Russia names EU countries linked to Ukrainian biolabs
Russia has ramped up its allegations about the sprawling network of secretive US-funded biological laboratories in Ukraine, stating that other NATO countries have been involved in the questionable research.
Apart from the US, Germany and Poland have taken part in biological research programs on Ukrainian soil, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, the head of the Russian Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Force, said on Wednesday.
“Not only the US, but also a number of their NATO allies are carrying out military biological projects on the territory of Ukraine,” he said. “The German leadership launched its national biosafety program independent of Washington back in 2013. Some 12 countries, including Ukraine, are involved in the program.”
The effort involves such leading German scientific institutions as the Robert Koch Institute and the Institute of Microbiology of the German Armed Forces, Kirillov said. According to documents obtained by Moscow, the latter obtained some 3,500 samples of blood serum from people living in 25 regions of Ukraine between 2016 and 2019, the official added.
The involvement of institutions subordinate to the Bundeswehr confirms the military nature of biological research conducted in Ukrainian laboratories and raises questions about the goals pursued by the armed forces of Germany, which is collecting biomaterial of Ukrainians.
Poland has been actively involved in such programs as well. Documents show Warsaw has been funding the National Medical University in Ukraine’s western city of Lvov, Kirillov went on. A branch of the university, the Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene, has participated in US military biological projects, he noted.
Moreover, the Polish Institute of Veterinary Medicine has been taken part “in studies of epidemiological threats and the spread of the rabies virus in Ukraine,” the official stated. “Notably these studies have been carried out jointly with the American Battelle Institute – one of the key contractors of the Pentagon,” Kirillov added.
Russia began publishing evidence it managed to obtain on the sprawling network of US-funded biolabs scattered across Ukraine shortly after the conflict between Moscow and Kiev broke out in late February. The secretive facilities have allegedly been carrying out ethically questionable research and potentially developing biological weaponry.
Last week, the head of Russia’s Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, told RT that his service has “clearly identified” Americans involved in military biological research, including Pentagon employees and companies closely associated with the US military. All in all, Washington had funneled more that $224 million on biological research in Ukraine between 2005 and early 2022, Bastrykin claimed.
US officials have confirmed the existence of “biological research facilities” in Ukraine, but said Washington only provided what they called “assistance” for efforts that did not involve development of bioweapons.
Russia attacked the neighboring state following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.