Disinfo: Dangerous American labs close to the Russian border

Summary

The coronavirus pandemic should prompt many civilian institutions to take a fresh look at the Pentagon’s bio-labs. The first and only protest to date has taken place in Ukraine. There are 15 laboratories in this country, in which the United States sponsors biological research.

Nobody builds biological facilities that run on dangerous toxins and pathogens in densely populated areas. But the Americans went even further, not only to transfer their laboratories from their densely populated areas, but to transfer them to other countries.

Such laboratories close to the Russian border are simply pushing the Americans into dangerous experiments. And the existence of unfriendly countries like Ukraine and Georgia fuels this desire.

Disproof

This is a recurring conspiracy theory alleging that the United States develops biological weapons around the world, consistent with the Pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign against biological laboratories in Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine and other countries. The conspiracy about US biolabs in countries bordering Russia aiming to encircle Moscow and spread infectious diseases is a part of a years-long disinformation campaign led by the Kremlin.   

In fact, biological laboratories are involved in preventing the risks of complex diseases and, together with other similar projects, counteracting bioterrorism.

In Ukraine, the claim often refers to the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU), which is an intergovernmental organisation established in an international agreement in 1993. Its mission is to support civilian science, technology partnerships and collaboration through chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear risk mitigation. The projects of STCU partners include research on adjuvant for improvement of cancer vaccines, detecting trace impurities in biological tissues, human vision diagnostics, and therapy among many others.

In Georgia, it is the Richard Lugar Centre for Public Health Research, which is a facility of the National Centre for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC). It 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 the disinformation campaign surrounding the Lugar Laboratory on Myth Detector.

Furthermore, the US Department of Defence’s Biological Threat Reduction Programme collaborates with partner countries to counter the threat of outbreaks (deliberate, accidental or natural) of the world’s most dangerous infectious diseases. 

Read a similar case that the US tests biological weapons on Ukrainians to further attack Russia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 209
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, US, Georgia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory, Lugar Laboratory, laboratory, Biological weapons, Chemical weapons/attack, Encircling Russia, Conspiracy, SBU

Disclaimer

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.

see more

The West is arranging provocations towards Russia

An unpleasant tendency is observed: first a Russian diplomat is expelled by Norway, then Slovakia, now Austria, and all this over the past two weeks. Provocations and incitement to hostility towards Russia are played out according to an old scenario that has been rolled out by the West.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's alleged anti-Russian activities.

The Austrian authorities declared a Russian diplomat persona non grata and expelled him from the country, Deutsche Welle reported. The diplomat is suspected of industrial espionage. It is reported that the employee of the Russian embassy committed acts that violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

The Eastern Partnership’s aim is to tear the ex-Soviet countries away from Russia

The programmes promoted by the European Union, called the Eastern Partnership, for the European countries of the former Soviet Union and Transcaucasia as well as individual activities carried out by the United States in the post-Soviet space, are all aimed at keeping these countries apart from the Russian Federation.

Disproof

The Eastern Partnership initiative is not against any country; it is a mutually beneficial and constructive platform for countries in the region to build a closer relationship with the EU if they choose to do so. The EU does not demand any of its partners to make a choice between the EU or any other country. The Eastern Partnership stands for good neighbourly relations and respects the individual aspirations and ambitions of each partner country.

See similar disinformation cases that the aim of the Eastern Partnership is to separate Russia’s from its neighbours and  Eastern Partnership and the Three Seas Initiative are anti-Russian.

Belarusians want to have the Western “right” to be unemployed and homeless instead of having free education and social security

As the last country in Europe, the Belarusians want to taste the liberal capitalism hoping that they will not face the fate of the Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Latvians or the Poles, who have moved to the West trying to make money for a living working at various “low-level” jobs.

The Belarusians are tired of President Lukashenka, so they have a right to taste the West, have a right to be unemployed or homeless. They do not want to pay symbolic costs for municipal services, cheap and qualitative medication, free education and social security. It is a freedom of choice.

Disproof

This message distorts the presentation of the socio-economic situation in Belarus and the EU – Belarus is presented as a highly developed Communist-style welfare state, while EU countries face challenges such as unemployment and homelessness. The statements that Belarusians “pay symbolic costs for municipal services”, “have cheap medicine”, “free education” and “social security” do not have anything in common with the real socio-economic situation in the country.

One of the main reasons for the current protests in Belarus is the dramatic reduction of the level of life of the population, which has been taking place during recent years. At the present moment, Belarus is one of the poorest countries in Europe – it has a lower GDP per capita than any EU member state. Other socio-economic indicators also prove that Belarus has a substantially lower level of life than any other EU member state – life expectancy (74 – one of the lowest in Europe), minimal salary – 124 EUR (lowest in Europe), unemployment benefit – from 9 to 18 euros per month (a “symbolic” payment); average salary – 440 EUR.