The U.S. has biological weapons laboratories in Ukraine, including migratory birds that carry infectious pathogens to Russia.
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A claim circulated online by Russian and Chinese officials and social media users that the U.S. has biological labs in Ukraine and is training migratory birds to migrate from Ukraine to Russia and distribute biological weapons. Thousands of people, including verified users, have shared the claim.
Misbar found no evidence to support the claim that the US and Ukraine are collaborating to use biological weapons in Russia. The Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, stated that the US "does not believe Ukraine is pursuing biological or nuclear weapons." Furthermore, the State Department issued a statement denying the allegations on their official Twitter account, as shown below.
A joint agreement between the U.S. Defense Department and Ukraine's Ministry of Health in 2005 was misrepresented, leading to the current allegations. According to reports, the two agreed to collaborate to "curtail the threat of bioterrorism by putting modern safeguards on deadly pathogens" and to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. An excerpt from the agreement is provided below.
Furthermore, the United States Embassy in Ukraine has a "Biological Threat Reduction Program" that "collaborates with partner countries to counter the threat of deliberate, accidental, or natural outbreaks of the world's most dangerous infectious diseases." The initiative achieves its goals by fostering a culture of bio-risk management, forming international research partnerships, and improving "biosecurity, bio-safety, and bio-surveillance measures." The program's priorities in Ukraine are to "consolidate and secure pathogens and toxins of security concern, as well as to continue ensuring Ukraine can detect and report outbreaks caused by dangerous pathogens before they pose security or stability threats."
The US has provided biosafety assistance to Ukraine as part of this initiative, which has about a dozen labs focused on biodefense and public-health responses rather than offensive weaponry.
According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, the United States is fully compliant with the Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions and "does not produce or possess such weapons anywhere." Based on the findings, the United States does have biological labs, but these are used for collaborative research and not to make biological weapons.