Sept 3 Briefing by Russia’s Nuclear/Biological/Chemical Warfare Chief, General Igor Kirillov

Monday, September 12, 2022

Briefing by Russia’s Nuclear/Biological/Chemical Warfare Chief, General Igor Kirillov

The briefing took place on September 03, 2022. It was translated by AlexD exclusively for SouthFront

A meeting of the state parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention will be held next week at the initiative of the Russian Federation on the issue of non-compliance by the United States and the Ukraine with their obligations under the international treaty. In the course of the event, documentary evidence of their violations of Articles I and IV of the Convention will be presented.

We want the organisations responsible for compliance with the Convention and the world community to pay attention to a number of biological threats.

Firstly, there are currently more than 50 biolabs modernised at the expense of the Pentagon and controlled by it in close proximity to the borders of the Russian Federation. In total, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 336 biological laboratories in 30 countries of the world are under the control of the US military department.

Moreover, their activities are accompanied by a deterioration of the epidemic situation for particularly dangerous and economically significant infections, as well as the emergence of infectious diseases atypical for a particular region.

So, since 2010, the Russian Federation has recorded an increase in the incidence of brucellosis, Congo-Crimean fever, West Nile fever, African swine fever, as well as an uncharacteristic expansion of carrier habitats in the territories bordering the Ukraine.

The Russian Federation, as a responsible party to the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons (BTWC), is fully aware of the full range of threats associated with the possible consequences of its violation during work in the Ukrainian biological laboratories.

We have become aware of information about US-funded biological research on the territory of the Ukraine. The order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine dated February 24, 2022 on the emergency destruction of collections of pathogenic microorganisms increased our concerns about a possible violation of the requirements of Articles I and IV of the BTWC in the course of work commissioned by the Pentagon. The materials obtained served as the basis for the Russian Federation to investigate the biological activities of the United States on the territory of the Ukraine.

Research in Ukrainian biological laboratories were carried out in accordance with the Agreement “On Cooperation in Preventing the Spread of Pathogens, Technologies and Knowledge that Can be Used in the Development of Biological Weapons” of 2005 between the US Military Department and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.

Total U.S. expenditures on biological programmes in the Ukraine exceeded $250 million.

The work was coordinated by the Department of Threat Reduction of the US Department of Defense (DITRA), the research was conducted in secrecy with limited access to Ukrainian specialists to information and premises.

Currently, we are witnessing a change in the tactics of the American administration in an attempt to take out of harm’s way the said department, whose activities have become the subject of international proceedings. So, according to available information, the functions of the customer of military biological programmes in the Central Asian region have been transferred to civilian specialised organisations, whose work will be under the control of the US Navy service, which is the most closed structure.

In addition, the Pentagon intends to transfer unfinished programmes in the Ukraine to other post-Soviet countries as soon as possible, as well as to Eastern European states (such as Bulgaria, the Czech Republic) and the Baltic states.

The expansion of the network of biological laboratories, on the basis of which it is possible to create and store components of biological weapons, poses a threat to the military security of the Russian Federation. Unlike nuclear weapons, which the United States places on the territory of NATO partner countries, such a policy of the Alliance in the biological sphere allows it to approach our borders uncontrollably. This is the first thing we would like to focus on.

Secondly, the direction of the work carried out by the Pentagon does not correspond to the current health problems of the Ukraine, the mains ones being socially significant diseases: measles, rubella, tuberculosis, AIDS.

Notably, American patrons are interested in a completely different nomenclature, namely: cholera, tularemia, plague, Congo-Crimean fever, hantaviruses. These pathogens were studied within the framework of the so-called Ukrainian projects “Yu-Pi” and “Tep”. The interest of US military biologists is due to the fact that these pathogens have a natural foci both on the territory of the Ukraine and in Russia, and their use can be disguised as natural outbreaks of diseases.

The activities of biological laboratories and the programme of the so-called “reform” of the Ukrainian healthcare system implemented by the United States have led to an uncontrolled increase in the incidence of particularly dangerous and economically significant infections. On the territory of the Ukraine, an increase in the number of cases of rubella, diphtheria, tuberculosis is recorded. The incidence of measles has increased more than 100 times. The situation with African swine fever has deteriorated significantly, the total losses of the agricultural industry in Eastern European countries from this disease exceed 2.4 billion euros.

Within the framework of the fight against infectious diseases declared by the US military department in the Ukraine and ensuring sanitary and epidemic well-being, humanitarian assistance is not provided, vaccination of the population and treatment of the sick are not carried out.

Moreover, the volume of measles and rubella vaccination activities decreased by 70% compared to 2008. This raises the question of the true goals of the research.

Third. We have repeatedly stressed that one of the priority tasks of the Ukrainian laboratories is to collect and send to the Unites States strains of pathogens of dangerous infectious diseases – cholera, anthrax, tularemia. At the same time, the movement of pathogens was not controlled within the framework of the WHO, BTWC or other international institutions.

In accordance with the Act of checking the collection of strains of microorganisms at the Mechnikov Scientific Research Anti-Plague Institute in Odessa, 654 containers with the causative agent of anthrax, 422 containers with the causative agent of cholera were stored. The document notes that there is no need to keep a large number of test tubes with the same stamps. At the same time, the nomenclature and the accumulated number of dangerous pathogens call into question the preventive, protective or other peaceful nature of the activities carried out.

According to the testimony of one of the employees, the collection of the Odessa Institute was exported to the USA in February 2022. Taking into account the fact that 46 laboratories participated in the American programme, the total number of exported strains may be more than ten thousand.

The available documents confirm numerous cases of transfer abroad from the Ukraine of human tissue samples and serum, as well as dangerous pathogens and their carriers. The United States and its allies managed to export at least 16 thousand bioassays outside the Ukraine, which created risks of transferring sensitive genetic information abroad, as well as threats to biological security not only for the Ukraine, but also for all those regions where the samples were transferred.

Fourthly, in accordance with the available documents, within the framework of the Yu-Pi 8 project, blood samples were taken from four thousand servicemen in Lvov, Kharkov, Odessa and Kiev for antibodies to hantaviruses, from four hundred for the presence of antibodies to the Congo-Crimean fever virus. Such a large-scale immunity screening could be carried out in order to assess the susceptibility of the population of the region to certain biological agents.

Attention is drawn to the decision signed by the head of the Ethics Committee of the Center for Public Health of Ukraine on June 12, 2019 within the framework of this project. The document testifies to the conduct of research with an unknown risk to the life and health of the participants, as well as the concealment of the identity of the subjects. The research programme of this project assumes only a standard procedure for blood sampling. Is it necessary to think about what consequences for the life of the tests we are talking about, if the document prescribes, quote: “…minor incidents with volunteers must be reported to the US Bioethics Committee 72 hours after the incident, and serious ones, including the death of the subjects – within 24 hours…”?

We do not exclude that the official research programme is just a “visible part of the iceberg”, while in practice, volunteers were infected with the Congo-Crimean fever virus, hantaviruses and the causative agent of leptospirosis.

The facts of testing on military personnel and socially vulnerable categories of Ukrainian citizens are confirmed by the testimony of eyewitnesses interviewed as part of the parliamentary investigation conducted in the Russian Federation.

Fifth. There is information about the development and patenting in the United States of technical means of delivery and use of biological weapons based on UAVs. Thus, the US Patent and Trademark Agency issued document No. 8 967 029 for an unmanned aerial vehicle for the spread of infected insects in the air. The description of the patent states that with the help of this device, enemy troops can be destroyed or disabled without risk to US military personnel.

As you know, in accordance with American law, a patent in the United States cannot be granted in the absence of a real device. Thus, it can be concluded that the container as a means of delivering biological agents was developed and produced.

Taking into account the development in the United States of technical means of delivery and the use of biological weapons, the Ukraine’s interest in the supply of unmanned aerial vehicles is of particular concern.

We have at our disposal confirmation of the Ukraine’s request to the Turkish manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles “Bayraktar” dated December 15, 2021 on the possibility of equipping this UAV with systems and mechanisms for spraying aerosols with a capacity of more than 20 litres.

With a UAV flight range of up to 300 km and equipped with biological formulations, a real threat of large-scale use of biological weapons on the territory of the Russian Federation is created.

In this regard, the question arises: for what purpose did the United States develop and patent technical means of delivery of biological weapons and what is the reason for the Ukraine’s interest in acquiring such technical means?

And of particular concern, along with the Pentagon’s supervision of biological research, is the fact that since 2001 the United States has blocked any international initiatives to verify the BTWC. This eliminates the possibility of inspecting the activities of laboratories both in the United States and outside of its national jurisdiction.

Since 2016 – from the beginning of the implementation of Ukrainian Yu-Pi projects, the United States and the Ukraine have deliberately kept silent about them in the annual reporting on the implementation of the Convention as part of confidence-building measures, despite their obvious military-biological orientation. The documents do not reflect the financing of Ukrainian laboratories by the US military department. Such secrecy, as well as the secrecy of sensitive information, is another reason to think about the true goals of the Pentagon.

The Russian Federation has consistently made efforts to establish a legally binding mechanism for verifying the BTWC.

The measures proposed by a number of countries to strengthen the Convention, in particular the initiative of France on voluntary visits to biological laboratories, while attractive, do not provide comprehensive monitoring of their activities.

The lack of clear verification procedures, as well as control lists of microorganisms and toxins, allows Western countries, led by the United States, to subjectively interpret the provisions of the BTWC. I would like to remind you that the collective West ignores the so-called “ten-point principle”. In accordance with this principle, the decision should be made taking into account an alternative point of view, even if it is expressed by only one state.

A good example is the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) site, where the decision to grant attributive powers to the organisation was made at the request of the United States, contrary to the opinion of most countries. Such a mechanism allows you to “fabricate” the necessary evidence and appoint the perpetrators at your discretion, which has already been repeatedly implemented during investigations of chemical incidents in Syria.

We believe that there is a need to review the approaches to decision-making in the investigation of chemical and biological incidents at the UN Security Council.

After the unfulfilled promises of the collective West about the non-proliferation of NATO to the East, we have no right to take the word of the US assurances about the peaceful nature of the biological research conducted by the Pentagon.

The Russian Federation has repeatedly addressed the United States and the Ukraine on various international platforms with a request to clarify the following issues: why were the works carried out specifically by order of the Pentagon, and their subject matter did not correspond to the current health problems of the Ukraine?; what did the Americans hide when they carried out work in conditions of secrecy and restricted access of Ukrainian specialists to information and premises?; why were strains of pathogenic microorganisms – potential agents of biological weapons and biomaterials of Ukrainian citizens exported form the territory of the Ukraine without a clear declared purpose?; why were the facts of cooperation in the military-biological sphere kept silent in the international reporting through the BTWC, and the United States has been blocking the development of its verification mechanism since 2001?; why are US officials, including Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, so concerned about the possibility of transferring the results of the activities of the US Department of Defence in the Ukraine and the materials in biological laboratories under the control of Russian specialists?

We have voiced only a part of the issues that cause us extreme concern.

In the interim, we would like to answer the question why the research was conducted outside the national territory ourselves.

In a memo prepared by the US State Department to allay Russian concerns raised as of October 12, 2018 regarding the United States’ compliance with the BTWC, Washington stresses strict compliance with the provisions of the said Convention, once again offering to take it “at its word”.

In addition, this note refers to the “noble tradition of participation of United States military scientists in public health research, which has lasted for more than 100 years”. Examples of such “participation” are well known to us – Vietnam and Cuba.

I would like to separately focus attention on another document that we have at our disposal concerning the testing of a tularemia vaccine developed by the Walter Reed Research Institute of Infectious Diseases of the US Army on United States servicemen in 2004. During the trials, which involved 1064 people, complications were registered in 468 cases.

In many ways, this explains the fact that such high-risk studies have been transferred outside the national territory. This is evidence by the agreement signed on August 29, 2005, a year after these studies, between the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the US Department of Defence.

Currently, we are witnessing the appearance of publications in the foreign press with Washington’s nervous reaction to extremely sensitive documents released by the Ministry of Defence. Journalists note that American intelligence agencies are taking unprecedented measures so that the Russian side does not have potential witnesses close to the implementation of the Pentagon’s closed military-biological projects in the Ukraine.

Such concerns of the White House once again confirm to us the threatening nature of the US military biological programme disguised as peaceful proposes, both for Russia and for the entire world community.

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