Briefing by Chief of Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Protection Troops of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov on U.S. military-biological activity

Geneva has convened experts and state-parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. These meetings are held annually to discuss the current status of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, issues of compliance with its provisions, and to review scientific and technological developments with dual-use potential.

Let me remind you that in September, Russia initiated a consultative meeting under BWC Article V and in early November submitted questions concerning violations of the BWC by Ukraine and the United States to the UN Security Council for consideration.

Although the Western countries did sabotage the vote on the Security Council Resolution on the international investigation of the U.S. biological labs, the results of the vote indicate that the U.S. military-biological activity in Ukraine triggers questions even among its closest allies.

The Russian Federation has submitted documentation to prove the U.S. provided funding, scientific, technical, and personnel assistance to work on biological warfare components on Ukrainian territory and to study particularly dangerous and economically important infectious agents.

More than 20 questions were asked regarding Kiev and Washington violating the Convention. They concerned the nomenclature and number of pathogenic microorganisms studied under the Biological Threat Reduction Program; conducting research on Ukrainian military personnel and the mentally ill; and concealing the facts of military-biological cooperation by Ukraine and the United States in international reporting under the BWC.

Washington and Kiev positioned military biological research as ‘cooperation for peaceful purposes’, hiding behind the Convention’s Article X. At the same time, none of the questions received substantive answers. At the upcoming meeting of the States Parties to the BWC, Russia intends to return to the discussion.

New evidence of the Kiev regime’s violation of its obligations under the Convention has emerged since the Consultative Meeting.

Back in March 2022, Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland announced the presence of U.S.-controlled biofacilities in Ukraine. Under threat of criminal prosecution at the time of her testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee, Nuland was forced to admit that the transfer of these biological objects and materials under the control of the Russian Armed Forces poses a risk of leaking sensitive information and is of great concern to the U.S. government. 

On 31 January 2023, U.S. National Security Council Coordinator John Kirby confirmed the fact of ‘implementation of a number of American scientific programs’. At the same time, in his interpretation, the laboratories located in the former Soviet republic were allegedly ‘deactivated’ and abandoned by the staff in early 2022. 

Russian specialists gained access to a number of Ukrainian biological facilities, in particular, laboratories in the cities of Rubezhnoye, Severodonetsk, Kherson and their official documentation within the special military operation. Analysis of this documentation confirmed the dangerous nature of Pentagon’s experiments to assess the Ukrainian population’s susceptibility to zoonotic infections, the facts of testing pharmaceuticals on the local population and exporting biological samples to the United States for their possible use in offensive biological programmes. 

Four facilities were inspected in Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. A collection of reference strains of microorganisms was found in a storeroom of the veterinary laboratory in Mangush. These reference strains were supplied from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) intended for the study of economically important animal diseases.

The received documents confirm that the employees of the Askaniya-Nova Biosphere Reserve, Kherson region, studied routes of migratory birds. The facts of collection and passportisation of avian influenza virus strains, which can reach a mortality rate of up to 40% when transmitted to humans, have been established.

Due to the fact that the Ukrainian Armed Forces did not succeed in the so-called counteroffensive, we assume that their activity will shift to non-standard forms of warfare, including using chemical and biological agents. 

We are informed that the Office of the President of Ukraine is coordinating the actions of national special services in organising an anti-Russian provocative action with poisonous substances.

Taking into account the experience of the Syrian conflict, it is assumed that accusing the Russian Armed Forced of using chemical weapons will allow launching a new anti-Russian campaign in the UN institutions and the world media outlets.

For this purpose, the Security Service of Ukraine has hired REALAB, a Ukrainian company, which specializes in importing chemicals and precursors. In October–November 2023, this company purchased in Germany a ‘small batch’ of triethanolamine and a nitrogenous sodium compound from Honeywell Research Chemicals, a U.S. company.

Triethanolamine is listed in the Annex on Chemicals to the Chemical Weapons Convention and is subject to annual declaration. This compound is a precursor for the synthesis of a toxic blister agent – nitrogen mustard gas. Nitrogen-containing sodium compounds are highly toxic. Their harmful effects are similar to those of cyanide.

According to our assessment, these chemicals can be used by the SBU to produce a chemical agent for limited-scale provocative action on controlled territory in the area of operations of the most actively advancing group of the Russian Armed Forces.

It is also believed that Ukrainian forces intentionally contaminate water sources, including drinking water, food and animal feed with pathogenic biological agents.

Thus, in November 2023, in Chernigovka, Zaporozhye region, specialists of the Russian Defence Ministry, together with Rosselkhoznadzor, established the deliberate nature of the African swine fever outbreak. More than 7,000 pigs have been slaughtered due to the intentional introduction of the ASF virus into the farm. The disease was detected in the absence of infection carrier activity and natural wildlife migration. Such scenarios are aimed at creating social tensions, increasing public discontent about the actions of the Russian authorities, and threatening food security. 

During the work of the interdepartmental group in Zaporozhye region, among the documents of the Center for Public Health (Ukraine), a grant agreement between the Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF), Metabiota, and Ukrainian laboratories, including the Institute of Veterinary Medicine. 

The amount of grants transferred by the Foundation for the UP-4 Project exceeded $180,000. Let me remind you that this project, totalling more than $1.5 million, aimed to study the spread of particularly dangerous pathogens by migratory birds.

The main purpose of creating CRDF by the U.S. Congress in 1992 was to recruit scientists from post-Soviet states with experience in developing weapons of mass destruction.

Due to the fact that the Foundation is exempt from taxation, Pentagon, through the Department of State and the U.S. Department of Energy, prefers this organisation for the financing of its ‘dual-use’ projects outside national jurisdiction, including on the territory of Ukraine.

Russian specialists have gained documents of the Center for Public Health (Ukraine), including the ones concerning the UP-8 Project. This project was aimed at studying the vectors of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever and analysing blood samples taken from Ukrainian soldiers to study the effects of the disease on the body. The project was commissioned by the United States’ Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).

See the document dated 26 March 2020 (i.e. before the special military operation was launched). It states the decision of Ethics Committee on the UP-8 Project with a remark ‘… to suspend the research with all the information deleted…’.

Regulatory authorities make such decisions only in one case: when the risks to project participants significantly outweigh the benefits of implementation.

I would like to remind you that it was four years ago, in December 2019, that the first patients infected with the COVID-19 virus were identified. At the moment, the number of cases has reached more than 770 mln people, of whom about 7 mln have died.

By a ‘curious coincidence’, the pandemic was preceded by a series of research projects on the systematic study of coronaviruses funded by the U.S. Government. Thus, since 2009, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has implemented the Predict Program to study coronavirus diseases and capture their vectors.

The United States is currently investigating the origins of COVID-19. A select subcommittee has been established in the U.S. Congress for this purpose. 

Due to the involvement of EcoHealth Alliance in large-scale experiments with coronaviruses and the CIA’s possible influence on the expert examination, on 12 September 2023, the lawmakers publicly demanded from the head of the division, William Burns, detailed materials for the subcommittee’s work. 

According to the reporting documents available to us for the Project ‘Assessing Risk of Emerging Infections from Insectivorous Bats in Ukraine and Georgia’, coronavirus studies were conducted in 2016–2020. The report notes ‘… that during the work in Ukraine, bats were identified that migrate up to 800 km deep into countries such as Hungary and Russia…’

It is also worth noting that the research involved bioinformatics specialists whose work included editing and combining the genomes of identified pathogens, i.e. research traditionally associated with improving the functions of dangerous viruses.

We have repeatedly pointed out that the artificial origin of COVID-19 is evidenced by the genetic variability, which is not characteristic of most coronaviruses, and by the significant differences in the mortality rates, contagiousness, uneven geographic distribution, as well as the unpredictable nature of the epidemic process as a whole.

I would like to remind you that in 2020, Italy was the country most affected by the COVID-19 virus, and the Russian Defence Ministry, at the request of the Italian authorities, immediately provided assistance to the Italian people in the midst of the epidemic.  

It is also difficult to explain the high level of preparedness of American mRNA vaccine manufacturers for the pandemic of a new coronavirus infection. This suggests collusion between various U.S. government agencies and so-called Big Pharma.

The spread of the new coronavirus infection has led to a significant increase in the profits of biotech companies that produce vaccines and drugs against coronaviruses, as well as increased the dependence of developing countries on the United States and created the conditions for the continued implementation of dual-use programmes. 

In this regard, persons who influenced the investigation of the origins of COVID-19 can be added to the list of persons involved in the military biological dossier. We are talking about government employees, medical and pharmaceutical company officials.

Among them is Anthony Fauci, a former adviser to the White House and former Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Gina Haspel, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2018 to 2021, oversaw the CIA’s implementation of military-biological programmes and was part of the investigation on thу origins of COVID-19. 

Nita Madhav, former CEO of Metabiota, organiser of the COVID-19 pandemic scenario forecasting platform, which was completely ineffective.

Alex Azar, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services from 2018 to 2021.

The activities of these officials clearly show that the U.S. government is deliberately ignoring the most important issues of biosafety and biosecurity in order to make super profits. 

The U.S. efforts to establish global biological control are accompanied by the replacement of the provisions of the BWC and other norms of international law with its own rules. These rules were developed in the U.S. interest, supported by the collective West, and imposed on third countries for implementation. 

This is evident in work at relevant international platforms, where Western delegations pushed for decisions only on issues of interest to them, regardless of other states’ priorities.

I would like to remind you that in recent years the Russian Federation has advanced practical initiatives to strengthen the biological weapons non-proliferation regime and improve confidence-building measures.

First, it is the resumption of negotiations on developing legally binding protocol to the BWC, with an effective verification mechanism that would include lists of pathogens, toxins, and specialised equipment, and that would be comprehensive. Russia believes that to implement this measure, it is necessary to use the approaches and practical developments of VEREX. The relevant working papers have been prepared and will be presented at the forthcoming meeting in Geneva.

The second is to expand the format of confidence-building measures through the provision of information on research and development in the biological security sphere taking place outside national territory.

The third is to establish a Scientific Advisory Committee to evaluate scientific and technological achievements, which would have broad geographical representation and equal rights of participation.

The fourth is to deploy mobile biomedical units under the BWC.

Practical implementation of Russia’s proposals will help increase ‘transparency’ of national biological programmes and compliance with Convention requirements by all state-parties, including the United States, without exception.

By Andrei Balitskil