Ukraine Biological Labs - Weapons?

FatPhil

Senior Member.
But as long as you have the pathogen and the know-how and the facilities, I think you're not that many steps away from manufacturing small quantities?

This "know-how" - how do you propose getting rid of that?

Asking for a friend who works in a viroligy lab, and has never done anything more offensive than smear shit onto a petri dish.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
I don't. (pls dont strawman)

Apologies. Read "do" as "would". I was attempting to expand no the idea you raised by looking at possible consequences, and adopted a Socratic approach. It wasn't intended to be accusatory.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
the Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP) addressed proliferation risks associated with biological agents, related materials, and technical expertise associated with the defunct biological weapon program. [..] BTRP worked to destroy bioweapon production facilities, consolidate collections of dangerous pathogens, and support peaceful research activities to employ personnel with knowledge.
The approach taken was to give the people with the know-how jobs, so they wouldn't be tempted to take their dangerous knowledge elsewhere.

This requires transparency to distinguish this peaceful project from post-WW2 efforts like Operation Overcast, Operation Paperclip, or Operation Osoaviakhim, which aimed to use former enemy scientists to produce better weapons.
 

Beaker

Member
Good info in this thread. My 2 cents:
  1. It's not unusual for an agricultural/farming region to have bioresearch labs.
  2. To perform beneficial research on pathogens like anthrax, MCD, covid, etc. you do unfortunately need to store and work with those pathogens in a controlled environment.
  3. A military disruption of power or the usual protocols at those labs would always be concerning.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
It's not unusual for an agricultural/farming region to have bioresearch labs.
But nothing agricultural would be classified as a weapon. I think even Agent Orange wasn't. Nuland was asked about weapons.
A military disruption of power or the usual protocols at those labs would always be concerning.
Nuland was concerned about "Russian forces [..] seeking to gain control of" these labs, she did not mention disruptions.
 

Woolery

Banned
Banned
But nothing agricultural would be classified as a weapon. I think even Agent Orange wasn't. Nuland was asked about weapons.

Nuland was concerned about "Russian forces [..] seeking to gain control of" these labs, she did not mention disruptions.
I really think too much is being read into her response. Her answer (more significantly than Rubio’s question) wasn’t about weapons either. Her answer sounds like either a deflection or a denial made while still attempting to acknowledge perceived concerns:
Nuland: Ukraine has biological research facilities, which, in fact, we are now quite concerned Russian forces may be seeking to gain control of. So we are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces, should they approach.
A simpler way to look at is Rubio goes to the store and asks: “do you have any apples?”

The grocer (Nuland) answers: “We have some fresh strawberries you might be interested in.”

It doesn’t mean the grocer is talking about strawberries as a type of apple.

The subject of Nuland’s reply is bioresearch. And when the state department has been pressed to further clarify her response, it’s clarification has been thoroughly consistent that, despite whatever Rubio asked about, Nuland wasn’t talking about bioweapons.

Nuland’s response, while clumsy, is very flimsy evidence for a secret Ukraine/US joint bioweapons program.
 
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Woolery

Banned
Banned
TASS (Russian News Agency) seizing on Puland’s remarks as proof of secret illegal bioweapons labs in Ukraine:

Bioweapon labs in Ukraine prove US criminal activity, diplomat says​

MOSCOW, March 9. /TASS/. Research conducted in US laboratories in Ukraine corroborates US illegal and criminal activity in that Eastern European country, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the Sputnik radio station on Wednesday commenting on the corresponding statement by US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland.
"Yesterday, Victoria Nuland, in response to a question by American legislators, confirmed the existence of not just the laboratories in question but, as they actually call it, research. And she uttered a remarkable phrase - that is, the very body of evidence that was needed, which we now have - that they [the US] were doing everything so that these materials wouldn’t end up in Russia’s hands. We don’t have to guess what kind of materials those are, there is nothing to guess here anymore. These are the materials that prove the US’ illegal and criminal activity on Ukrainian soil," the diplomat said.
Earlier, Nuland said that Ukraine has facilities where biological research was being conducted and Washington was working to not let them fall into the hands of Russian forces.
Russia offered the US cooperation in the sphere of biological experiments yet their laboratories on post-Soviet territory are classified and were created to develop additional challenges and threats to Russia, the diplomat added.
"We were ready to send specialists, and delegations that consisted of the representatives of various agencies. All of this was shrouded in mystery, all of this was classified. Naturally, this did not imply any cooperation on their part, <...> because all of this was directed not towards developing responses to new challenges and threats but towards creating new challenges and threats directly against our country and against our population," she specified.
"If it is not stopped now, in the future it will all spin out of control and <...> will be brought to heel exclusively by those extremist forces that essentially, it seems to me, cannot even be brought to heel by themselves anymore, not to mention by anybody else," the spokeswoman added.
Earlier, Igor Kirillov, who heads the Russian army’s radiation, chemical and biological protection force, reported that a network of over 30 biological labs was formed on Ukrainian soil on the orders of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) of the US Department of Defense. According to him, on February 24, they were all instructed by the Ukrainian Health Ministry to completely destroy biological agents located in the laboratories.
Source: TASS
 
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Oystein

Senior Member
...

Nuland’s response, while clumsy, is very flimsy evidence for a secret Ukraine/US joint bioweapons program.
One might be excused to think that the issue is HUGE, as Russia actually sets it up as a pretext to significantly escalate the war, and if some official speaks clumsily about to a US Senator, such that a smart forum like this can't figure it out in days, I think is should go without saying that a non-ambiguous statement about the exact nature and status of those labs ought to be published ASAP. This is assuming they are benign in nature.

The fact that, apparently, no one is able or willing to provide such an explanation is what's concerning. Why doesn't Nuland's office have an easy to understand clarification on their websites?
 

Woolery

Banned
Banned
One might be excused to think that the issue is HUGE, as Russia actually sets it up as a pretext to significantly escalate the war, and if some official speaks clumsily about to a US Senator, such that a smart forum like this can't figure it out in days, I think is should go without saying that a non-ambiguous statement about the exact nature and status of those labs ought to be published ASAP. This is assuming they are benign in nature.

The fact that, apparently, no one is able or willing to provide such an explanation is what's concerning. Why doesn't Nuland's office have an easy to understand clarification on their websites?

I agree. I think Nuland should make a clarifying statement herself. It’s surprising to me she hasn’t. I would love to see a detailed description of what the labs are researching, and increased transparency in regards to all US-funded bioresearch labs.

All I’m asserting is that Nuland saying there are Ukrainian bioresearch labs that the US would rather Russia not get its hands on is very poor evidence of a secret US/Ukraine illegal bioweapons program. Her statement wasn’t revelatory nor did it contain any information that wasn’t already publicly available.

As you mentioned, a non-ambiguous statement about the exact nature of the Ukrainian labs ought to be made. But every statement I’ve read has at least been non-ambiguous in rejecting the claim that the labs are bioweapons labs:

https://www.state.gov/the-kremlins-...d-biological-weapons-laboratories-in-ukraine/

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...-reject-russia-s-claims-of-ukraine-bioweapons

https://www.reuters.com/world/russia-demands-us-explain-biological-programme-ukraine-2022-03-09/
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
“Well, we do have clarity,” Griffin responded. “I have a fact sheet—that’s what I was just reading—from the Pentagon.”
The fact that, apparently, no one is able or willing to provide such an explanation is what's concerning.
Apparently it exists, we just haven't found it yet. Admittedly, I haven't been searching for it specifically, after the information I found on the BTRP conversion program.

The point is that the denials we see all cover US involvement in bioweapon research in the Ukraine. The ambiguity is that Ukraine might conduct bioweapon research on its own. The US may not be in a position to deny this, regardless of whether it is true or not.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Bioweapons became an issue because it turns out this conspiracy theory got people to support Putin, and worked much better in the US than the "Ukraine=nazis" propaganda that Russia was promoting before the invasion.
Article:
Pyrra Technologies, a cybersecurity and threat intelligence company, said the first mention of biolabs came on the far-right social network Gab on Feb. 14, 10 days before the invasion. The user included an awkwardly worded graphic, titled “Exclusive US biolabs in Ukraine, and they are financed at the expense of the US Department of Defense.”

The post largely sat idle for days. Welton Chang, the CEO of Pyrra, said posts about biolabs on the top 15 far-right social networks numbered in the single digits in the days before Russia’s invasion. But on Feb. 24, the day Russia began its invasion, the number of posts about biolabs on English-language far-right websites skyrocketed into the hundreds and only grew in the days after.

Boosted by far-right influencers on the day of the invasion, an anonymous QAnon Twitter account titled @WarClandestine pushed the “biolabs” theory to new heights, using the same “US biolabs” graphic initially included on the Gab post that went largely unshared the week before.

The biolab conspiracy theory has taken over as the prevailing narrative on pro-Trump and QAnon websites like The Great Awakening and Patriots.Win.

Chang said the rhetoric on pro-Trump sites, which had largely been anti-Putin in the first days of the war, has shifted because of the biolab conspiracy theory.

“These communities already know what the rhythm and cadence of Covid conspiracies should be like to get people to buy it,” Chang said. “They had a lot of practice with QAnon. The kinds of things that get people excited, like any time you say ‘secret biolab,’ it gets people’s emotions up.”

Zignal Labs, which analyzes social media, broadcast, traditional media and online conversations, found that English-language influencers helped create the talking point for Russian propaganda.

“Mentions of the bioweapon lab narrative in Russian doubled on March 6th,” about 10 days after the start of the invasion, Zignal Labs said in a report. From Wednesday to Friday, Russian mentions of the biolab conspiracy theory on social media have outpaced posts about the same propaganda in English, the report said.


Source: https://m.imgur.com/gallery/h1TOdn4
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Apparently it exists, we just haven't found it yet
it doesnt say much the media hasnt already been putting. out.

they do admit samples were destroyed, but the rest is just the same ol talking points.
Article:
After Russia launched its unlawful invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Ministry of Health responsibly ordered the safe and secure disposal of samples. These actions limit the danger of an accidental release of pathogens should Russia’s military attack laboratories, a real concern since they have attacked Ukraine’s nuclear power plants and research facilities.  Proper disposal of samples during a war reflects responsible conduct on the part of the Ukrainians to protect the Ukrainian people and the international community from potential accidental exposure due to irresponsible Russian actions

...
As of Mar. 11, 2022
 
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