Disinfo: US might be developing weaponised insects; Pentagon’s biolabs must be investigated

Summary

Leaving your opponent without a harvest, which could lead to famine, is a much slower approach to reaching one’s aim. But it is a practical one, as the land could still be used for growing crops in the future. Such a bioweapon (an insect that introduces genetically modified material) could be deployed by an aggressor without the need for special equipment, thus leaving no trace of an attack. No means of spreading any chemicals or toxins would be found either as these could serve as indirect proof of a deliberate (far from natural) attack on plants. Filling a field with weaponized insects is all one needs.

Concerns are growing about the fact that the United States has been providing a great deal of funding for biological programs that may have dual uses, such as conducting controversial experiments with infectious agents that cause deadly diseases; testing mechanisms of dispersal; increasing the scope of military research in biolabs abroad, and others. And as there are more and more questions about the nature of research done in numerous secret biolabs of the Pentagon, an unbiased international investigation ought to be conducted into their work.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory connected to recurring disinformation claims about the US allegedly developing bioweapons at secret facilities. See related examples of disinformation about the Lugar lab in Georgia. These messages are a longstanding element of pro-Kremlin disinformation - and especially in the current context of the coronavirus pandemic, pro-Kremlin media have been actively spreading disinformation claims about the US - or the West more broadly - manufacturing biological weapons; see here for an overview.

Also see related disinformation cases alleging that US laboratories in Ukraine are deadly; that COVID-19 brings attention to secret US laboratories on the borders of US and China; that US is afraid of leakage of infectious substances on its territory so it builds secret laboratories in colonized countries.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 197
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian, English
  • Country: US
  • Keywords: Conspiracy theory, laboratory, Biological weapons
see more

Belarus will either become part of the Russian World or a limitrophe country with reduced territory under the West

Belarus’s historical horizon is painted in orange. Today a Ukrainian scenario for Belarus is more real than ever. David Cramer’s appearance on the Belarusian direction is a sign of it. This person organised an orange revolution in Ukraine. It seems that Belarus is chosen as the new goal for American political actions aimed at the destruction of the Russian World.

If Belarus goes out of the Russian World, it would follow the path of destruction of its authenticity and will lose the values of its history and culture. It will exist as a limitrophe with a declining population and probably within the reduced territory. Alternatively, if Belarus completely returns to the Russian World it will preserve its cultural uniqueness and get a chance for sustainable development.

Russia does not have a moral right to leave Belarus face-to-face with its main geopolitical adversary. Each and any Western government and NGO should realise that their destructive activities against Belarus constitute  aggression also against Russia. Russia should defend any piece of the Russian World. The West should realise that one small Belarusian town is much more important for Russian society than a dozen European capitals. Any invasion into the Russian World, be it overt or covert, will have catastrophic consequences for the aggressor.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy theory consistent with recurring disinformation narratives about the all-Russian nation and Russian world/civilisation, Western attempts to organise a colour revolution in Belarus and to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations.

The article puts forward a false dilemma about the direction of Belarus' political development (union with Russia vs. an unavoidable degradation). This false dilemma was repeatedly promoted in earlier disinformation cases herehere, and here.

Ukrainian General Staff intends to drive migrant workers to Donbas until they return back to Europe

Ukrainian General Staff intends to drive migrant workers to Donbas until they return back to Europe. The General Staff of “the Kyiv regime” plans to call up and mobilise reserve soldiers in a special period for up to six months. These mobilisation measures are due to the return of the so-called “zarobitchans” (ed: Ukrainians working abroad) from the EU countries to Ukraine. Conducting mobilisation activities is planned in the nearest future before more than 100,000 “zarobitchans” leave the country again in order to feed their families.

Disproof

Disinformation with no evidence given. This appears to be an attempt to scare Ukrainians and does not correspond with reality. Yes, Ukraine's migrant workers have returned home due to the coronavirus epidemic. However, the inference they will be sent to eastern Ukraine is just fiction.

Regarding the military, reserve soldiers in Ukraine are involved in training sessions every year, at a time convenient for them and their employers, during active practical training activities (training, coaching, combat shooting) of their units. The total duration of training is up to 30 days a year. This period can be extended to 3 months, but not to 6 months.

Belarusian opposition tried to disrupt the Victory Day military parade with the help of US money

The Belarusian opposition tried hard to disrupt the Victory Day military parade but did not succeed. Opposition members strongly dissuaded people from attending the parade and even offered real green dollars from Uncle Sam and the US State Department’s money for this. As soon as the Victory Day parades stop in the post-Soviet space, Americans will buy the victory from our ancestors. The Belarusian opposition easily trades the historical victory with the West.

Disproof

These are unfounded claims intended to discredit the US / West and the Belarusian opposition through baseless accusations of bad intentions towards the Victory Day military parade. This story is consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the West's continuous attempts to undermine Belarusian society through a subservient Belarusian opposition and Western-funded NGOs.

There is no proof that the US paid the Belarusian opposition to disrupt the parade or that the opposition paid people not to attend the public event. In late March 2020, an online petition was created asking Belarus' Ministries of Health and Defence to cancel the Victory Day military parade to mitigate the coronavirus epidemic and to finance hospitals instead. Over 7,000 citizens signed the petition by March 31. The Ministry of Defence's response read that the epidemiological situation allowed for the parade to go ahead. The WHO recommended that the Belarusian authorities cancel the parade and expressed concern about its organisation amid the epidemic.