Question asked by PM on May 10, 2022.
like CheckNews The Ukrainian and Georgian laboratories detailed in the previous article – partners in an American program to combat biological risks – have been presented by Russia as biological weapons production sites for many years. And that’s when many of these sites were opened up to Russian scrutiny or partnered with Russian researchers. Shortly after the start of the invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin claimed that documents confirming this thesis were discovered in these famous laboratories.
On March 10, Igor Kirillov, who was at the head of Russia’s protection force against radiation, chemical and biological products, thus revealed the existence of a project. Its purpose was to explore the potential for the spread of particularly dangerous infections through migratory birds. highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza, lethality for humans reach 50% alongside Newcastle disease”. He also claimed to have evidence “The important role of the Defense Threat Mitigation Agency (DTRA) of the US Department of Defense in funding and conducting military biological research in Ukraine”.
The allegations were made public without being proven.
On March 12, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that U.S.-funded Ukrainian researchers were U.S.-funded. “He had explored the possibility of the pathogens being carried by wild birds migrating between Russia and Ukraine and other neighboring countries.” In these statements, Russian officials mention the projects named “P444” and “UP-4” and the documents accusing the USA will be made public in a short time.
The announcement was covered in various Russian media. “The United States was working to create a powerful biological weapon. The aim of the project was to spread particularly dangerous infections through migratory birds.Can we read it as early as March 10? Pravda.
However, the evidence for these claims has not yet been made public. The reason may be quite mundane: the projects cited by the Russian authorities are already known to the scientific community, as they were published in special journals in 2016 or 2018. This work, which is about sequencing viruses carried by migratory birds, explicitly acknowledges the financial support of DTRA, the United States Department of Defense’s biological threat reduction program.
Many of these publications also state in black and white that this research is linked to the “P444” program. The affiliation of Ukrainian researchers with DTRA’s UP-4 project is outlined in several online documents detailing the full name of the project: “Risk assessment of some particularly dangerous pathogens potentially carried by migratory birds over Ukraine”. The project is also mentioned on the website of the US Embassy in Ukraine.
No evidence to suggest intentional dispersal
In fact, DTRA contacted CheckNewsconfirms the existence of this work and their participation in the funding. “The UP-4 project, involving four organizations from the Ukrainian Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, involved training Ukrainian personnel on the collection of safe and humane samples from wild birds to identify pathogens that could harm Ukrainian poultry flocks. spread to human societies” details the agency.
“The researchers analyzed the spread of zoonoses from infected wild birds and determined the impact on domestic bird populations. The project quantified the risks associated through the use of mapping techniques and enabled Ukraine to direct preventive resources to prevent Newcastle disease viruses and avian flu, thereby increasing Ukraine’s disease risk. reduced”, Add DTRA. And insisting on the fact that all this research is “it was openly conducted, made available to the public, and ultimately resulted in the results being published online in scientific journals.”
Thus, there is currently no element suggesting that the migratory fauna research projects questioned by the Russian authorities are related to a project for the deliberate dispersal of pathogens.
This fear of using migratory birds for military purposes reflects original research conducted by the Smithonian Institution in the mid-1960s. Washington post He documented that research on bird migration in the Pacific Islands is funded by the military for two purposes: to identify places where biological experiments can be conducted without the risk of the spread of bird pathogens, and conversely, to identify migration routes conducive to enemy attacks. area. The program was definitively discontinued in June 1970.