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US Develops Biological Weapons in Ukraine - Russian Defense Ministry

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The data obtained by the Russian Defense Ministry once again proves that the United States is developing biological weapons on the territory of Ukraine, Lt. Gen. Igor Kirillov, the head of the radiation, chemical and biological defense troops of the Russian armed forces, said on Friday.

"The US defense ministry is actively studying these economically significant infections outside the national territory in biolaboratories located along the borders of its geopolitical opponents. This once again confirms that the United States is developing biological weapons components outside of national jurisdiction, including on the territory of Ukraine," Kirillov told reporters.

He added that Russian Defense Ministry specialists have seized documents from a Askaniya-Nova Biosphere Reserve laboratory, confirming that the Kharkov Institute of Experimental and Clinical Veterinary Medicine have worked on military biological projects of the Pentagon.
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"Documents seized from a veterinary laboratory of the reserve confirm the involvement of the Kharkov institute in the work within the framework of the US projects Yu-Pi-8, Pi-444 and preparation for the implementation of the Flu-Fly-Way project," Kirillov said.

The projects aim at evaluating of the conditions under which the transmission of pathogens of economically significant infections can become uncontrollable, cause economic damage and create food security risks, the official stated.
Kirillov added that the rising incidence of bird flu in Russia raises concern against the background of a mass death of birds due to biological experiments in Ukraine in 2021.
The ministry has already drawn attention to the documented fact of a mass death of birds on the territory of the Askaniya-Nova nature reserve in 2021, which, according to experts, was of an infectious nature, the official said. The simultaneous death of birds was provoked by ongoing experiments and neglect of safety requirements, he added.
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"Against this background, we are especially concerned about an increase in the incidence of bird flu in Russia and in European countries, where, according to the International Epizootics Bureau, the disease has acquired a year-round character, and losses from it since 2021 have exceeded 3 billion euros," Kirillov told reporters.
Since the start of the year, Russia has recorded 32 outbreaks of bird flu across the country, he added.
Lt. Gen. Igor Kirillov stressed that employees of Askaniya-Nova Biosphere Reserve in the Kherson region, before the start of the special operation, collected strains of the avian influenza virus that could overcome the interspecies barrier, including the H5N8 strain with a lethality of up to 40%.
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"A task force of the Russian Defense Ministry, together with employees of the Federal Security Service and Rosselkhoznadzor [Russian agriculture safety watchdog], confirmed the facts of the collection and certification of strains of the bird flu virus that have a high epidemic potential and are able to overcome the interspecies barrier, in particular, the H5N8 strain, the lethality of which when transmitted to humans can reach 40%" Kirillov told reporters.
Additionally, Ukraine tried to destroy biomaterials left in a Askaniya-Nova Biosphere Reserve biolaboratory, but Russian military scientists managed to identify traces of highly pathogenic bird flu there, the official said.

US Biological Warfare and Ukraine

Kirillov stressed that the facts indicate that the United States viewed Ukraine as a foothold for the deployment of NATO contingents.
The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research supervised the U-Pi-1 and U-Pi-2 military biological projects, during which an active collection of biomaterials from the population of Ukraine was carried out, the official said. The documents obtained by the Russian Defense Ministry confirm the participation of the Reed institute in the study of the antibiotic resistance of microorganisms isolated from the Ukrainian military during the hostilities in Donbas from 2014 to 2020.
"Why should the institute of the US army study the drug resistance of microorganisms isolated on the territory of Donbas? This is another evidence that the United States considered the territory of Ukraine as a springboard for the deployment of NATO military contingents," Kirillov told reporters.
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Additionally the documents obtained during special op revealed that for several years the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research of the US Army trained Ukrainian personnel under the biological threat reduction program.
"The documents obtained during the special military operation indicate that for several years the Institute [Walter Reed Research Institute] participated in the training of Ukrainian personnel as part of the biological threat reduction program," Kirillov stated.
The Walter Reed Research Institute of the US Army is a basic part of the Pentagon's Electronic Integrated Disease Surveillance System (EIDSS).
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The United States is setting long-term goals to fing military applications of biotechnology to outrun strategic rivals, the official emphasized.
"The document [the 2023 US Biomanufacturing Strategy] defines long-term goals for the development of biotechnologies and the search for their military applications," Kirollov told reporters.
He added that the goal declared in the strategy is to ensure technological sovereignty in the field of biomanufacturing and overtake strategic rivals.
Kirillov stressed that the United States has never clearly stated about its obligations in the field of the safety of its biological research.
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"It should be noted that the United States has never clearly stated its obligations in the field of safety of research conducted in biolabs under its control," Kirillov told a briefing.
The official highlighted that the United States is improving methods of biological protection of its military personnel, while simultaneously studying pathogens of particularly dangerous diseases typical for specific areas.
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"I will remind you that in October 2022, the United States unveiled a national strategy to counter biological threats. The document has a doctrinal nature and defines biological risk management as the US's vital priority," Kirillov told a briefing.
The official added that the United States has planned work to collect pathogens of especially dangerous infections in Central Asia and the South Caucasus under the guise of humanitarian cooperation,.

"Under the guise of solving purely peaceful tasks in the states of Central Asia and the Transcaucasus, [the United States] has planned work to select and genotype samples of pathogens of especially dangerous infections endemic to these regions: plague, anthrax, tularemia. At the same time, the US administration uses the already worked out scenario of alleged 'humanitarian' interaction," Kirilov told journalists.

He specified that for these operations, the US government resorts to using not military but civilian organizations, for example the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Gryphon Scientific research company.
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