The Pentagon is still working hard to counter the Russian narrative that U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine are there for peaceful purposes only. This is actually the second change to their original narrative that there were no U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine. But in their efforts to cover-up and debunk claims by Russia, they’re talking out of both sides of their mouth.
A press release from the Pentagon even invoked “WMD removal” as a predicate for their ongoing efforts. However, they do not address the fact that they’ve been working on these projects for three decades, nor do they satisfactorily address why they have 46 of them.
According to the release [emphasis added]:
Ukraine has no nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons programs. On March 11 and 18, 2022, United Nations (UN) High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu similarly stated that the UN is not aware of any biological weapons programs in Ukraine. Those comments were reiterated on May 13, 2022, by the UN Deputy High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.
Today, the collaborations in Ukraine remain peaceful efforts to improve nuclear and radiological safety and security, disease surveillance, chemical safety and security, and readiness to respond to epidemics and pandemics such as COVID-19.
Ukraine has become a leader in transparency and in promoting nonproliferation and global health security norms. For example, in December 2021, Ukraine completed a voluntary, external, WHO-led evaluation of its capacity to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to public health emergencies.
There are several problems with the Pentagon’s claims. On one hand, they say Ukraine has no nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons programs, backing this claim by saying the U.N. is not aware of any. That’s not reassuring when both the Pentagon and U.N. claimed just a few months ago that there were no U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine at all.
Even more concerning is that they claim the labs they’re operating in Ukraine have as one of their purposes to improve “readiness to respond to epidemics and pandemics such as COVID-19.” This is problematic because whenever any labs, whether state-funded or private, are engaged in biological weapons research, they always claim the presence of pathogens in their labs is for defensive purposes only. China does it. Russia does it. Apparently, the U.S. is doing it as well.
The fact that they claim Ukraine has become a leader in transparency is a direct insult to our intelligence. Ukraine remains one of the most corrupt and least transparent nations in the world. This is why Joe Biden shuffled his son there to work for Ukrainian energy firm Burisma. What happens in Ukraine, stays in Ukraine.
It would be possible to claim there were a few one-off labs that remained since the fall of the Soviet Union over thirty years ago. Keeping a remnant intact is justifiable for WMD “stragglers.” But buried in the Pentagon’s release was a bombshell that they’ve been hiding for months. They have 46 “peaceful” Ukrainian labs in operation. From one side of their mouth they say Ukraine has no weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear arms or biological agents, and they claim this is due to their efforts disposing them all over the past three decades. Then, out of the other side of their mouth they acknowledge there are 46 U.S.-funded labs in a nation that borders Russia.
The United States has also worked collaboratively to improve Ukraine’s biological safety, security, and disease surveillance for both human and animal health, providing support to 46 peaceful Ukrainian laboratories, health facilities, and disease diagnostic sites over the last two decades. The collaborative programs have focused on improving public health and agricultural safety measures at the nexus of nonproliferation.
I’ve avoided this topic for the past few months because there simply wasn’t enough information to know who was lying more. That’s the problem when dealing with an argument between the Pentagon and Russia. Both are known to lie regularly. There’s a fine line between spreading the truth and unwittingly aiding either side of the Russia-Pentagon propaganda war. But this admission by the Pentagon lends to the notion that they’re lying more about the biolabs. That’s not to say Russia isn’t lying about them as well. Lies in this case are not mutually exclusive.
I talked more about all this on the latest episode of America First Report.