Moscow has accused the Kyiv government of operating, in cooperation with Washington, laboratories in Ukraine with the aim of producing biological weapons.
Russia has asked the US administration to explain to the world why it supports what it describes as a military biological program in Ukraine that includes pathogens of deadly diseases such as plague and anthrax through migratory birds between the two countries.
In turn, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed that Russian forces discovered documents in Ukraine that provided evidence that the Ukrainian Ministry of Health had ordered samples of plague, cholera, anthrax and other pathogens to be destroyed before the start of the war, which Washington and Kiev denied.
In Ukraine, there are public health laboratories looking at how to mitigate the threats of serious diseases affecting animals and humans, including “Covid-19”, and their laboratories have recently received support from the United States, the European Union and the World Health Organization.
definition of biological warfare
Biological warfare is the deliberate spread of deadly pathogens between humans, animals and plants.
Biological weapons appear as a fast-spreading, highly harmful infiltrating bacterium or virus in a suitable environment that is unable to repel this attack, and sometimes you do not even feel it until after it invades the whole body and imposes its power.
– The danger and strength of these weapons lies in the fact that they are hidden, light, and a small bottle can contain them, but they are lethal and do not know how to stop, and when the opportunity arises, they have the upper hand.
There is a large group of bacteria and viruses genetically modified to resist antibiotics, which can be used as biological weapons as well.
Origin and development
The first use dates back to the Mughal era.
1763: The British Army attempts to use smallpox as a weapon against the Native Americans at the Siege of Fort Pitt. In an effort to spread disease to the local population, the British give blankets from the Smallpox Hospital as gifts.
During World War II (1939-1945) the parties involved in biological warfare took great interest in the matter, and the Allies built facilities capable of producing anthrax spores (brucellosis).
The war was over before it was used. The Japanese made great use of biological weapons during World War II with a terrifying indiscriminate attack approach. The Japanese Army Air Force dropped bombs full of plague-carrying fleas in Ningbo, China.
1972: 179 countries sign the Biological Weapons Convention, yet it is widely believed that all the world’s major military powers still keep biological warfare capabilities a secret.
The most common types of biological weapons
Anthrax: The anthrax bacterium (Bacillus anthracis) is one of the most deadly agents used as a biological weapon.
Classified by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a Category A agent, anthrax is naturally found in soil, can be produced in a laboratory, and persists for a long time in the environment.
Anthrax has been used as a biological weapon about a century ago, mixed with powder, sprays, food and water, which makes it a flexible and deadly biological weapon. It is odorless or tasteless, making it difficult to detect.
2001: The United States was targeted with letters containing anthrax spores through the US Postal System. 25 people were infected, 5 of whom died.
Despite extensive investigations in the United States and international security agencies, the source of the anthrax infections has not been found. Sometimes the US administration accuses Al-Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, and sometimes it accuses Iraq.
Botulinum toxin: Botulinum is relatively easy to produce despite its high lethal force, and it can be distributed through the atmosphere or through water and food.
A gram of botulinum toxin can kill more than a million people if inhaled, as it kills the human body, causing a poisoning that paralyzes muscles depending on neurotoxins produced by bacteria called Clostridium botulinum.
The bacteria are naturally found in forest soils and bottom sediments from lakes, streams, and the intestinal tracts of some fish and animals. Symptoms include muscle weakness, difficulty speaking and swallowing, and blurred double vision.
Ebola virus: It is a deadly disease caused by infection with one of the forms of this virus, and was first discovered in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, transmitted to humans from wild animals, causing a relatively high mortality rate.
Ebola, as a biological weapon, poses a great threat to humans due to its severity, associated mortality and speed of spread, and it appeared as a biological weapon for the first time in the Soviet Union under a plan implemented between 1986 and 1990, but no conclusive evidence was discovered that it was actually used.
“Bomb of the Poor”
Compared to the cost of the nuclear weapons program, biological weapons are very cheap and require only an equipped laboratory and a specialized team.
Estimates indicate that one gram of poison may kill more than 4 times more than two million people, as well as chemical weapons, and botulinum toxin is more lethal than the deadly sarin gas, as a Scud missile loaded with botulinum toxin can affect an area of 3,700 square kilometers, an area of 16 times greater than sarin.
Although the production of biological weapons in large quantities is relatively cheap, the development and operation of weapons is a little more difficult. For example, when a missile is launched, the weather becomes very hot and many biological elements are killed, so the missile must be equipped with a complete cooling system.
– Stockpiling biological weapons components requires great effort, but with regard to weapons of mass destruction, biological weapons are relatively cheap to develop and produce compared to others.
The cost is two thousand dollars per square kilometer with conventional weapons, 800 dollars with nuclear weapons, 600 dollars with nerve gas weapons, and one dollar with biological weapons, hence the biological weapons became known as the “poor man’s bomb.”
March 2020: The Iranian guide said that there are indications and evidence that support the hypothesis of a biological attack by the Corona virus.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said that the US military may have brought the Corona virus to the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the disease first appeared in December 2019.
April 2020: The American magazine Newsweek said that US intelligence denied that the emerging Corona virus (Covid-19) was a biological weapon made in a Chinese laboratory.
May 2020: An Italian Institute for International Studies said that the widespread spread of the Corona epidemic has proven that it can be an important criterion for evaluating the effects and responses of countries in the face of scenarios of biological warfare and bioterrorism.
Biological warfare in Ukraine
March 10, 2022: “The numbered birds released from biological laboratories in Ukraine were captured in the Russian regions of Ivanovo and Voronezh,” the Russian Defense Ministry said, according to Sputnik.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov announced that documents obtained by Russia in Ukraine reveal that the purpose of biological research that was funded by the United States in Ukraine was to create a secret mechanism for the spread of deadly pathogens.
– He added that – according to the documents – the US side planned to work on pathogens of birds, bats and reptiles in Ukraine in 2022, and that the Russian Ministry of Defense continues to analyze documents submitted by workers in Ukrainian biological laboratories about US military biological activities on Ukrainian territory.
– Sputnik quoted the commander of the Russian Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense Forces, Lieutenant-General Igor Kirillov, as saying that the American, Ukrainian and Georgian laboratories are implementing a project near the Russian borders in which bats are considered as carriers of biological weapons.
Kirillov said – during a press conference – “The Pentagon is also interested in insect vectors that can spread dangerous infectious diseases. The analysis of the received materials confirms the fact that more than 140 containers containing external parasites of bats (fleas and ticks) were transferred from the biological laboratory in Kharkiv abroad. “.
The British Foreign Secretary told CNN that there is talk of the use of chemical weapons in Ukraine, and that Russia has done so in the past, stressing that this would be a grave mistake if it happened.
March 11, 2022: The UN Security Council held an emergency session at the request of Russia to discuss the biological weapons file in Ukraine.
March 14, 2022: The World Health Organization “strongly” recommends that Kyiv destroy “very dangerous pathogens” in its laboratories, to prevent possible leaks during the ongoing Russian military operation against Ukraine.