Russia’s defence ministry on Monday presented further evidence that US-funded laboratories were operating in Ukraine. Documents and materials recovered by Russian troops showed that Western pharmaceutical companies operating in territory under Kiev’s control were conducting HIV/AIDS research on Ukrainian military personnel.
The commander of Russia’s nuclear, biological and chemical defence forces, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, presented Ukrainian-language documents referring to HIV infection studies that began in 2019. The list of target groups includes servicemen alongside prisoners, drug addicts and other “patients at high risk of infection”.
According to Kirillov, the Russian military has recovered more than 20,000 documents and other materials related to the biological programmes in Ukraine, while interviewing eyewitnesses and participants. The evidence “confirms the Pentagon’s focus on creating biological weapons components and testing them on the population of Ukraine and other states along [Russia’s] borders,” the general told reporters.
Based on documents from the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the Russian military has identified eight other people involved in US-funded research in Ukraine. Among the names Kirillov singled out was Karen Saylors of Labyrinth Global Health, formerly of Metabiota, a company linked to US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter.
The latest cache of documents, belonging to the company Pharmbiotest, was unearthed in Lisichansk in the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) in early January, Kirillov said.
“Clinical samples and patient records with their personal data were buried rather than cremated or properly destroyed. This suggests that the destruction of this evidence was carried out in extreme haste,” the lieutenant general said.
In October 2022, Russia filed an official complaint about alleged US-backed biological activities in Ukraine and called for a UN investigation into the matter. The UN Security Council rejected Moscow’s proposal after the US, Britain and France voted against it. The US opposition “once again confirms that Washington has something to hide and that ensuring transparency in biological research is contrary to US interests,” Kirillov said.
As evidence of the widespread threat posed by the Pentagon’s biological research beyond America’s borders, Kirillov pointed to the aforementioned US involvement in coronavirus studies, including funding for the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance, which has a contract with the laboratory in Wuhan, China.
Kirillov also mentioned the 1977 outbreak of Rift Valley fever in Egypt, near a US Navy biological laboratory. The disease, previously known only south of the Sahara, made a surprise appearance in Cairo a few months after lab workers had been vaccinated against it, the general said. Moreover, the Cairo strain was “highly pathogenic” compared to the normal flu-like symptoms of the disease, suggesting the involvement of gain-of-function experiments.