Disinfo: US biolabs encircle Russia

Summary

Military-biological facilities operated by the Pentagon and serving American interests exist in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan and other countries bordering Russia. The US Embassy in Kyiv claims that their purpose is to protect countries from the spread of infectious diseases, but it is a small leap to move from protection to attack. The American biolabs have often become the epicentre of infections, especially in Georgia, and this raises a lot of questions. The secret research conducted in these labs is a threat to Russia reminiscent of biological warfare.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the development of biological weapons by the United States. 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.

The biolabs allegedly operated by the Pentagon in this article refer to the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU). The STCU 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. In the field of biotechnology, 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.

The US is part of the signatories of this agreement as well as the European Union. However, the US Embassy in Kyiv clarified in a statement that the US Department of Defense’s Biological Threat Reduction Program partners with different Ukrainian institutions (including the Ministry of Health, the State Service for Food Safety, the National Academy of Agrarian Science, and the Ministry of Defense), rather than being in charge of operations as alleged in the article.

There is no evidence to support the claim that partnering biolabs under the agreement have become epicentres of the spread of infectious diseases or have been used to attack populations. The article’s mention of a laboratory in Georgia which has been accused of spreading diseases likely refers to the Lugar laboratory, which has previously been subject to unfounded allegations of trafficking human blood and pathogens for a secret military programme. This is a conspiratorial narrative which gained popularity during the Skripal case. All evidence to support it is either simulation evidence (use of authentic but irrelevant documents to create an illusion for existing evidence) or ad nauseam (continuous repetition of the same idea until people begin to believe the falsehood).

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 198
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Bulgarian
  • Country: Azerbaijan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, US, Georgia
  • Keywords: Conspiracy theory, Lugar Laboratory, Biological weapons, Encircling Russia
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Disproof

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the US is supporting or working together with ISIS in the Middle East.

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Disproof

The article continues on a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative discrediting the value of the evidence obtained by the International Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on the downing of flight MH17. The article is also a series of disinformation narrative covering the MH17 trial.

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