News ID: 320511
Published: 0251 GMT March 09, 2022

Russia demands U.S. explain alleged bio labs with plague and anthrax in Ukraine

Russia demands U.S. explain alleged bio labs with plague and anthrax in Ukraine

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russia demanded on Wednesday that the United States explain to the world why it had supported what Moscow cast as a military biological programme in Ukraine involving deadly pathogens including plague and anthrax.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova demanded transparency from Washington over the allegation, which is denied by Kiev and which a Pentagon spokesman has described as absurd, Reuters reported.

She said evidence of the alleged programme had been uncovered by Russia during what it calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine, which its forces invaded on Feb. 24.

"We can already conclude that in Ukrainian biological laboratories in direct proximity to the territory of our country, development of components of biological weapons was being carried out," she said.

Zakharova said Russia had documents showing that the Ukrainian Health Ministry had ordered the destruction of samples of plague, cholera, anthrax and other pathogens after Feb. 24.

In response to earlier Russian allegations about the purported military biological programme in Ukraine, a Pentagon spokesman said on Tuesday: "This absurd Russian misinformation is patently false".

A Ukrainian presidential spokesperson said: "Ukraine strictly denies any such allegation".

Zakharova said the alleged programme was financed by the Pentagon. "We are not talking here about peaceful uses or scientific goals... What were you up to there?" she said.

"The U.S. Defence Department and the presidential administration of the United States are obliged to officially explain to the global community, officially, not through talking heads, about the programmes in Ukraine.

"We demand details," she said. "We demand, and the world awaits."

Zakharova said it was not clear if the alleged materials had indeed been destroyed, adding: "Have they fallen into the hands of extremists or nationalists – who will provide a guarantee?"

On Tuesday, the U.S. admitted that Ukraine houses “biological research facilities”. According to Sputnik, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland also said that the U.S. is concerned the ‘research facilities’ could come under the control of Russian forces as the attack on Ukraine continues to intensify.

During a Senate hearing on Ukraine, Nuland said, “Ukraine has biological research facilities, which in fact we are now quite concerned Russian forces may be seeking to gain control of, 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’s remarks came in the backdrop of UK defence intelligence claiming that Russia has accused Ukraine of developing ‘nuclear or biological weapons’ to justify its invasion into the neighbouring country. Earlier, the Russian Defence Ministry had published documents that showed that Kiev was ordered to urgently eliminate traces of what was deemed as a biological weapons programme.





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