UKRAJINE/USAúRUSSIA: In a series of disclosures Sunday and Monday, the Russian military revealed that the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency has been involved in the operation of more than 30 biological laboratories across Ukraine, and that these labs have engaged in the storage of and research into a number of deadly agents.
Ukrainian biolabs near Russia’s borders engaged in the development of components for biological weapons, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.
The spokeswoman said the question of whether or not the biological weapons components being researched at these facilities have been destroyed or not remains to be answered, but pointed to the documents received from employees of biolabs showing that an order had been given 24 February to liquidate dangerous pathogens.
Zakharova emphasised that there is now no doubt about the military nature of the research taking place at these facilities, pointing to the Russian military’s revelations on the labs’ US Department of Defence funding, operations under the Pentagon’s purview and the presence of US specialists instructing the Ukrainian side in conducting the relevant research.
Separately, in an interview with Radio Sputnik, Zakharova suggested that the Russian military’s revelations about US-funded biolabs “completely changes the picture of US involvement in the fate of Ukraine.”
In testimony before the Senate on Tuesday, Victoria Nuland admitted that Ukraine was home to biological research facilities, and told lawmakers that Washington was “quite concerned Russian forces may be seeking to gain control of” these facilities and the “research materials” contained therein.
“So we are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach,” Nuland said.
Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov suggested Tuesday that US statements about Ukraine’s biolabs was an indication of fears by Washington that the pathogens stored there may fall into the hands of Russian experts, and confirm the US’s violation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.
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