08:26 GMT21 June 2021
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    The US Embassy in Kiev has been caught in the center of a brewing political scandal after denying allegations about US biological laboratories’ “unlawful activity” in Ukraine, while admitting that such labs do exist.

    The US Embassy in Kiev has scrubbed information about the work of two of its biolabs in Ukraine from its website, Viktor Medvedchuk, co-leader of the Opposition Platform – For Life party, has alleged.

    According to the lawmaker, in its April 22 statement responding to Rada lawmakers’ mid-April request for a government investigation into the 15 US biolabs operating on Ukrainian territory, the US Embassy provided a link to an explanation about the operation of its ‘Biological Threat Reduction Program’. There are two interesting facts associated with the document, Medvedchuk alleges – first, that the webpage was created on April 9, 2020, three days before lawmakers made their request for a government inquiry, and second, that there are discrepancies between the English and Ukrainian versions of the pages.

    “The Ukrainian-language document appeared earlier, but in 2017 featured another version of the document, now deleted, including the text ‘Consolidation of particularly hazardous pathogens in modern biosafety level facilities (one level three biosafety lab for human pathogens and one level three biosafety lab for animal pathogens)’,” Medvedchuk explained in a statement Monday.

    “In other words, in 2017, the US Embassy not only openly curated at least two level three biolabs, but openly stated this. This is not proof that there have not been other, more dangerous laboratories, or that these laboratories have not conducted experiments with pathogens presenting the maximum level of danger, but it does indicate a desire by the US Embassy to remove information that compromises them,” Medvedchuk claimed.

    Ukraine’s Opposition Platform – For Life requested a government probe into the operation of US biolabs in Ukraine on April 15, claiming that since these labs’ deployment, Ukraine has faced mysterious outbreaks of otherwise inexplicable dangerous diseases, such as the 2009 outbreak of hemorrhagic pneumonia, the 2011, 2014 and 2015 cholera outbreaks, and an outbreak of hepatitis A in 2017. In early 2016, at least 20 Ukrainian servicemen were reported to have died from a flu-like virus, with 364 more people succumbing to swine flu months later. “The Ukrainian people have the right to know about secret programs,” the opposition lawmakers’ appeal stressed.

    In its April 22 reply, the US Embassy accused Opposition Platform MPs of spreading “disinformation,” while admitting that a Department of Defence Biological Threat Reduction Program is working “with the Ukrainian Government to consolidate and secure pathogens and toxins of security concern in Ukrainian government facilities.”

    In his comments Monday, Medvedchuk suggested that the alleged creation of a separate level 3 lab for human pathogens may indicate experimentation on human beings. “This is the main reason for the creation of US biolabs in Ukraine, serving as an opportunity to carry out the most dangerous kinds of studies, including studies on human beings, which are prohibited under US laws, but allowed in Ukraine, due to problems in Ukrainian legislation, but to a greater extent, to Ukraine’s foreign control by the United States,” he claimed.

    Shady US Labs Across Post-Soviet Space

    The Ukrainian lawmakers’ allegations aren’t the first of their kind. In 2018, Georgia’s former minister of state security asked President Trump to investigate reports that personnel from the US’s Lugar Center biological lab outside Tbilisi had engaged in experimentation on live human test subjects.

    In September 2018, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it had its suspicions about possible US testing of biological weapons in states near Russia’s borders, and warned Washington to halt such activities immediately.

    Central Public Health Reference Laboratory in Tbilisi, Georgia
    © CC0
    Central Public Health Reference Laboratory in Tbilisi, Georgia

    In March, Iranian doctors penned a letter to the leaders of Afghanistan, Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan to destroy all US biololabs in their countries, claiming that the coronavirus pandemic may have been spread deliberately as a form of biological warfare.

    Earlier this month, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned Washington that Russia was apprised of US efforts to expand military research at the Lugar Lab, and said that the US has substantially expanded dual purpose biological research at labs across the former Soviet space under the pretext of combating bioterrorism.


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