Disinfo: US military biological laboratories encircle Russia

Summary

US military biological laboratories encircle Russia.

US military biological activities can be observed all over the world, and also on Russian borders. Moscow has long been concerned about the biological security in neighbouring countries. In Kazakhstan, Armenia and Tajikistan, the Americans created a network of biological laboratories. The Russian authorities have many questions particularly about the Lugar Centre in Georgia.

(…) Journalists and bloggers wrote seriously that the Americans had deliberately allowed the virus to spread. This was allegedly to test the efficiency of biological weapons under development in the lab (in Kazakhstan). (…) Experts agree that the post-Soviet states, with their willingness to accept foreign assistance, may lose control of the epidemiological situation. This could have serious consequences. In times of pandemics such as at present, laboratories of this kind are increasingly coming into focus because they provide worrying suspicions.

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.

There is no evidence to claim that the US is developing biological weapons. There is also no evidence to support the claim that partnering biolabs under the agreement have become epicentres for the spread of infectious diseases or have been used to attack populations.

Contrary to the claims of the pro-Kremlin media, the Richard Lugar Centre for Public Health Research in Tbilisi, Georgia, is a facility of the National Centre for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC). 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. In no case has this laboratory designed, redesigned or built biological weapons. Read more about the Lugar lab on Myth Detector.

See related disinformation cases alleging that China and Russia are worried about in-transparent US biological laboratories on Russia’s borders and that the Pentagon creates biological laboratories around the world to develop “combat” viruses.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 199
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 29/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: German, Russian, Romanian

Disclaimer

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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Future deployment of US nuclear bombs in Poland is a preparation for war with Russia

Future deployment of American nuclear bombs in Poland is a preparation for war with Russia.

This plan [of US nuclear weapons deployment] can be interpreted as preparation for war; as preparation for a first strike against Russia. After all, the approach time from Poland is much shorter than from Germany. (…) Russia’s leadership will have to deal with this: strengthen air defence, station an additional contingent of troops at the border.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US and NATO preparing war against Russia and encircling Russia. There are no plans for US nuclear weapons deployment in Poland.

Neither the US nor NATO aim to attack Russia or are preparing for war against Russia. NATO is a defensive alliance whose purpose is to protect its members. NATO exercises and military deployments are not directed against Russia, or any other country.

COVID-19 came from a laboratory

[…] the Corona-virus came from a laboratory. But at this point, you have to drive on sight. It’s only a conspiracy theory if it’s spread by conspiracy theorists and their media. But if mainstream media reported about the fact that the virus was made in a lab, then it would be no longer conspiracy.

Disproof

A recurring conspiracy theory that echoes pro-Kremlin disinformation about the artificial creation of COVID-19.

There is no evidence that the coronavirus (COVID-19) was created in laboratories. COVID-19 comes from a family of viruses that include the common cold and viruses such as SARS and MERS. Coronaviruses are known to circulate in mammals and birds, and scientists have already suggested that COVID-19 originally came from bats. One of the previous coronaviruses that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, spread from bats to civet cats to humans.

Suspicious American military activity in Lugar lab

[There are] suspicious biological military activities by US experts at the Lugar laboratory in Georgia, in which serious epidemiological research is being conducted for the benefits of the United States.

The only visit by a group of foreign experts occurred on November 14-15, 2018 […] and clearly aimed at misleading the international community about the true condition of the laboratory.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative concerning the Tbilisi-based Lugar Lab.

The Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research is a facility of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) in Georgia, which became operational in August 2013, and serves as a reference laboratory for Georgia’s public health system.