Here Is a Map of U.S. Biolabs In Ukraine

Here Is a Map of U.S. Biolabs In Ukraine

On April 23rd the US Embassy in Ukraine acknowledged that there are biological laboratories in Ukraine that are under the control of the Pentagon.

The statement of diplomats came after an open letter from people’s deputies about the threats posed by these research centers to Ukrainians.

However, our government is denying the threats and say that scientific work is being carried out for exclusively peaceful purposes. And talk of threats is written off as “Russian disinformation”.

The Ukrainian “Strana” news agency looked into this story.

The US Embassy in Ukraine has a list of biosafety laboratories in Ukraine. Below is a screenshot of their Biological Threat Reduction Program page.

A list of the laboratories in Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, Ternopil, Zakapartska, and Lviv is on the right side. The links to the Fact sheets are not working anymore on the US Embassy website but you can see them at The Pentagon Bio-weapons.

US Embassy in Ukraine website

Below is a continuation of the same webpage with Fact Sheets on the right side about the laboratories in Lviv, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Dnipropetrovsk, and Vinnytsia Diagnostic Laboratories.

On the left side are the active research projects.

BTRP (Biological Threat Reduction Program) supports many collaborative research projects through which Ukrainian and American scientists work together.  A few recent examples are:

  •  “Risk Assessment of Selected Avian EDPs (Early Detection Program) Potentially Carried by Migratory Birds over Ukraine”
  • “Prevalence of Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever virus and hantaviruses in Ukraine and the potential requirement for differential diagnosis of suspect leptospirosis patients”
  • “The Spread of African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) in Domestic Pigs and Wild Boars in Ukraine – Building Capacity for Insight into the Transmission of ASFV through Characterization of Virus Isolates by Genome Sequencing and Phylogenetic Analysis”
  • “ASF Biosurveillance and ASF Regional Risk Assessment: A Field to Plate Survey”

What the Deputies of the Rada Declared

On April 14th people’s deputies from “Opposition Platform – For Life” Viktor Medvedchuk and Renat Kuzmin wrote requests to four leaders of the country: President Zelensky, Prime Minister Shmygal, Head of the SBU Bakanov, and Minister of Healthcare Stepanov.

In an appeal with reference to Serbian and Bulgarian media, it is reported that the US has more than 400 bacteriological laboratories around the world, including at least 15 in Ukraine.

There are exclusively American ones, and they are financed at the expense of the US Department of Defense. The laboratories are located in Odessa, Vinnytsia, Uzhgorod, Lvov (three), Kiev (three), Kherson, Ternopol, and near Crimea and Lugansk.

People’s deputies note that the functioning of American biolaboratories in Ukraine started during the presidency of Viktor Yushchenko and the premiership of Yuliya Tymoshenko – August 29th, 2005.

At that time, cooperation agreements were signed between the US Department of Defense and the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine for the prevention of proliferation technologies (growth of body tissue by cell division), pathogens, and expertise that can be used for the development of biological weapons.

“In fact, the work in the laboratories is carried out under the program of biological experiments. The budget is $2.1 billion and is funded by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The Scientific and Technical Center in Ukraine, an international organization funded by the American authorities and whose staff have diplomatic immunity, has also become involved in this activity. This organization is engaged in financing projects for the creation of weapons of mass destruction,” wrote Medvedchuk and Kuzmin.

Further, the people’s deputies point out that after the launch of biolaboratories in Ukraine there were outbreaks of infectious diseases.

“So, in Ternopol in 2009 there was a virus that caused hemorrhagic pneumonia. Its victims were 450 Ukrainians. In 2011, there was an outbreak of cholera in Ukraine – 33 people died. Three years later, cholera was diagnosed already 800 citizens, another year later more than 100 cases of cholera were recorded in Nikolaev.”

People’s deputies also gave such examples. In January 2016, 20 soldiers died from an influenza-like virus in Kharkov, and more than 200 were hospitalized. Two months later, 364 deaths were recorded in Ukraine. “The reason is swine flu of the same strain of influenza that led to the global pandemic in 2009,” say Medvedchuk and Kuzmin.

They further point out that in 2017 in Nikolaev there was an outbreak of hepatitis A. In the summer of the same year there were similar hotbeds of infection in Zaporozhye and Odessa, and in the autumn – in Kharkov.

“In 2010-2012 [i.e., already under Yanukovych – ed] the Ukrainian government initiated checks to see if the laboratories comply with all safety measures. As a result, a number of gross disorders were identified that could lead to the leakage of strains of dangerous infections. The fact of extract ventilation facing the premises of a kindergarten was even recorded,” it is said in the appeal of Medvedchuk and Kuzmin.

Then people’s deputies write that in 2013 President Viktor Yanukovych abandoned such cooperation with the United States. But already in 2014 Petro Poroshenko continued it. “It is likely that Yanukovych lost power with the active participation of the US government precisely because of his refusal to cooperate with the Pentagon,” suggest the deputies from “Opposition Platform – For Life”.

In conclusion, they point out, “It is possible that the secret and opaque activities of dangerous foreign objects on the territory of Ukraine have the task of testing the actions of viruses and bacteria on the bodies of Ukrainians”, and ask the leadership of Ukraine to understand this.

The topic of US biological laboratories in Ukraine is not new, and Kuzmin has been leading it directly for a number of years.

“It is known that the 1972 Geneva Convention prohibits the production of bacteriological weapons, and for this reason the US military does not produce them in the United States. Why, because there are so many excellent test sites in the world as Ukraine or Georgia, where any deadly viruses can be produced and tested on the local population? It is enough only to create a military laboratory, give it a harmless name, such as ‘Sanitary Epidemiological Station’, and assign a supervisor to it… “ wrote Renat Kuzmin on Facebook in 2018.

He mentioned this topic in connection with the revelations of the former Minister of State Security of Georgia Igor Giorgadze. In 2018, he stated that the American Lugar Center, which is located in Tbilisi, tested on Georgian citizens the drug “Sovaldi” made by the American firm “Gilead Sciences”. As a result, 73 volunteers were allegedly killed.

US Embassy’s Response Concerning Biological Experiments In Ukraine

On April 22nd the US Embassy in Ukraine responded to Kuzmin’s appeal. The answer was not personally addressed to the people’s deputies, but to “Russian disinformation” in general.

The Embassy confirmed that biological programs in Ukraine are supervised by the US Department of Defense, which in itself is already remarkable.

However, according to diplomats, the Pentagon works in Ukraine together with the Kiev government. The aim is “to ensure the secure storage of pathogens and threatening toxins in public institutions”, so that peaceful research and vaccine development can be carried out.

“We are also working with our Ukrainian partners to develop Ukraine’s ability to detect outbreaks caused by dangerous pathogens before they pose a threat to security or stability,” writes the US embassy in Ukraine.

Diplomats point out that their joint efforts help to ensure that dangerous agents do not fall into the wrong hands, and they list the specific Ukrainian agencies with which they interact:

  • Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine;
  • State Food Safety and Consumer Protection Service of Ukraine;
  • National Academy of Agrarian Sciences;
  • Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.

The Americans tell us that the US Department of Defense’s biological threat reduction program is working with partner countries to combat the threat of outbreaks (intentional, accidental, or natural) of the most dangerous infectious diseases in the world. Among such partners there is Ukraine.

Concerning what is specifically done in laboratories, the diplomats write very evasively: “research partnerships” and “biological surveillance measures” are carried out. But some project descriptions include:

  • Assessing the risks of viruses potentially carried by migratory birds flying over Ukraine;
  • Monitoring the prevalence of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever and hantaviruses in Ukraine and the potential need for diagnosis in patients with suspected leptospirosis;
  • Control the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) in domestic pigs and wild boars in Ukraine; study the genome, conduct biological surveillance of ASF and regional risk assessment on the ground.

Then the Americans give some more interesting facts. Namely: that they modernized many laboratories of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine and the State Service for Food Safety and Consumer Protection. And just in 2019 started to build two laboratories in Kiev and Odessa.

Another part of the American-Ukrainian cooperation is the scientific mentoring letter. I.e., representatives of the United States teach Ukrainian colleagues to prepare publications in order to receive further grants.

In 2016, according to the US Embassy, Ukraine joined the American “disease surveillance in the East”. In addition to our country, the group of the European region includes Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Kazakhstan.

The Embassy also recalled that the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU), mentioned by Kuzmin in his request, is an intergovernmental organization that was established as early as 1993. Now it includes Azerbaijan, the European Union, Georgia, Moldova, and Uzbekistan, in addition to Ukraine and the United States.

In conclusion, the Americans write that such American-Ukrainian cooperation is necessary for “global peace and prosperity by reducing the risks associated with chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons.”

What Else Is Known About US Laboratories In Ukraine

There is little information about American biological laboratories in Ukraine on the Internet. At one time, Bulgarian and Serbian websites wrote about them – Renat Kuzmin referred to their data in his request.

Thus, Bulgarian journalists published a map of laboratories in Ukraine.

Dilyana.bg

Journalists also published documents from which it follows that the Pentagon financed laboratories in Kharkov and Dnepropetrovsk (former regional Sanitary and Epidemiological Service). One of them received $1.5 million, and the other – $2 million from 2010 to 2012.

There is also an agreement between Ukraine and the United States dated August 29th 2005 in the archive of the State Department website. It concerns cooperation in preventing the spread of technologies, pathogens, and experiments that could be used in the manufacture of biological weapons.

The treaty was signed by the Pentagon and the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine, which at that time was headed by Nikolay Polishchuk. There’s a lot of interesting stuff in the document.

For example, it states that the Ministry of Healthcare should send to the US Department of Defense copies of dangerous pathogens that will appear as a result of research carried out in Ukrainian laboratories.

The parties also agreed to keep information about the results of their activities secret. And if they are considered secret by the Pentagon, they automatically become so in Ukraine.

Conversely, if Ukraine has classified any information, it should still be available to the Americans.

At the same time, the agreement requires to involve as few people as possible in this project – “minimize the number of people who have access to limited access information“.

The US Military Program Is Sensitive Information

Ukraine has no control over the military bio-laboratories on its own territory. According to the 2005 Agreement between the US DoD and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine the Ukrainian government is prohibited from public disclosure of sensitive information about the US program and Ukraine is obliged to transfer to the US Department of Defense (DoD) dangerous pathogens for biological research. The Pentagon has been granted access to certain state secrets of Ukraine in connection with the projects under their agreement.

Biowarfare Scientists Under Diplomatic Cover

Interesting information is also available about the International Scientific Center, which the Embassy spoke about and which oversees Ukrainian laboratories. According to the documents, its employees are protected by nothing less than diplomatic immunity.

Among the set of bilateral agreements between the US and Ukraine is the establishment of the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU) – an International organization funded mainly by the US government which has been accorded diplomatic status. The STCU officially supports projects of scientists previously involved in the Soviet biological weapons program.

Over the past 20 years the STCU has invested over $285 million in funding and managing some 1,850 projects of scientists who previously worked on the development of weapons of mass destruction.

Living near BSL labs can be hazardous, mainly when lab leaks occur.

I.e., it seems to be a very important structure in Ukraine for the United States.

However, the very fact that such agreements exist is not yet proof that dangerous pathogens are produced or tested on Ukrainians in laboratories. But why do Americans open so many laboratories and invest a lot of money – while wrapping this topic with a veil of secrecy?

And also under the auspices of the US military department.

The journalist Yury Tkachev gives his explanation.

“These laboratories study the behaviour of dangerous pathogens in certain regional conditions – taking into account climatic, demographic and other factors.

These studies can be called dual-use studies: on the one hand, they are really important in assessing the threats of the spread of a disease (the same Crimea-Congo fever) and in developing recommendations to combat it. On the other hand, the results of the study can be used in the development of bacteriological weapons for use in a particular region,” wrote Yury Tkachev on his Telegram channel.

Even though the Biosafety labs (BSL) are in Ukraine, Ukrainians are prohibited from disclosing publicly any sensitive information about the US program.

Infectious Diseases Surrounding the Biolabs 

364 Ukrainians died from Swine Flu

One of the Pentagon laboratories is located in Kharkiv, where in January 2016 at least 20 Ukrainian soldiers died from Flu-like virus in just two days with 200 more being hospitalized.

The Ukrainian government did not report on the dead Ukrainian soldiers in Kharkiv. As of March 2016 364 deaths have been reported across Ukraine (81.3 % caused by Swine Flu A (H1N1)  pdm09 – the same strain which caused the world pandemic in 2009).

Police investigate infections with incurable diseases.

A highly suspicious Hepatitis A infection spread rapidly in just a few months across South East Ukraine where most of the Pentagon Biolabs are located.

37 people have been hospitalized for Hepatitis A in the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv as of January 2018. Local police have launched an investigation into “infection with human immunodeficiency virus and other incurable diseases”.

Three years ago more than 100 people in the same city became infected with Cholera. Both diseases are alleged to have spread through contaminated drinking water.

In the summer of 2017 60 people with Hepatitis A were admitted to hospital in the city of Zaporizhia, the cause of this outbreak is still unknown.

In the Odessa region, 19 children from an orphanage were hospitalized for hepatitis A in June 2017.

29 cases of Hepatitis A were reported in Kharkiv in November 2017. The virus was isolated in contaminated drinking water. One of the Pentagon bio-labs is located in Kharkiv which was blamed for the deadly Flu outbreak a year ago which claimed the lives of 364 Ukrainians.

The map below shows the Hepatitis A cases in Ukraine and the Pentagon Biolabs.

Ukraine and Russia hit by new highly virulent cholera infection

In 2011 Ukraine was hit by a cholera outbreak33 patients were reportedly hospitalized for severe diarrhea. A second outbreak struck the country in 2014 when more than 800 people all across Ukraine were reported to have contracted the disease. In 2015 at least 100 new cases were registered in the city of Mykolaiv alone.

A new highly virulent variant of the cholera agent Vibrio cholera, with a high genetic similarity to the strains reported in Ukraine, hit Moscow in 2014.

According to a 2014 Russian Research Anti-Plague Institute genetic study the cholera strain isolated in Moscow was similar to the bacteria  which caused the epidemic in neighboring Ukraine.

Police investigate Botulism toxin poisoning in Ukraine

115 Botulism cases, with 12 deaths, were reported in Ukraine in 2016. In 2017 the Ukrainian Ministry of Health confirmed a further 90 new cases, with 8 deaths, of botulinum toxin poisoning (one of the most poisonous biological substances known).

According to the local health authorities, the cause of the outbreak was food poisoning into which  police launched an investigation. The Pentagon biolaboratories in Ukraine were among the prime suspects, as botulinum toxin is one of the bioterrorism agents which have already been produced at a Pentagon bioweapons facility in the US. (see below)

The Ukrainian government stopped supplying antitoxin in 2014 and no botulism vaccines in stock were available during the 2016-2017 outbreak.

Botulism is a rare and extremely dangerous illness caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.

1 gm of the toxin can kill as many as 1 million people 

Aerosol experiments with Botulinum Neurotoxin and Anthrax

Documents prove that the US Army produces, possesses, and tests aerosols of the most lethal toxin in the world – Botulinum Neurotoxin. In 2014 the Department of the Army purchased 100 mg of Botulinum Toxin from Metabiologics for tests at Dugway Proving Ground.

The experiments date back to 2007 when an unspecified quantity of the toxin was procured to the Department of the Army by the same company – Metabiologics.

According to the 2012 West Desert Test Center Report, the military facility performs tests with Botulinum Neurotoxin Aerosol, as well as with aerosolized Anthrax, Yersinia pestis, and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus (VEE).

In January, Dilyana reported on a DTRA study involving soldiers in Ukraine and the Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic fever and hantaviruses. This project is listed in the US Embassy website screenshot above.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has funded a similar project involving soldiers in Ukraine code-named UP-8: The spread of  Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus and hantaviruses in Ukraine and the potential need for differential diagnosis in patients with suspected leptospirosis. The project started in 2017 and was extended a few times until 2020, internal documents show.

According to the project’s description, blood samples will be collected from 4,400 healthy soldiers in Lviv, Kharkiv, Odesa, and Kyiv. 4,000 of these samples will be tested for antibodies against hantaviruses, and 400 of them – for the presence of antibodies against the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus. The results of the blood testing will not be provided to the study participants.

There is no information as to what other procedures will be performed except that “serious incidents, including deaths should be reported within 24 hours. All deaths of study subjects that are suspected or known to be related to the research procedures should be brought to the attention of the bioethics committees in the USA and Ukraine.”

Concluding Thoughts

A full and interactable map of all BSL-4s in the world that are currently known.
Link

Do you remember any aspect of your life where you benefited from any discovery from a Biosafety (Bioweapons) laboratory? Try as hard as I can, I don’t know of anything applicable to patient care that came from a biosafety lab.

Laboratory biosecurity incidents happen with or without war.  The current conflict in Ukraine raises the possibility of a bioweapon spread. It can happen with the destruction of the biosafety lab, or they may get stolen and sold on the black market.

The existence of a bioweapons laboratory is a violation of the Biological Weapons Convention.


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