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Russian military targets African countries with ‘U.S. bioweapons’ fake


U.S. Navy Lt. Jose Garcia inactivates the Ebola virus in each specimen to render the virus safe for further analysis at a Naval Medical Research Center mobile laboratory on Bushrod Island, Liberia,
(U.S. Army Africa/Navy Chief Petty Officer Jerrold Diederich)
U.S. Navy Lt. Jose Garcia inactivates the Ebola virus in each specimen to render the virus safe for further analysis at a Naval Medical Research Center mobile laboratory on Bushrod Island, Liberia, (U.S. Army Africa/Navy Chief Petty Officer Jerrold Diederich)
Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov

Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov

Head of Russia’s nuclear, chemical and biological protection forces

... “Washington uses outside actors to hide the objectives of research. These are contracting and intermediary organizations (Metabiota, Quicksilver, EkoHealth Alliance, more than 20 companies) and businesses of the so-called Big Pharma. Russia has documents confirming the rapid expansion of the U.S. biological warfare presence in Africa.”

False

On June 25, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, commander of the Russian army nuclear, chemical and biological protection forces, accused the U.S. of expanding bioweapons research in Africa.

Kirillov claimed that Russia had ‘’halted the implementation of biological warfare programs in Ukraine’s liberated territories’’ forcing the Pentagon to transfer incomplete research to other regions.

Russia falsely describes four Ukrainian regions it illegally occupies as “liberated.”

Russian embassies worldwide amplified Kirillov's allegations sharing the conspiracy theory on social media platforms, including X.

Kirillov said, “Washington uses outside actors to hide the objectives of research. These are contracting and intermediary organizations (Metabiota, Quicksilver, EkoHealth Alliance, more than 20 companies) and businesses of the so-called Big Pharma.”

That is false.

U.S. laboratories in Ukraine, African countries, and elsewhere work in cooperation with national authorities to predict and prevent bioterrorism, and outbreaks of diseases that pose a threat to public health.

The U.S. uses a transparent system making the labs and their research publicly accessible.

For example, the United States Embassy in Ukraine is one of the sources of a comprehensive database of the U.S. – Ukraine cooperation in the public health arena.

As for the contractors, whom the U.S. allegedly uses “to hide the objectives of research” – below are the facts about the three organizations named by Kirillov.

Metabiota is a San Francisco-based research company that compiles data around the world to help predict disease outbreaks. The U.S. Defense Department has granted Metabiota contracts totaling $39 million between 2014 and 2020.

The U.S. DoD contract specifically states the purpose of the contract with Metabiota: “Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology).

Quicksilver is another U.S. company that has ongoing contracts with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior totaling $9.66 million between 2008 and 2024. The purpose of the grants is the preservation of forests and natural resources in the U.S. states of Oregon, Colorado, and New Mexico.

There are no other companies named “Quicksilver” in the U.S. government contractors’ database.

EcoHealth Alliance Inc. (misspelled in Kirillov’s quote as “EkoHealth) is a U.S.-based scientific research company and former government contractor.

In May 2024, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suspended the EcoHealth Alliance and permanently debarred its founder and president, British zoologist Dr. Peter Daszak from all U.S. government funding.

The move came after the House committee on Oversight and Accountability’s investigation of the origins of SARS CoV-2 virus that causes coronavirus concluded, that “EcoHealth facilitated gain-of-function research in Wuhan, China without proper oversight, willingly violated multiple requirements of its multimillion-dollar National Institutes of Health grant, and apparently made false statements to the NIH” (U.S. National Institutes of Health).

In Kenya, Lt. Gen. Kirillov alleged, “In October 2023, staff of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases conducted a large-scale survey of hantavirus samples from bats in Kenya’s natural hotspots.’’

In fact, the U.S. has three labs there used to diagnose and research dangerous viruses and bacteria, such as Ebola, Anthrax, Rift Valley Fever, and Brucellosis among other diseases.

In November 2023, Kirillov claimed that the U.S. moved part of its "unfinished" biological weapons projects from Ukraine to Africa, and “the work is underway in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.”

The United States, Ukraine, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Uganda, and South Africa are signatories to the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention treaty that prohibits them from producing or using biological weapons; at least 183 states have signed the agreement.

The Kremlin voiced similar allegations against the U.S. at the United Nations in March 2022. However, Izumi Nakamitsu, the U.N. high representative for disarmament affairs, told the U.N. Security Council that the U.N. “…was not aware of any biological weapons program in Ukraine.”

In January 2022, Kirillov claimed that Russia had obtained more than 20,000 documents related to the creation of components of biological weapons by the Pentagon and their testing in the countries bordering Ukraine and Russia. The Russian state media then published that “evidence.”

But an online petition posted on behalf of Russian scientists in March 2022, said a group of independent biologists examined these documents and concluded they were “obviously false.” The strains listed in those papers are “common to microbiological and even more so to epidemiological laboratories and used for public health research projects sponsored by the United States, European Union, and World Health Organizations.” The scientists’ letter called on the Russian media “to stop spreading false, absolutely groundless propaganda” about the U.S. bioweapon labs in Ukraine.

“The United States does not own or operate any chemical or biological laboratories in Ukraine or possess such weapons anywhere,” the State Department said in March 2022.

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