasks of the United States and its allies is the creation of bioagents capable of selectively infecting various ethnic groups of the population," Kirillov said.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on 10 March 2022 that the US government is lying about the secret bio laboratories in Ukraine, indirectly confirming that it was sponsoring what are said to be "deadly" biological weapons. He referred to recent remarks made by Victoria Nuland during her testimony before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Ukraine on 08 March 2022. When asked whether the Ukrainian authorities have biological weapons at their disposal, she noted that "Ukraine has biological research facilities" and Washington is "quite concerned" that research materials may fall into the hands of Russian troops.
Carlson concluded that "under oath in an open committee hearing, Toria Nuland just confirmed that the Russian disinformation they've been telling us for days is a lie and a conspiracy theory and crazy and immoral to believe is, in fact, totally and completely true".
"You don't hear things like that every day in Washington. Talk about a showstopper and a dozen questions instantly jump to mind", he said. “What exactly are they doing in these secret Ukrainian bio labs? Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe. It's hardly a hotbed of biomedical research".
Carlson assumed "these weren't pharmaceutical labs, probably not developing new leukemia drugs". He said "From your answer, Toria Nuland, we would assume because you all but said it, that there's a military application to this research, that they were working on bioweapons. Again, your answer suggests that".
An unsigned [ie, official CCP viewpoint] editorial in Global Times published 10 March 2022, stated "There is no smoke without fire. Some netizens commented that the Americans seem to have a special preference for making vampire-themed movies, and the prototype of the vampire comes from bat. The Americans' experiments with bat coronavirus have cultural origins. Discussions about US bio labs in Ukraine are turning heated.... With the revelation that US-funded biological labs in Ukraine were conducting experiments with bat coronavirus samples, the US owes the world an explanation.
"Regarding US bio labs across the world, many questions remain to be answered. The international community has no idea whether the US' 336 overseas bio labs and the labs on its soil such as Fort Detrick conform to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), while what is conducted inside these bio labs involves human security. Why has the US been standing alone in obstructing the establishment of a BWC verification mechanism and refusing verification of its biological facilities at home and abroad for the past two decades?"
An unsigned [ie, official CCP viewpoint] editorial in Global Times published 11 March 2022, stated "Biological military activities are not trivial. It is reasonable and legitimate for the international community to question the US for that. Right after WWII, the US spent 250,000 yen (several thousand US dollars at that time) on acquiring the infamous Unit 731's data, but never published what the data was used for. In nearly 30 years, the number of P4 labs on US soil increased by 750 percent - accompanied by an increasing risk of virus leakage. Because of protests from within, the US chose to establish labs overseas. Over the years, however, there have been deadly leaks linked to US military biological labs in Ukraine, South Korea, Kazakhstan and Georgia. But angry protests in those countries were simply crushed by the US manipulating public opinion.
"Biological weapons are seen as weapons of mass destruction together with nuclear and chemical weapons. Any suspicion of private development of biological weapons must be promptly investigated. Russia's information release was very specific and should draw the attention of the international community. The veracity of those materials must be determined by a multi-party inspection team led by an authoritative international organization, rather than by the US alone. The US should know that smearing others cannot bleach itself. If it is really innocent as it claims, it should take the opportunity to publish what is the truth and receive multi-party investigations to prove its innocence."
Yevgeniy Golovchenko, a specialist in Russian disinformation campaigns at the University of Copenhagen, is not surprised by China encouraging these rumours about secret US biolabs in Ukraine. "We should not forget that there have already been heated exchanges between Beijing and Washington about secret laboratories during the Covid-19 pandemic," he told FRANCE 24 12 March 2022, referring to the controversy surrounding the origin of the Sars-Cov-2 virus. While some Western conspiracy theorists believe it was manufactured in a laboratory in Wuhan, China has accused the US army of being behind its emergence. For Beijing, this new conspiracy theory has arrived at the right time. It allows China to show support for its ally Vladimir Putin without committing too openly to the invasion of Ukraine, explained Golovchenko.
the Russian disinformation theory has also found supporters in the heart of the United States. Followers of QAnon, a conspiracy theory that alleges Trump is saving the United States from a satanic group of paedophiles, were among the first to justify the invasion of Ukraine as a Russian attempt to destroy dangerous military laboratories. People close to Trump, such as former strategist Steve Bannon and Republican Senator Marco Rubio, have officially asked the White House for explanations about the activity in these Ukrainian laboratories.
The online popularity of the claims suggests some Americans are willing to trust the Kremlin over the US media and government. Others cited the claim while repeating Russia's talking points about the assault. “It’s not a 'war,' it’s a much needed cleansing,” wrote a member of a Telegram group called “Patriot Voices” that is popular with supporters of Trump. “Ukraine has a ton of US govt funded BioWeapons Labs that created deathly pathogens and viruses.” For decades, Moscow has consistently accused Washington of secretly developing biological weapons. This has been a common thread of Russian propaganda since the beginning of the Cold War in 1949, explained Milton Leitenberg, an American expert on weapons of mass destruction, in a 2021 study on the history of the subject. Moscow suggested in 1950 that the United States was sending Colorado potato beetles that had been infected with a new virus to poison potato crops in East Germany.
Russia has been particularly effective in promoting the idea that the US weaponises viruses for use against its enemies. Golovchenko noted that a particularly effective disinformation campaign along these lines ran from 1985 to the end of the 2000s, when the Kremlin claimed that Washington “was the source of the AIDS virus and was using it to target African and African-American populations". The AIDS conspiracy theory appeared in "2,000 newspapers across 25 countries” since 1985, noted Leitenberg. In his study he pointed out that well-known personalities from the African-American community publicly expressed varying levels of support for this conspiracy theory, including "Will Smith, Bill Cosby and Spike Lee"
On 16 March 2022, Putin said "In Ukraine, there was also a network of dozens of laboratories, where, under the direction and financial support of the Pentagon, military biological programs were carried out, including experiments with samples of coronavirus, anthrax, cholera, African swine fever and other deadly diseases. The traces of these secret programs are now strenuously trying to cover up. But we have every reason to believe that in the immediate vicinity of Russia, on the territory of Ukraine, in fact, components of biological weapons were created."
An investment firm connected to US President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, has been involved in the financing of the Pentagon's military biological program in Ukraine, Igor Kirillov, the head of Russia's Radiation, Chemical and Biological Defense Forces, mentioned during a briefing on 24 March 2022. "Incoming material allowed us to trace the interaction scheme between US government agencies and the Ukrainian biolab," Kirillov said, adding that the involvement in financing these activities by structures close to current US leadership, in particular Hunter Biden's Rosemont Seneca investment fund, draws attention to itself. According to information from the Russian Ministry of Defense, the fund has at least $2.4 billion in investment capital.
The Ukrainian regime made attempts to convert Turkish Bayraktar UAVs into carriers of chemical and biological weapons, Igor Kirillov, head of the radiation, chemical and biological defense forces of the Russian Armed Forces, said on March 31 at a briefing on the results of an analysis of documents on US military biological activities in Ukraine. “The request of the Ukrainian company Motor Sich to the Turkish manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles Bayraktar attracts attention. I want to emphasize that this document is dated December 15, 2021. Its essence: is it possible to equip this UAV with systems and mechanisms for spraying aerosols with a capacity of more than 20 liters. With a flight range of such a UAV - up to 300 km and equipment of containers with biological formulations - a real threat is created of large-scale use of biological weapons on the territory of the Russian Federation. In fact, we are talking about the development by the Kiev regime of technical means for the delivery and use of biological weapons with the possibility of their use against the Russian Federation,” Kirillov emphasized.
In particular, he recalled the drone for the spread of infected insects in the air. “So, the US Patent and Trademark Office issued document No. 8,967,029 for an unmanned aerial vehicle for spreading infected insects in the air. The patent description states that with the help of this device, enemy troops can be destroyed or disabled without risk to US military personnel, ” said Kirillov. They were presented with photocopies of other patents for various types of ammunition for the delivery of chemical and biological formulations. “In their description, the characteristics are noted: “... low unit cost of destruction and no need for contact with enemy manpower ...”. This is in line with Washington's "non-contact war" concept. The possibility of equipping capsules with poisonous, radioactive, narcotic substances, as well as pathogens of infectious diseases has been shown ,” the Russian general noted.
On March 31, the Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Office and International Organizations in Geneva, Gennady Gatilov , announced documentary evidence of the implementation by Germany of a military biological program in Ukraine for the purpose of experiments on deadly diseases. “In addition to research and scientific experiments in Ukraine, biomaterials and strains of especially dangerous biological agents were transferred from its territory to the military laboratories of the United States and a number of other countries, including Great Britain, Georgia and Germany.”
The son of the incumbent US President, Hunter Biden , in his correspondence with employees of the Pentagon and his contracting companies, confirmed that biolaboratories in Ukraine were not engaged in science at all, Igor Kirillov , head of the radiation, chemical and biological defense troops of the RF Armed Forces, said on March 31 at a briefing on the results of the analysis of documents on military -biological activities of the United States in Ukraine. He recalled the involvement of the investment fund, managed by Hunter Biden, in financing US biological programs in Ukraine.
A parliamentary investigation in the Russian Federation established the facts of the deliberate distribution of banknotes infected with tuberculosis in the Luhansk People's Republic in 2020, Igor Kirillov, head of the radiation, chemical and biological protection troops of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, said at an informal meeting of the UN Security Council on the "Arria formula" on 06 April 2022. "As part of a parliamentary investigation conducted by the Russian Federation, the facts of the deliberate distribution in 2020 of banknotes infected with the Asian strain of tuberculosis among minors on the territory of the Luhansk People's Republic were established. The organizers of this crime took into account the behavior of children who have a habit of putting everything in their mouths and taking food with unwashed hands. The investigation is ongoing," Kirillov said.
On 20 June 2022, Russia accused Ukraine of conducting "chemical terrorism" and poisoning a number of its troops, saying a number of soldiers had been taken ill and transfered to a military hospital. Subsequent tests showed the presence of botulinum toxin type B in their bodies. Ukraine's Interior Ministry put the blame on Russia, commenting that Russia had failed to "clarify whether the poisoning could have been caused by expired canned meat", as Botulinum toxin type B can cause botulism when ingested in contaminated food products. This appeared to refer also to well-documented reports at the beginning of the war, of Russian troops being supplied with expired military rations.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|