Disinfo: US biological lab conducting deadly experiments on Georgian population

Summary

Experiments on people in Georgia. What is happening at Lugar Lab? Dangerous experiments are being carried out at the lab upon the US government’s instructions, while the Georgian government does not listen to its own population and only fulfils the US directives.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Lugar Lab. The video offers the remarks by three Georgian respondents, portraying their opinions about the Lugar Lab as “the Georgian population’s” position. Among them is Moscow-based political analyst Alexander Chachia, Georgia’s ex-security chief in 2001-2004, famous for his anti-US stance, Valerian Khaburdzania and Moscow-based businessman Vladimir Khomeriki. More about the sources by Myth Detector. The Richard Lugar Centre for Public Health Research is a facility of the National Centre 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. Under no circumstances has this laboratory been designed or redesigned to build biological weapons. Read other disinformation cases that the lab targets South Ossetia: US instructed the Lugar Lab to create a biological weapon to target South Ossetian population, Lugar Lab intentionally infecting South Ossetians with COVID-19 and EUMM collecting biological materials for the Lugar Lab and dangerous experiments.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 205
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/07/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Georgian region of South Ossetia, Georgia, US
  • Keywords: Lugar Laboratory
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Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation on World War II and historical revisionism, accusing the West of rewriting history and trying to deprive Russia of its glorious victory over Nazi Germany. The claim about the attempted revision of the results of the Nuremberg trials, is speculative with no evidence provided. This disinformation narrative baselessly accuses Western countries of rewriting history and labels anyone daring to challenge the Kremlin’s version as “Russophobic”. Western historians acknowledge the role played by the USSR in defeating Nazism and do not question the Soviet contribution to the victory in WWII and the status of the USSR as a country which had won in WWII. See other examples of Russian disinformation narratives on WWII in our database, claiming that Western countries revise history to avoid responsibility for allowing Hitler to attack the USSR; that the USSR had no role in the outbreak of the war; that Western democracies are primarily responsible for this conflict; or that by defeating Nazism, Stalin atoned for crimes against his own people, European countries try to rewrite history of the WWII – Russia preserves the truth, that Ukraine revises the verdict of the Nuremberg trials or Belgium installed a Waffen-SS memorial, violating the Nuremberg tribunal’s decisions.

Ukraine threatens Russia with war

Ukraine threatens Russia with war. Kyiv threatens Russia with its Neptune missile system and may strike Sevastopol.

Disproof

The Ukrainian authorities did not threaten Russia with war. Russian media distorted the statement of the commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine, Oleksiy Neizhpapa, that the Ukrainian military is strengthening its defensive positions in sea cities. The Commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine does not exclude the possibility that Russian troops will try to break out of the occupied Crimea and into another Ukrainian region, neighbouring Kherson. That is why Ukraine continues to strengthen its position in the area of ​​the occupied peninsula - both from the sea and on land. "Now we are improving reinforcements at sea. The President and the Minister of Defence gave the Navy carte blanche: a project is being developed to build new fleet-based locations - we can’t only be in the small harbour in Odessa and in the small harbour in Ochakov ... Decisions are being made, land plots are being transferred on the shores of the Black and Azov Seas to create decent bases ... Now my task is to ensure the main strike we can make is not just from the shore, but also on the sea. We must make sure that the enemy is on his shore, knowing that we are strong," said the commander of the Ukrainian Navy. Read similar case claims that Ukraine is going to launch a missile strike on Russia.

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Disproof

The claim advances recurring pro-Kremlin narratives concerning the coronavirus pandemic and Russian superiority. As is the case with any other country, Russia's preparedness for a potential second wave of coronavirus is difficult to gauge, given that the pandemic is a new and ongoing crisis. That said, Russia's efficiency so far in containing the pandemic hardly qualifies as "the best in the world." As of 7 July, Russia is by far the worst-affected European country with 694,230 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and fourth worst-affected country worldwide. Nonetheless, the number of coronavirus-related deaths in Russia has been strikingly low with 10,494 deaths (a mortality rate of approx. 1.5%), which has invited widespread skepticism both within and outside the country. This anomaly can hardly be attributed to the quality of Russian healthcare. In a 2016 analysis by Bloomberg, Russia's healthcare system was billed the least-efficient out of all 55 countries included in the study. Instead, available evidence suggests that the unusually low number of deaths is the result of manipulated statistics and top-down state pressure, particularly at the regional level. In May 2020, 233% more patients in at least two Russian regions died from COVID-19 than was reported in the official overall state count. That same month, the governor of Lipetsk was caught on tape instructing his staff to massage local coronavirus statistics, lest "people...think bad things about [the] region." According to media, an analysis of death certificates issued in St Petersburg throughout May indicates that "hundreds of deaths tied to the pandemic are not reflected in the city’s official coronavirus death toll." The following month, the WHO issued a rebuke calling on Russia to review its COVID-19 death toll, saying that "Russia's low coronavirus mortality is 'hard to understand.'" Notably, mistrust of government statistics even extends to Russian doctors, most of whom believe official figures to be inaccurate. Against this background, Russian doctors indeed deserve praise. Amid bureaucratic confusion and chronic shortages of protective equipment, at least 489 healthcare workers had died of coronavirus as of 18 June.