The activities of the Richard Lugar Public Healthcare Research Centre in Tbilisi are to blame for the cases of African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV), nodular prurigo, and the brown marmorated stink bug in South Ossetia.
Long-lasting conspiracy theories about the Lugar Laboratory. Pro-Kremlin disinformation has been disseminating conspiracies about the work of the Lugar Laboratory for years, claiming that it spreads dangerous viruses and exports them to Russia.
For the diseases to spread from the Lugar Laboratory to the occupied territories of Georgia, the outbreaks should have first been recorded in Tbilisi, within the functionality area of the lab.
In fact, the first case of ASFV was recorded in Georgia several years before the launch of the lab in 2007. As for nodular prurigo, it spread in the whole of Eastern Europe in 2016, with only four cases recorded in Georgia. As for the brown marmorated stink bug – its origin is South-East Asia, from where it first spread to Abkhazia and then to other regions of Georgia. See more about the case here.