Saturday, 28 May 2022 — The Saker
Under the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons, each State Party submits an annual report in the form of a declaration of compliance with the requirements of the convention. It is currently the only reporting document on the implementation of the Convention in the framework of the Confidence Building Measures.
Due to the investigation of US military and biological activities on the territory of Ukraine, we have analysed the documents sent by these states to the UN.
It should be noted that neither Ukraine nor the United States provided information on cooperative biological research and development in the area of biological protection in the said submissions (in Form A, Part 2 “i”). Also, Poland and Germany have not declared engagement with Ukraine in their reports.
In addition, in these reports (Form F) for the period from 2016 to 2020, Ukraine states that: “The Government of Ukraine has not conducted and is not conducting any offensive or defensive activities in the framework of biological research and development programmes. The Government of Ukraine does not have any information on such activities of the former USSR on the territory of Ukraine since January 1, 1946”.
This contradicts a May 20, 2022 statement by Lewis Gitter, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the OSCE, that assistance to Kiev is aimed at “…reducing biological and veterinary risks, as well as securing the illegal stockpiles of biological weapons left behind by the USSR…”.
In addition, there are numerous inconsistencies in Ukraine’s reporting. Thus, the Confidence Building Measures form A for 2020 declares the complete absence of national biosecurity programmes. The Research Institute of Microbial Strain Biotechnology in Kiev, as a participant in the biological defence programme, is listed in part 2 “i” of this form.
In addition, the characteristics of the facility (area of laboratory facilities, number of staff) do not match the information previously submitted by Ukraine.
The question arises: Why did the US and Ukraine’s reporting documents to the UN not include work under the joint military-biological projects codenamed UP? Such secrecy is another reason to think about the true goals of the Pentagon in Ukraine.
The official documents before you confirm that the Pentagon, represented by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), is organising work with a clear military-biological focus.
Note the memorandum prepared by the Office of the US Secretary of Defense regarding the UP-2 project to map highly dangerous pathogens in Ukraine.
The document notes that the main objective of this project is to collect information on the molecular composition of pathogens specific to Ukraine and to transfer samples of strains.
Separately, it is emphasised that this work should be in line with the main guidelines for the Ukraine Cooperative Threat Reduction Programme on Preventing the Spread of Biological Weapons on November 29, 2005.
A similar memorandum was prepared as part of the UP-1 project to study rickettsia and other diseases spread by arthropods. The document notes the need to transfer all collections of highly dangerous pathogens to a central reference laboratory in order to facilitate their orderly export to the USA.
As part of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Programme, an extensive UP-4 project was carried out to investigate the possibility of spreading highly dangerous infections through migratory birds. Documents received show that 991 biological samples were collected between November 2019 and January 2020 alone.
A total of ten such projects (including UP-3, UP-6, UP-8, UP-10) have been reported to have involved work with pathogens of particularly dangerous and economically important infections – Congo-Crimean fever, leptospirosis, tick-borne encephalitis and African swine fever.
Today, we would also like to draw attention to the numerous breaches of safety requirements in Ukrainian laboratories.
For example, work with dangerous pathogens under Pentagon control in Kharkov, Kiev and a number of other cities was carried out in laboratories with insufficient staff protection. However, according to official data, only three laboratories with a BSL-3 biosafety level are authorised to conduct such tests. These are the Odessa Anti-Plague Institute, the Lvov Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene and the Public Health Centre in Kiev.
The Security Service of Ukraine noted the preconditions for the emergence of biological threats due to systematic violations and poor quality of work in the reconstruction of biolaboratories.
Black & Veatch, for example, declared that it spent UAH 37.8m on upgrading three veterinary laboratories in 2013. An independent expert review found that the actual cost of the work was overstated compared to the reported costs by UAH 17.7 millions.
This difference was reportedly sent to the accounts of fictitious companies such as Golden Ukraine, BK Profbudinvest and Capital Trade Agency, which further confirms the use of “grey” financial schemes in the personal interests of US and Ukrainian officials.
It is noteworthy that the US handlers demanded that the reference laboratory in Merefa be given a higher level of biosecurity. The Kharkovproject organisation said that this was not possible under the prevailing conditions and refused to approve the project. However, the regional administration decided to go ahead with the reconstruction. The facility was commissioned in circumvention of biosafety regulations and requirements. In doing so, the Pentagon’s total cost for its modernisation was around $15 million. But where the funds really went is unknown.
Note the report of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine on the results of an inspection of the strain collection of the Ukrainian anti-plague institute in Odessa, which totalled 654 samples. There were 32 strains of anthrax, 189 of tularemia, 11 of brucellosis and 422 of cholera in storage at the facility.
The report shows gross violations of storage conditions for micro-organisms, lack of access control and management systems and inadequate ventilation systems.
In April 2017, there was a case of internal laboratory infection with tick-borne encephalitis in one of the institute’s laboratories as a result of a safety violation.
According to eyewitness accounts of an incident that took place in 2021, an employee of a biolaboratory removed several vials containing dangerous microorganisms from the institution’s premises. The consequences of such cases can only be guessed at.
It should be noted that all violations occurred during the period of the US bio-threat reduction programme. This demonstrates that Washington’s officially declared goals are merely a screen for the implementation of illegal military-biological activities in Ukraine.
The neglect of pathogens, the unprofessionalism and corruption of the executive branch, and the destructive influence of US handlers pose a direct threat to Ukrainian and European civilians.
Russian Defence Ministry experts have confirmed that Ukrainian biolaboratories are connected to the global communicable disease surveillance system.
The backbone of this network, which has been formed by the Pentagon since 1997, is the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (Maryland). It includes land and naval laboratories as well as military bases around the world.
It should be noted that the deployment of such a network follows a typical scenario.
The Americans are initially concerned about the state of the epidemic in the region. The next step is to ensure that officials, particularly those in the health ministries, have an interest and a financial incentive to work together, and to enter into intergovernmental agreements. As a result, a biocontainment facility is erected and connected to the single biomonitoring system. All of the country’s biological developments become the US domain. Moreover, restrictions are placed on local professionals’ access to a range of tests, as well as on their results.
Meanwhile, the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) is actively implementing automated disease monitoring hardware and software, as well as systems to control access and movement of pathogenic biological agents in storage and research facilities.
Equipping biological facilities with these information systems as part of the Biological Threat Reduction Program allows the U.S. to secure its military contingents in deployment areas, remotely monitor biolaboratories outside national jurisdiction and influence the global biological environment.
As part of the special military operation, materials of US instructors training Ukrainian specialists in emergency response to smallpox outbreaks were discovered in biolaboratories in Ukraine.
The Pentagon’s interest in this infection is far from accidental: the return of the smallpox pathogen would be a global catastrophe for all mankind.
Thus, compared to COVID-19, this pathogen is just as contagious (infectious), but its lethality is 10 times higher.
As early as 2003, the US Department of Defense established the Smallpox Vaccination Programme, which requires all US military personnel to be vaccinated. Vaccination in the United States is compulsory for diplomatic and medical personnel. This demonstrates that the US considers smallpox as a priority pathogenic biological agent for combat use, and that vaccine prophylaxis activities are aimed at protecting its own military contingents.
Lack of proper controls and biosecurity breaches in the US could lead to the use of this pathogen for terrorist purposes. Between 2014 and 2021, unaccounted-for vials of the virus were repeatedly found in laboratories at the Federal Drug Administration and the US Army Infectious Disease Research Institute (Maryland) and the Vaccine Research Centre (Pennsylvania).
Work at these organisations was in violation of World Health Assembly Resolution 49.10 of 1996, which stipulated that only one US laboratory, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, could store smallpox pathogen.
It should be noted that smallpox vaccination, which is not currently available in many countries, provides protection against monkeypox.
The World Health Organization has announced an emergency meeting of Member States on the outbreak of this dangerous infectious disease in May 2022.
We know that by now 98% of those affected are men over the age of 20 of non-traditional orientation. Earlier, Dr David Hermann, who heads WHO’s emergency department, told the American press that sexual transmission was the main cause of the spread of the disease.
According to a WHO report, the West African strain of monkeypox originated in Nigeria, another state in which the US has deployed its biological infrastructure.
According to available information, there are at least four Washington-controlled biolaboratories operating in Nigeria.
In this connection, it is worth recalling a strange coincidence that needs further specialist verification. For example, according to European and US media reports, the Munich Security Conference 2021, i.e. against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, was a scenario for dealing with an outbreak caused by a new strain of the monkeypox virus.
Against the backdrop of multiple US biosafety violations and the negligent storage of pathogenic biomaterials, we call on the World Health Organisation leadership to investigate the US-funded Nigerian laboratories in Abuja, Zaria, Lagos and inform the global community of the results.