Disinfo: COVID-19 brings attention to US secret laboratories on the borders of Russia and China


If some time ago Beijing’s claims that US troops may have brought COVID-19 to China were seen as conspiracy theories, today most politicians all over the world started talking about their legitimacy. The US is known for its alarming activity in sponsoring laboratories of biological weapons, mostly in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Georgia. In this (latter) country, we found one of the most prominent, the Lugar Lab, which is studying dangerous infectious diseases but hides the true reasons of its investigations, which can point to an eventual development of biological weapons. Available data suggests that the main targets of the US bacteriological threat are Russia and continental China. A Russian diplomatic source told journalists that it would be good if instead of playing propagandistic games around coronavirus, the US would clarify the purpose of its laboratories located near Russia and China.


Recurrent Kremlin-led conspiracy theory not supported by any evidence. The mention to the Lugar Lab is significant, since this facility is a frequent target of Russian disinformation.

The Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research is a facility of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC), which became operational in August 2013. The Lugar centre is a top-tiered institution in NCDC’s laboratory network and serves as a reference laboratory for Georgia’s public health system. Read more about Lugar lab on Myth Detector.

This narrative aims to divert attention from the Russian-promoted disinformation campaign on coronavirus, well documented by both media and governments. Elements of this campaign were widely reported by Russian and international publications, and by the European External Action Service.

See other examples in our database, such as claims that Bill Gates and George Soros are sponsoring the Wuhan coronavirus, that it is a UKUS or NATO creation and Americans have its cure, that it is an artificial disease which specifically targets Chinese DNA, or that it is a pretext to gain control of the world’s population,


  • Reported in: Issue 191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 31/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Uzbekistan, Armenia, China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Russia, US, Georgia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Lugar Laboratory, laboratory, Biological weapons, Conspiracy theory


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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As a result of the coronavirus pandemic the end of the EU is approaching

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic the end of the EU is approaching. All the pillars of European integration are beginning to fall, one after another, with remarkable speed. For example, one of these pillars, called Schengen, has crumbled. The vision of a “common European space” has been revealed to be an illusion. Every country now cares only for itself. With the arrival of the pandemic, for instance, Germany even banned the export of masks to EU member states. It is difficult to speak of European solidarity with what is happening now.


This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged imminent collapse.

One of the main pro-Kremlin narratives relating to the pandemic is that the EU is failing to cope with the COVID-19 crisis and, as a result, is disintegrating, together with the border-free Schengen area. In particular, this narrative of failure and lack of EU solidarity is trending after the delivery of Russian aid to Italy.

The Italian newspaper “La Stampa” spreads russophobic fake news on Russian coronavirus aid to Italy

The Italian newspaper “La Stampa” spreads russophobic fake news on Russian coronavirus aid to Italy


Emerging pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that Russia has become a target of Russophopic campaigns related to the coronavirus pandemic. This narrative is consistent with the recurrent narrative aimed at discrediting mainstream Western media by claiming it is dominated by russophobia and spreads fake news.

On the 25th of March 2020, the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa published an article on the equipment and personnel (100 mostly military specialists in bacteriological warfare) sent recently by Russia to support Italy in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

White Helmets use COVID-19 crisis to further US coalition regime change agenda in Syria

White Helmets use COVID-19 crisis to further US coalition regime change agenda in Syria. The White Helmet ‘coronavirus campaign’ is a cynical exploitation of the pandemic to weaponize it against the Syrian government.

The Al-Qaeda-linked White Helmets group have sprung into action to defend the sanctions regime and to effectively condemn the huge majority of Syrian people to further misery should the pandemic take hold in Syria.

If the White Helmets were anything other than an extremist, propaganda construct implementing the US Coalition “regime change” policy against Syria, they would have demanded a ban on sanctions to enable the country to collectively deal with the coronavirus crisis.


A recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy theory about the White Helmets, opportunistically using the coronavirus crisis to spread the usual disinformation narratives about the humanitarian organisation. The pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign targeting the White Helmets aims to deflect blame for chemical attacks away from the Assad regime; to discredit the OPCW, and to label the White Helmets as terrorists or as accomplices of terrorist organizations by staging and/or perpetrating chemical attacks, sometimes with the help of Western intelligence agencies. None of these claims are supported by evidence.

The White Helmets movement originated in Syria in 2012. Volunteers save people from the rubble after bombings, despite the danger of dying themselves as a result of repeated airstrikes. Activists have documented the use of chemical weapons in Syria, later confirmed by OPCW. Because of this, they have become the target of an extensive pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign.