Pentagon Biolabs: Searching for an Antidote to Public Threats

On July 14th, an international inter-party round table on “security cooperation during the COVID-19 pandemic” was held via videoconference. Earlier, in an article with the same title published in the journal “Russia in global politics”, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev again stressed the need for maximum state control over biotechnologies and biolaboratories, as well as for cooperation of intelligence agencies in order to prevent terrorist attacks using biological agents.

In previous publications, we have repeatedly recorded disturbing trends in this area in the post-Soviet space, caused not only by the Pentagon’s wide network of biolaboratories, but also by the purposeful line of western partners to pit Moscow against its closest neighbours.

Those who profess a radically anti-Russian foreign policy for the “post-Maidan” Ukrainian authorities are the most striking, but not the only example.

“…In 2013, Kharkov residents protested against the construction of a biolab in Merefa. Exactly after that, the process of purging all these activists by various methods began. As soon as they showed any activity related to the presence of NATO in Ukraine and with biological laboratories, the repressive mechanism was activated.

In my opinion, the strengthening of the NATO presence and the fact of increasing secrecy of the activities of biological laboratories should be considered together,” said Konstantin Knyrik, head of the News Front news agency.

The activities of American bio-bacteriological facilities that he and many other experts emphasise are completely opaque and not controlled by the puppet authorities of Kiev, and are becoming more and more important on the domestic political agenda. Ukrainian politicians and public figures are asking more and more disturbing and perplexing questions. One of them, the leader of the Opposition Platform – For Life Viktor Medvedchuk, during the above-mentioned round table, reported about the investigation launched by the Ukrainian police into the activities of American biolabs located on the territory of the country.

“Despite the fact that we are in opposition, and not in the government, and the government is trying to hide everything that happens in these laboratories, [we] nevertheless induced criminal cases to be opened. And today, a criminal investigation into the activities of these laboratories has started, both in the centre and in the field… Everything that is produced there is a secret for the public sphere in Ukraine, and we suspect that this is really a very important moment that can affect the situation, including the health of Ukrainian citizens,” stated the politician, who, along with his faction colleague Renat Kuzmin, earlier tried to get from the corresponding Ukrainian state structures any intelligible information about the activity of dubious facilities.

The response was a confused and extremely contradictory testimony – from the absurd denial of the existence of biolabs as such (SBU) to the reluctant recognition of technical assistance from American facilities in the modernisation of facilities of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine. And even a specialised working group recommended that the National Security and Defence Council (NSDC) apply to the government with a proposal to conduct an unscheduled inspection of the activities of microbiological institutions.

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However, it is enough to remember who (under the nickname “Bloody Pastor”) for many years led this very NSDC, in order to understand what such a check could have resulted in. It seems that exactly the same can be said about the investigation of the activities of biolabs, which, according to Renat Kuzmin, was nevertheless launched by the main investigative department of the police:

“…Upon this fact, a pre-trial investigation has been launched, in which information about the involvement of Ukrainian officials and the US military in crimes against the Ukrainian people should be verified by investigative means.”

If it does have any resonance, it will be solely in the context of the internal political battles overseas on the eve of the November presidential election. The voyages of Rudolph Giuliani and the so-called Derkach tapes indicate the efforts of individuals from the team of Donald Trump to find as much compromising material as possible on his “democratic predecessors” from the administration of Barack Obama, during whose rule the network of Ukrainian facilities of the Pentagon was actively and purposefully modernised.

According to the investigation of the Federal News Agency, as a Senator from the state of Illinois, along with the notorious Ukrainian award-bearer Richard Lugar, the previous master of the White House closely supervised the work with the most dangerous pathogens that the Ukrainian authorities inherited from the Soviet Union. After a series of obviously unequal agreements dating back to the time of Viktor Yushchenko, in 2012, the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service of Ukraine started to be liquidated under the guise of reorganisation, and its functionality gradually moves to a network of American diagnostic laboratories with the level of biological hazard BSL-2, collecting and primarily processing samples of biomaterial with its subsequent transfer overseas. Accordingly, the national system of control over biolabs has actually been transformed into a supranational structure receiving instructions from the US.

“According to my information, from 2014 to 2017, the Americans built 15 military biological laboratories in Ukraine. They are located in Odessa, Vinnytsia, Uzhgorod, Lvov (x3), Kharkov, Kiev (x3), Kherson, and Ternopol. There are several such laboratories near Crimea and the LPR. They employ only Americans, they are not subject to any local authorities or Kiev, but only the US,” claims the former Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, a man of extraordinary personal courage Aleksey Zhuravko.

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According to the authors of the FAN investigation, the intelligence and information system created by the Pentagon Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the so-called “great silk road epidemiological surveillance network”, includes Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, as well as Moldova and even Belarus (!).

“On the territory of countries that are completely controlled by the US, such as Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and others, they can do whatever they want and what they can’t do on their own territory. International legislation severely restricts these biological, including bacteriological, experiments. And what is being done on the territory of Ukraine, no one will check,” says the former head of the Ukrainian government Nikolay Azarov.

It is extremely significant that the creation of supposedly “national” structures with fancy names, such as the “Center for Public Health” of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine or the “National Flu Center”, did not help in the fight against infections, but rather – on the contrary. “For all the years that I was the Prime Minister of Ukraine, I did not receive any specific, useful or practical information from these laboratories at all! But we have had outbreaks of SARS, African swine fever, and so on in our country,” admits Azarov, and this, of course, is not surprising, if we do not forget the real purpose of all these fronts/facades with big names.

From May 2018 to April 2019 alone, the DTRA allocated $90 million to private contractor “Black&Veatch” for the modernisation of facilities under the American “Biological Joint Participation Program” on Ukrainian territory. At the same time, outbreaks in recent years of cholera, leptospirosis, rabies, botulism, jaundice, hepatitis A, anthrax in Odessa, Nikolaev, Zaporozhye, and other regions are frightening by their constancy and invariably taiga consequences, primarily for children and other categories of people with unstable immunity. But the most dangerous thing is, of course, that “biologists in civilian clothes” are clearly not going to stop there…

“Instead of talking in the media about how bad it is that such laboratories are being created, it is possible to raise the issue of mandatory inspections of these laboratories through the UN Security Council mechanism (if you look at article 6 of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction). It turns out that we can talk, but specifically do not dare to carry out any actions. Against these countries, where such work is carried out that violates the 1972 Convention, it is advisable to introduce measures of political and economic pressure, and sometimes it does not prevent the use of military pressure to sober up the brain, as, for example, the Americans did during operation Desert Fox, forcing Iraq to finally put an end to its weapons of mass destruction in 1998. But just talking about ‘Oh, how bad it is that laboratories are being created’ doesn’t seem to produce any results. Moreover, it is suspected that they are being conducted in order to release the steam that is accumulating in our population and the population of these countries,” said the candidate of biological sciences and colonel of the medical service Mikhail Supotnitsky during a recent round table.

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It would seem that the algorithm of action is quite reasonable, especially if to read the alarmist forecasts of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who urges “to pay serious attention to the prevention of the use of diseases as weapons”. However, the question arises: who, in fact, will implement the proposed “measures of political, economic and… military pressure”, even if they can be agreed upon? Obviously, this cannot be done outside the framework of a broad, even at the first stage, informal and situational coalition of states and (no less important) civil society structures that are seriously concerned about the qualitative growth of biological threats in the modern world.

Well-known microbiologist, former adviser to the UN Secretary-General, and former member of the UN Commission on Biological Weapons Igor Nikulin recalls the existence in the 1990s of the trilateral working group of Russia, US, UK, developed “control mechanisms. I was also involved in this group several times. It responded to all cases. Let’s say that when there was an incomprehensible outbreak of an infectious disease somewhere, experts go there and find out what the problem is. This group is quite well-established. But in 2001, the Americans and the British refused to sign the final protocol on measures to control biological weapons, in fact, after that, the working group ceased to exist. Also in 2001, it was planned to create the OPBW – the Organisation for the Prohibition of Biological Weapons.”

The high probability of the coronavirus having an artificial origin actualises plans for resuscitation of this type of structure, but this requires a strong collective political will. After all, “if this virus is natural, there is a need to find a hotspot and monitor it – to observe it. And if it is artificial, then it is necessary to monitor the laboratories that are engaged in this kind of dangerous research. These are two fundamentally different approaches,” emphasised I. Nikulin. In the meantime, unfortunately, the lack of any clear response from the UN and the World Health Organisation to the more than justified concerns of Ukrainian parliamentarians testifies to the true position of the “international community” more clearly than any beautiful phrases.

Vladimir Petrov

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