U.S. Department of Defense Admits Collaboration with 46 Ukrainian Biolabs

U.S. also helping “transition” former Soviet bioweapons labs that “developed a broad range of biological pathogens for use as weapons against plants, animals, and humans, including the weaponization of anthrax, plague, and smallpox.”

QUICK FACTS:
  • The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) published a “Fact Sheet on WMD Threat Reduction Efforts with Ukraine, Russia and Other Former Soviet Union Countries” explaining the extent to which the United States government has been involved with biological laboratories in Ukraine and Russia.
  • The fact sheet explains that the U.S. has “worked collaboratively” with 46 Ukrainian “laboratories, health facilities, and disease diagnostic sites” working on “biological safety, security, and disease surveillance.”
  • The news release went on to explain the collaboration between the U.S. and Ukraine was “often conducted in partnership” with outside organizations like the World Health Organization. “This work, often conducted in partnership with outside organizations, such as the WHO and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), has resulted in safer and more effective disease surveillance and detection,” the memo says.
  • The fact sheet revealed that the DoD and other State-funded programs helped “transition” former Soviet biological weapons facilities into “peaceful public health facilities.” According to the Pentagon’s release, these biolab facilities, equipment, and materials had been used to develop “a broad range of biological pathogens for use as weapons against plants, animals, and humans, including the weaponization of anthrax, plague, and smallpox.”
  • The DoD also indicated that the Ukrainian biolabs were funded with American taxpayer dollars: “Ukraine owns and operates its public health laboratories and associated infrastructure, and the United States is proud to collaborate, cooperate, and provide assistance in support of this infrastructure,” the fact sheet states, adding that “all equipment and training provided by the United States is subject to U.S. export control processes, audits, and acquisition laws and regulations, which ensures transparency and compliance with domestic and international laws.”
  • The U.S. “has invested approximately $200 million in Ukraine since 2005” in order to support those 46 Ukrainian labs, according to another DoD media release linked to by the fact sheet.
  • The American government has also “worked closely with Russia and within Russia in laboratories owned by Russia until 2014,” according to that second media release.
DoD’s QUOTE IN CONTEXT:

“The United States has also worked collaboratively to improve Ukraine’s biological safety, security, and disease surveillance for both human and animal health, providing support to 46 peaceful Ukrainian laboratories, health facilities, and disease diagnostic sites over the last two decades,” the Pentagon’s news release reads. “The collaborative programs have focused on improving public health and agricultural safety measures at the nexus of nonproliferation.”

BACKGROUND:
  • In March, the Russian military claimed that the Pentagon’s Defense ‘Threat Reduction Agency’ had been involved in the operation of more than 30 biological laboratories across Ukraine.
  • The Russian military also claimed that these labs had engaged in the storage of and research into a number of deadly agents.
  • At the time, the Biden admin denied Russia’s accusations, calling the claims “laughable” and even suggesting Moscow might have been laying the groundwork to use chemical or biological weapons.