"𝗗𝗼𝗰𝘂𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗨𝗦 𝗯𝗶𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗴𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗲𝗱 𝘀𝗼𝗹𝗱𝗶𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗨𝗸𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗚𝗲𝗼𝗿𝗴𝗶𝗮" – Dilyana Gaytandzhieva
Contrary to the state funded "fact checkers" and other spokespeople, evidence supports the existence of U.S. bio-laboratories in Ukraine and elsewhere.
But but but that can’t be true since, according to PolitiFact “fact” checkers on Facebook, “There are no US-run biolabs in Ukraine, contrary to social media posts.”
Yet, here we have a video posted 14 January 2020 by the US Embassy Kyiv with the following description:
"Learn about the cooperative and vital work the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Biological Threat Reduction Program does with its partners to reduce the threat of biological agents."
Please watch and note the mention of the Lugar Center:
You can read more about the Biological Threat Reduction Program on the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine’s website here:
In what appears to be a co-ordinated effort, on 25 February 2022 both the Politifact post, There are no US-run biolabs in Ukraine, contrary to social media posts and the article, US official: RussianRussian invasion of Ukraine risks release of dangerous pathogens on the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and countless other sites, were published.
The second article is rather lengthy yet I feel I had best duplicate it here so that the information can be easily referenced. I have highlighted in bold, content which stood out for me.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine may put at risk a network of US-linked labs in Ukraine that work with dangerous pathogens, said Robert Pope, the director of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, a 30-year-old Defense Department program that has helped secure the former Soviet Union’s weapons of mass destruction and redirect former bioweapons facilities and scientists toward peaceful endeavors.
The labs in Ukraine are not bioweapons facilities. The US government maintains the overseas facilities in Ukraine and other countries that receive US support are public health and animal health facilities operated by host countries. Although a long-running Russian disinformation campaign has painted a picture of a network of US military labs in Ukraine, Georgia, and other former Soviet republics involved in bioweapons or risky research, Pope said the labs conduct peaceful scientific research and disease surveillance. Outside experts [“At the heart of the accusations is the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research in the Republic of Georgia.”] have also said Pope’s program is not a covert bioweapons operation.
While the United States isn’t maintaining bioweapons facilities, Pope said, war could put pathogen collections in Ukraine at risk.
“I would say from every facility that we have worked with them in, we have confidence that as long as the electrical power is turned on and the people we have trained are present at the facility, the biosafety officers, that these pathogens are safe and secure to international standards,” Pope said. “Should these facilities be damaged by conflict, that could change.”
The pathogens with which the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program labs work are generally kept frozen, so they can’t replicate and become infectious. The risk the pathogens pose would increase if a building lost power and suffered damage. “If you lose the electrical power, the pathogens in the freezers warm up,” he said. “If the ventilation system is damaged, or the building itself is damaged, and these now ambient-temperature pathogens are able to escape the facility, then they can be potentially infectious in the region around the facility.”
Although Russian officials and media have misrepresented the US-supported labs in Ukraine and other former Soviet countries in disinformation campaigns, Pope doesn’t believe the Russians will deliberately aim weapons at the labs during the invasion.
“I think the Russians know enough about the kinds of pathogens that are stored in biological research laboratories that I don’t think they would deliberately target a laboratory,” Pope said. “But what I do have concerns about is that they would … be accidentally damaged during this Russian invasion.”
The invasion could also provide fodder for new disinformation narratives around the labs, Pope feared. The Russians, he said, “could potentially go to one of these facilities and fabricate something that they call evidence of nefarious activity at the facility.”
The pathogens in Ukrainian labs vary by facility, Pope said, but some can be characterized as presenting a concern in the Ukrainian environment. As an example, he cited African swine fever virus, which is highly contagious in pigs and has caused hundreds of outbreaks in Ukraine since 2012. Some labs, he said, may hold pathogen strains left over from the Soviet bioweapons program, preserved in freezers for research purposes.
“There is no place that still has any of the sort of infrastructure for researching or producing biological weapons,” Pope said. “Scientists being scientists, it wouldn’t surprise me if some of these strain collections in some of these laboratories still have pathogen strains that go all the way back to the origins of that program.”
The program is encouraging host countries to reduce the scope of their pathogen holdings to as small of a collection as necessary for legitimate scientific research, Pope said.
“What we have today and what these countries maintain are small amounts of various pathogens that by and large are things that are collected out of their environment that they need for research to be able to legitimately surveil disease and develop vaccines against,” he said.
This work, Pope said, continued in Ukraine until recently. “They have more pathogens in more places than we recommend,” he said. The program had been helping Ukrainian researchers sift through their frozen pathogen collections, with the goal of persuading the Ukrainians to preserve their genetic information of samples via sequencing before destroying the live samples.
Pope said his program had been close to an agreement with the Ukrainians on consolidating samples, but the invasion has now made that project uncertain. “All of that, obviously, has been derailed here with the recent events,” he said.
The Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, Pope said Thursday, has not had contact with biosafety staff at the labs in Ukraine since the Russian invasion. Phone lines have been jammed in Ukraine, he said, and “I don’t know what kind of contact we will have in these labs in the near future.”
Some Ukrainian labs, like the Ukrainian Ministry of Health’s Public Health Center, Pope said, are major facilities, others small. Some are new, while others date back to the Soviet-era and the country’s bioweapons program.
The US government has worked with 26 facilities in Ukraine. Before the invasion, the program provided direct material support to six Ukrainian labs. The program also provides biosafety and scientific mentorship training to Ministry of Health personnel throughout the country.
Researchers consider the Soviet bioweapons program to be the most extensive and sophisticated to have existed, employing some 65,000 scientists. While both the United States and the Soviet Union signed the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention banning biological weapons, the Soviet Union went on to secretly expand its program. The country’s program had a forward-looking orientation; it sought, for instance, to develop chimeric viruses that had the genetic properties of two viruses and even to create viral/bacterial hybrids, biosecurity experts Milton Leitenberg and Raymond Zilinskas wrote a well-regarded history of the program in 2012.
The Cooperative Threat Reduction Program began with heavy Russian involvement. In the early 1990s, “employees at the multiple former biological weapon facilities operated by Biopreparat, the non-military part of the program, were increasingly desperate to support themselves and their families,” according to a 2020 account published by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. An agreement among the European Union, the United States, Russia, and Japan led to the development of the International Science and Technology Center in Moscow, which channeled US Cooperative Threat Reduction Program resources and funds from other countries into scientific projects involving former biological weapons experts.
The technology center supported thousands of “former weaponeers,” who worked on projects in areas such as lab safety, infectious disease research, medical countermeasures, and diagnostic test development.
The Pentagon even sponsored Western scientists to work in former Russian bioweapons labs. By 2012, however, the arrangement between Russia, the United States, and others began to unravel, and Russia ended its agreement to host the International Science and Technology Center, which has since moved to Kazakhstan.
Cooperative Threat Reduction Program efforts have continued in the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia. After 9/11, the program began to focus more on how terrorists could misuse biological research and the program’s biological threat reduction component, as opposed to programs involving nuclear or chemical weapons, Pope said. Now, 62 percent of the program’s $360 million budget for this fiscal year is focused on biological issues.
At some point after Russia pulled out of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, disinformation campaigns involving Russian officials, state media, and others began to allege that the United States was running a bioweapons program on Russia’s periphery, or that it was jeopardizing the health of local citizens with dangerous experimentation. As Russia’s march to war in Ukraine heated up, so too did a campaign to discredit US-affiliated labs in the country.
Pope suspects the Russian disinformation campaign against the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program stems from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vision of wielding influence in the countries surrounding Russia
“You look at the partners we have in several of the former Soviet republics, like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, where we have had great partnerships over many years—I think Vladimir Putin looks at that as a zero-sum game of, ‘if they are partnering with the US, then that is a threat to the Russian sphere of influence,’” Pope said.
Putin’s end game in Ukraine remains unclear. On the second day of the invasion, Russian troops had reportedly advanced into the capital Kyiv. By any measure, Ukraine’s popular government is teetering on the edge. Pope said he’s anxious to resume working with his partners in Ukraine. That is not a sure prospect at this point.
What exactly is “peaceful scientific research and disease surveillance” in facilities which experiment with and allegedly store pathogens?
I don’t know about you but given the history of U.S. biolaboratories such as with Fort Detrick, their funding of experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other biolabs around the world, I am not buying the U.S. playing the angel versus the “Russia Bad” narrative here at all.
This is particularly so when you look at Dilyana Gaytandzhieva’s Armswatch website with her multiple investigative reports on the subject of the U.S., Pentagon’s involvement with and funding of biolaboratories around the world.
In case you are not familiar with Dilyana’s work, she is an investigative journalist who has taken deep dives and many risks over the years to obtain information. As a result, she has been harrassed, censored and persecuted. She also lost her job as a journalist with the Bulgarian newspaper Trud.
This is Dilyana’s profile as published on her website:
I am a Bulgarian journalist and Middle East correspondent. Over the last two years I have published a series of reports on weapons supplies to terrorists in Syria and Iraq. In December of 2016 while reporting on the battle of Aleppo I discovered and filmed underground warehouses full of heavy weapons with Bulgaria as their country of origin. They were used by Al Nusra Front (the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria which is designated as a terrorist organization by the UN). Diplomatic documents which were leaked to me revealed that these weapons were just a small part of a covert international weapons shipment network via 350 diplomatic flights for armament of terrorists in the Middle East and Africa. It was organized by USSOCOM, Saudi Arabia, and UAE.
Dilyana is also the founder of Arms Watch. Her “current work is focused on documenting war crimes and illicit arms exports to war zones around the world.”
Dilyana’s seminal report, 350 diplomatic flights carry weapons for terrorists published 2nd July 2017 is still available on Trud’s website. It begins as follows:
In December of 2016 Dilyana Gaytandzhieva found and filmed 9 underground warehouses full of heavy weapons with Bulgaria as their country of origin in Eastern Aleppo.
At least 350 diplomatic Silk Way Airlines (an Azerbaijani state-run company) flights transported weapons for war conflicts across the world over the last 3 years. The state aircrafts of Azerbaijan carried on-board tens of tons of heavy weapons and ammunition headed to terrorists under the cover of diplomatic flights.
Documents implicating Silk Way Airlines in arms supplies were sent to me by an anonymous twitter account – Anonymous Bulgaria.
The leaked files include correspondence between the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Azerbaijan to Bulgaria with attached documents for weapons deals and diplomatic clearance for overflight and/or landing in Bulgaria and many other European countries, USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, to name a few.
According to these documents, Silk Way Airlines offered diplomatic flights to private companies and arms manufacturers from the US, Balkans, and Israel, as well as to the militaries of Saudi Arabia, UAE, and US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and the military forces of Germany and Denmark in Afghanistan and of Sweden in Iraq. Diplomatic flights are exempt of checks, air bills, and taxes, meaning that Silk Way airplanes freely transported hundreds of tons of weapons to different locations around the world without regulation. They made technical landings with stays varying from a few hours to up to a day in intermediary locations without any logical reasons such as needing to refuel the planes.
Continue reading here.
If you haven’t previously, I highly recommend reading all of Dilyana’s investigative reports regarding SilkWays on Armswatch, in addition to her more recent work.
Given her past highly commendable work, I am inclined to believe the veracity of the information Dilyana has gathered through deep research rather than whatever the U.S. Government funded fact checkers and spokespeople purport.
This is Dilyana at the European Parliament in 16 January 2018, asking Robert Kadlec, Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Health about the number of classified bio-weapons research labs scattered through Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Dilyana made this comment when she posted the video on Facebook, 8 March 2018:
"How a journalist gets expelled from the European Parliament when asking the Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Health questions about the Pentagon bio laboratories around Russia, China and Iran." Source.
Please see the following article regarding Dilyana's experience in the European Parliament, written by Filip Vuković as follows.
On 16 January 2018, a Bulgarian investigative journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva wrote a detailed article about the US bio-weapons research that spans across the world in 25 different countries. Gaytandzhieva wrote in her article that the US Army regularly produces deadly viruses, bacteria and toxins in direct violation of the UN Convention on the prohibition of biological weapons, and that hundreds of thousands of unwitting people are systematically exposed to dangerous pathogens and other incurable diseases. She added that bio-warfare scientists are using diplomatic cover test man-made viruses at Pentagon bio-laboratories in 25 countries across the world. These bio-laboratories are funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) under a $2.1 billion military program called Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP), and are located in countries such as Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines, etc. Luckily, the Balkans seems to be clear.
(Continued at source.)
The following is Dilyana’s most recent publication which inspired this blog:
by Dilyana Gaytandzhieva • January 24, 2022
While the US is planning to increase its military presence in Eastern Europe to “protect its allies against Russia”, internal documents show what American “protection” in practical terms means.
The Pentagon has conducted biological experiments with a potentially lethal outcome on 4,400 soldiers in Ukraine and 1,000 soldiers in Georgia. According to leaked documents, all volunteer deaths should be reported within 24 h (in Ukraine) and 48 h (in Georgia).
Both countries are considered the most loyal US partners in the region with a number of Pentagon programs being implemented in their territory. One of them is the $2.5 billion Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Biological engagement program which includes research on bio agents, deadly viruses and antibiotic-resistant bacteria being studied on the local population.
Project GG-21: “All volunteer deaths will be promptly reported”
The Pentagon has launched a 5-year long project with a possible extension of up to 3 years code-named GG-21: “Arthropod-borne and zoonotic infections among military personnel in Georgia”. According to the project’s description, blood samples will be obtained from 1,000 military recruits at the time of their military registration physical exam at the Georgian military hospital located in Gori.
The samples will be tested for antibodies against fourteen pathogens:
The amount of blood draw will be 10 ml. Samples will be stored indefinitely at the NCDC (Lugar Center) or USAMRU-G and aliquots might be sent to WRAIR headquarters in US for future research studies. Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) is the largest biomedical research facility administered by the U.S. Department of Defense. The results of the blood testing will not be provided to the study participants.
Such a procedure cannot cause death. However, according to the project report, “all volunteer deaths will be promptly reported (usually within 48 h of the PI being notified)” to the Georgian Military Hospital and WRAIR.
The soldiers’ blood samples will be stored and further tested at the Lugar Center, a $180 million Pentagon-funded facility in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi.
The Lugar Center has become notorious in the last years for controversial activities, laboratory incidents and scandals surrounding the US drug giant Gilead’s Hepatitis C program in Georgia which has resulted in at least 248 deaths of patients. The cause of death in the majority of cases has been listed as unknown, internal documents have shown. [Bold is mine for emphasis.]
The Georgian project GG-21 has been funded by DTRA and implemented by American military scientists from a special US Army unit code-named USAMRU-G who operate in the Lugar Center. They have been given diplomatic immunity in Georgia to research bacteria, viruses and toxins without being diplomats. This unit is subordinate to the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR).
Please continue reading Dilyana’s detailed article here.
On Saturday, 26th February, Dilyana tweeted the following:
You can read the Twitter thread from here.
These tweets followed:
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva @dgaytandzhievaThe US Embassy in #Ukraine has just deleted from its website all documents about 11 Pentagon-funded biolaboratories in Ukraine. I have published all these documents (now deleted by the Embassy) here https://t.co/Odc0ermmZe and in the thread below https://t.co/benFmDwguI
Dilyana’s second Twitter thread has been archived here.
Thank you for reading this all the way through.
May peace be with us all, especially the good people in Donetsk, Lugansk, Ukraine, Russia, Syria, Yeman and elsewhere around the world who are under siege by dark forces. 🙏