DISINFO: Pentagon-backed labs produce bioweapons in Mariupol
  • Outlet: tass.com (archived)*
  • Date of publication: May 20, 2022
  • Article language(s): English
  • Reported in: Issue 291
  • Countries / regions discussed: Russia, Ukraine, US
Biological weapons Invasion of Ukraine laboratory

DISINFO: Pentagon-backed labs produce bioweapons in Mariupol


The Russian special operation in Ukraine has uncovered factual evidence showing that components for bioweapons have for many years been produced close to the Russian border in violation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. The network included over 30 facilities, and Mariupol turned out to be its stronghold where a centre for the collection and certification of cholera pathogens was located. Selected strains were first sent to Kyiv and then forwarded to the United States.


This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin media, trying to invent new pre-texts for the Russian invations of Ukraine. This time claiming that the US is developing biological weapons in secret laboratories in former Soviet republics. This narrative is often reinforced with an allegation that birds, rats and reptiles are being poisoned with a special substance targeting ethnic Russians.

The United States embassy in Ukraine has issued statements dispelling “disinformation spreading in some circles in Ukraine that mirrors Russian disinformation regarding the strong U.S.-Ukrainian partnership to reduce biological threats.’’ Ukraine participates in the US Department of Defence's Biological Threat Reduction Programme (BTRP). This cooperation aims at safeguarding global health by preventing the outbreak of contagious diseases. Both countries work together to consolidate and secure pathogens and toxins of security concern in Ukrainian state-run facilities. Ukraine also received four mobile scientific and medical laboratories to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Nations High Representative for disarmament, Izumi Nakamitsu said in March 2022 that the UN was “not aware of any biological weapons programmes” in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s alleged involvement in the production of chemical and biological weapons was one of the pretexts for Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

Read more here about the crucial differences between the development of biological weapons and legitimate biological research.

Read similar cases claiming that COVID-19 is likely the fault of the US; it runs dozens of deadly biolabs around the world, the US is developing biological weapons in laboratories in post-Soviet republics or that Ukraine is a testing ground for US biological war against Russia.


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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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