Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UN Security Council briefing on biological laboratories in Ukraine (agenda item "Threats to international peace and security")
It is the third meeting of the Security Council on military biological activities in Ukraine that convenes upon Russia’s request. Let me explain why.
We keep receiving very worrisome documental evidence that the US Department of Defense is directly involved in implementing in that country dangerous biological projects that have characteristic features of a secret military biological program. This activity was undertaken in the midst of Eastern Europe and close to Russia’s western borders, thus posing a real threat to biological security of our country, the region, and the whole world, if we take into account the cross-border nature of biological threats. As confirmed by Mr.Markram, neither the United States nor Ukraine ever submitted to the United Nations any information about those activities in their respective BWC reports that are part of corresponding confidence-building measures. Only our special military operation was able stop this dangerous activity.
Two months have passed since our last meeting on this topic, in which time new evidence has emerged. We circulated all materials in the Security Council. Let me draw your attention to the most telling pieces.
As we take from the documents of Project 3007 "Monitoring of the epidemiological and environmental situation regarding hazardous diseases of aquatic origin in Ukraine", Ukrainian specialists, supervised by American scientists, systematically collected water samples in a number of major Ukrainian rivers, including the Dnepr, Danube and Dniester, as well as in the North Crimean Canal. The goal was to determine the presence of particularly dangerous pathogens, including cholera, typhoid, hepatitis A and E pathogens, and draw conclusions about their possible waterborne spread to assess the damage properties of the selected samples. All the collected strains were subsequently exported to the USA. A question begs itself – what for? Why does the United States need a collection of dangerous pathogens that can spread in the rivers of that region? A brief look at the map of Ukraine's water resources will suffice for anyone to realize that results of this “scientific research” can be used to start a biological disaster, and not only in Russia, but also in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, as well as in Eastern Europe, including Belarus, Moldova and Poland.
The documents indicate that the Kiev regime attempted to get access to technical opportunities for delivery of hazardous biological agents by air. Last year Ukraine sent a request to the Turkish manufacturer of UAVs Baykar Makina regarding the possibility of equipping the Bayraktar drones with equipment enabling them to spray more than 20 liters of aerosol while flying for more than 300 kilometers. A copy of this letter is included in the set of documents that we circulated in the Council on 19 April. If equipped with such aerosol system and having 300-kilometer flight range, such a drone will pose a real threat of spraying hazardous biological aerosols over the territory of Russia.
In January 2022, Ukraine reportedly purchased through intermediary organizations more than 50 such devices, which can be used to apply biological formulations and toxic chemicals. On 9 March 2022, three unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with 30-litre containers and sprinkler equipment were detected by Russian reconnaissance units in Kherson region. At the end of April, 10 more were found near Kakhovka.
Russian Ministry of Defense obtained shocking evidence that some projects that the Pentagon implemented on the territory of Ukraine put at risk lives and health of volunteers – Ukrainian citizens. Documentation of UP-8 project stipulates that “minor” incidents with test subjects must be reported to the US Committee on Ethics within 72 hours, whereas serious incidents, including death of volunteers, must be reported within 24 hours. It means that those experiments initially admitted a possibility of a lethal outcome, though official project documentation only wrote about standard blood sample collection. What type of blood sampling it was if test subjects could die afterwards?
There is evidence confirming direct involvement of American political establishment in funding military biological activity in Ukraine through Pentagon’s contractors, such as Black & Veatch and Metabiota. And their goals were far from promoting science. In particular, a letter by the Vice President of Metabiota says that the company’s goal in Ukraine is “ensuring cultural and economic independence of Ukraine from Russia” – a very unusual task for a biotech company, to say the least.
At previous meetings we informed the Council that Ukraine, being funded and sponsored by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency, developed a network of biological laboratories conducting military biological RnD. According to our previous data, this network covered Kiev, Odessa, Lvov, Kharkov, Dnipro, Kherson, Ternopol, Uzhgortod, and Vinnitsa.
Now Mariupol has joined this list. In two biolabs of this city we discovered evidence of emergency destruction of documents confirming engagement with the US military establishment.
A preliminary analysis of extant documentation indicates the use of Mariupol as a regional center for cholera pathogen collection and certification. The selected strains were sent to the Public Health Centre in Kiev, which is responsible for the onward shipment of biomaterials to the United States. These activities have been carried out since 2014, as evidenced by the transfer of strains.
An act of destruction of the pathogen collection dated 25 February 2022 was found in the sanitary and epidemiological laboratory of Mariupol. According to it, this lab handled pathogens of cholera, tularemia and anthrax, which are potential bioweapons agents.
Part of the collection of the veterinary laboratory was not destroyed in a hurry. Russian specialists discovered there pathogens that are uncharacteristic of veterinary medicine, such as typhoid, paratyphoid fever and gas gangrene.
Last time we spoke about a steep increase of TB incidence in People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Those cases were caused by a new multidrug-resistant tuberculosis pathogen. Now we have reasons to believe that it was not a coincidence.
We conducted an investigation of a biological incident that occurred in the Slavyanoserbsky district of the LPR in 2020. As it turned out, in Stepovoe village flyers made in the form of counterfeit currency notes were infected with the tuberculosis agent and distributed among minors. The idea was that after handling money, children often handle food without washing their hands first.
The analysis revealed that those flyers had been contaminated with highly active TB pathogen, resistant to most anti-TB drugs. The flyers could not have been infected naturally, by someone who is sick with TB, because the concentration of the pathogen was too high. It would not have lasted in natural conditions – in the sunlight which produces a bactericidal effect. So there are all signs of deliberate, man-made contamination of the flyers with highly pathogenic biomaterial. Fortunately, no harm was done by these flyers in Stepovoe village. But if put together, all these facts confirm a very alarming trend.
I will now make a point about another episode that once again demonstrates how Kiev regime and its Western sponsors really feel about the people of Ukraine. There is data, according to which US scientists from a laboratory in Merefa tested potentially dangerous biological drugs on patients of the regional clinical psychiatric hospital No 3 in Kharkov. Similar inhumane experiments were held at the Psychiatric Hospital No 1 in Streleche village of the Kharkov region. The main category of subjects was a group of male patients aged 40-60 years with a high stage of physical exhaustion. This research was secret, all involved personnel had to sign a non-disclosure agreement. In order to conceal their US affiliation, the biological research experts travelled via third countries.
As more information about the activity of biolabs in Ukraine comes to surface, we come up with more questions to the NATO allies of the United States. New documents reveal that between 2016 and 2019 alone, three and a half thousand blood serum samples of citizens living in 25 regions of Ukraine were taken by military epidemiologists from the Bundeswehr Microbiology Institute. I wonder, what for the German military would need biological materials of the people of Ukraine?
We also have documents confirming Poland’s involvement in biological research in Ukraine that is conducted jointly with Pentagon’s key contractors (in particular, the US-based Battelle Institute).
I believe that today our Western colleagues will spout another portion of baseless accusations related to “propaganda”. That is why we pay very much attention to collecting a body of evidence and regularly circulate in the Security Council and General Assembly original documents that come into disposal of our Ministry of Defense. Everyone can access them. Those are hundreds of pages, signed by concrete officials from Ukraine and the US. The documents help better understand what exactly the Kiev regime and its Western sponsors would like to hide from the global community.
American representatives again and again refuse to give any clarifications as to the nature and real goals of their biological engagement in Ukraine and the whole world. In the Preparatory Committee of the BWC 9th Review Conference that convened in Geneva in early April, the US side did not give a singly intelligible answer apart from a run-around reply that American biological activity by definition is peaceful and “useful” for the international community.
At the Arria meeting of UNSC members on 6 April, independent journalists addressed the United States and i.a. requested to explain why documents about US-Ukrainian cooperation in the area of biological research run counter to statements made by US officials. But the delegations of the US and Great Britain simply did not attend the meeting.
Here is another telling fact. At the mentioned session of the Preparatory Committee, the US delegation again rejected a proposal to create an effective BWC verification mechanism. American delegates refused to resume the work on a legally binding additional protocol to the Convention that the US has been blocking since 2001. US representatives also turned down our initiative to expand BWC confidence measures to include reporting on military biological activities held outside national territories. It means the United States deliberately blocks attempts to strengthen the BWC regime that should make it identify violations of the Convention more effectively.
Those are very alarming signals, especially in light of the fact that US legislation allows military-biological activity and that national legislation in this area is superior to international in that country.
Let me ask the representatives of Ukraine – if the activity that you carry out in biolabs in Ukraine and entire world is peaceful as you say, then why do you not agree to put it under international control and why do you prevent the international community from having all necessary tools to that end? This would be the easiest way to clear away all doubts and accusations, if they are indeed absolutely groundless as you say. Unfortunately, so far only one explanation suggests itself: you have something to hide.
We have gathered a considerable bulk of materials that directly point at violations of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention by the United States and Ukraine. We will keep collecting and analyzing relevant data. Since the US side refuses to take part in any constructive discussion on this topic, we plan to engage mechanisms that are envisaged in articles 5 and 6 of the BWC. As soon as we are done collecting materials, we will submit them to the Security Council for an investigation. We hope that it will let us curb military-biological activities that pose a threat to international peace and security, and bring perpetrators to account.
Right of reply by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy:
Once again we saw attempts to sidetrack the discussion by shifting focus from the issue that we initially raised and mixing together chemical and biological weapons. Colleagues, those are different things. Mr. President, you spoke of both.
But we talk about concrete facts that we discovered and concrete documents confirming that the United States carries out military biological programs in Ukrainian biolabs. We have already circulated several hundreds of documents pointing at concrete data, concrete cases, concrete companies, and concrete individuals. If this is not sufficient evidence for you, then what is?
You do not respond to our questions not only in the Security Council. As we said in our statement, the United States provided no information or clarification as to the character and real goals of its biological activity in Ukraine, including at the Preparatory Committee of the BWC 9th Review Conference, which is a specialized platform. You pretend nothing is happening, but alas, it does. And we demand explanations. We already mentioned what mechanisms we plan to employ, and we will not give up this issue. Your attempts to turn our concrete claims and questions into general “babble” and talks about “Russian propaganda” will not pass. You will have to provide concrete explanations regarding your illicit activity in Ukraine.