Remarks to the Press Dmitry Polyanskiy Regarding American Biolabs in Ukraine

Remarks to the Press by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy regarding American biolabs in Ukraine

Dmitry Polyanskiy: It is April 1, International Fools Day, but I will be speaking about serious things. As you know, in the course of special military operation in Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defense discovered evidence that Ukrainian authorities, supported and directly sponsored by the US Department of Defense, were implementing dangerous projects and experiments as a part of military biological program. These activities had been carried out on the Ukrainian territory, in the middle of Eastern Europe and in the close proximity to Russian borders for many years, posing a real threat to biological security of our country and the region.

On the initiative of the Russian Federation, the UN Security Council discussed this issue twice – on March 11 and 18. We have circulated documented evidence received by our Ministry of Defense as official documents of the Security Council and the General Assembly. Those are Russian letters dated March 11, 18 and 29. There will be another letter today. I recommend everyone to scrutinize these materials. Those are the copies of original documents, contracts, communications between the Ukrainian side and the Pentagon with authentic signatures, project documentation etc.

For all this time, we have been seeking clarification from the US side on the true nature of its bioactivity in Ukraine and explanations with regard to the above-mentioned documents. In particular, we asked to clarify why the US Department of State keeps insisting that the US operates no laboratories in Ukraine, while there is documented proof of Pentagon directly managing these labs, with its sub-contractors implementing projects with deadly bio agents. The key question is why has the Pentagon been so deeply involved in biological projects on Ukraine, contracting the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, if, as the US delegation claims, all these activities are exclusively peaceful?

We have received no answers so far. The US as well as other Western delegations have been totally dismissive. They refuse to provide any comment on the evidence that has been revealed, labeling it as “Russian disinformation”.

However, documents speak for themselves, and evidence received by our Ministry of Defense keeps piling up, and it is getting more and more specific.

In particular, on March 31 our Ministry of Defense disclosed a list of individuals directly involved from the US side in the military biological activities on the territory of Ukraine. Let me drop a few names as an example.

Robert Pope, then-Director of the Joint Threat Reduction Program, who came up with the idea to establish a central depository of especially dangerous pathogens in Kiev. He had been actively engaged in communication with the Ukrainian Health Minister Ulyana Suprun thanking her for admission of American experts to the Ukrainian labs (the fact the US side continues to deny).

Joanne Wintrall, the head of the DTRA office in Kiev that directly supervised projects to study especially dangerous pathogens, including anthrax, Congo-Crimean fever, leptospirosis etc.

Lance Lippencott, the head of the Ukrainian branch of the Black & Veatch, which is the Pentagon contractor company. Its work was brought into question even by the Ukrainian special services, which raised concerns about the threat of deterioration of the epidemic situation in Ukraine as a result of the experiments with especially dangerous infections carried out by the Black & Veatch.

Others include David Mustra who is closely associated with another Pentagon contractor MetabiotaMary Guttiery, vice-president of Metabiota and, as it was revealed, a confidant to Hunter Biden, which is confirmed by their correspondence, Scott Thornton who supervised the modernization of biolabs and advised local staff as a part of the DTRA projects in Ukraine.

Our Ministry of Defense has also received extremely alarming evidence that the Ukrainian side attempted to get an access to technical means of delivery of bioweapons. The Ukrainian company Motor Sich requested Baykar Makina, the Turkish manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles Bayraktar, if it is possible to equip this UAV with systems and mechanisms for spraying aerosols with a capacity exceeding 20 liters. There is a copy of this letter. The flight range of this UAV is up to 300 km. If equipped with containers with biological substances, such a UAV would pose a real threat of large-scale use of bio aerosols on the territory of the Russian Federation. You will see this copy among the documents that we will distribute.

We also have evidence that projects carried out by the Pentagon on the territory of Ukraine put health and even life of volunteers (Ukrainian citizens) at risk. The documentation for the project UP-8 prescribed that the “minor incidents with volunteers must be reported to the US bioethics committee 72 hours after the incident, and serious ones, including the death of the subjects, within 24 hours”. In other words, it allows for a lethal outcome, though research program for this project officially suggested only a standard blood testing procedure. What kind of “blood testing” it was in reality, if it could lead to the death of volunteers?

We are also analyzing the evidence of the direct engagement of the US political establishment in funding of the military biological activities in Ukraine, providing funds for the Pentagon contractors Black & Veatch and Metabiota. The published communication shows that the goals were far from scientific. For example, the vice-president of Metabiota in one of her letters – I can show you a copy – noted that its activities were aimed at ensuring “…cultural and economic independence of Ukraine from Russia” which is, to say the least, quite an unusual goal for a biotech company.

Military biological activities of the US on the territory of Ukraine are a violation of the Biological Weapons Convention. Such activities bring up biological threats of global scale, which respect no border and can lead up to a new pandemic which can surpass COVID-19 pandemic.

We see it as our duty to keep you updated on this file to shed light on those looming threats. As I said, we plan to distribute a new portion of documents obtained by the Ministry of Defense as UNSC and UNGA documents.

To keep you better informed, we are going to host an informal Arria-formula meeting of the Security Council at 10 am NYT on April 6 to discuss a broad topic of the threats to international peace and security emanating from military biological activities in the regions across the globe. So the scope will be a little wider than Ukraine. This meeting will be open to media and broadcast. It will be briefed by the prominent independent experts on bioweapons. We invite everyone to come onboard and listen to the first-hand information. I promise, you will get much more food for thought.

Let me also inform you that the threat of provocations with chemical weapons is still very high. We recently distributed a new letter among the Security Council where we draw attention to the new information provided by Russian Ministry of Defense, notably that Ukrainian nationalists continue to plot chemical provocations, and that they are up to blowing up railway tanks containing up to 800 tons of chlorine which are stationed in Kochetok settlement 15 km northwest of Chuhuiv city in Kharkov Region. It could lead to a very big catastrophe, contamination of an area with an 8 km radius. They intend to present this heinous act as a result of shelling of these tanks by Russian Air Force or artillery. This is absolutely incompatible with the tasks of our operation in Ukraine. We reiterate that use of any chemical agents, including chlorine, against civilians deserves condemnation in strongest possible terms.

We are giving a heads-up to the UN and hope that it will be taken into consideration.

Q: If you are worried about biological weapons in Ukraine, doesn’t it make sense to pull back your troops and not be fighting near them? Can you comment on the attacks on oil tanks in Russia? What impact is it going to have on the ongoing talks?

A: First of all, the fact that we started our military operation already led to closure of 20 biolabs, representing a real threat to the Russian Federation. Secondly, attacks on the Russian territory just reflect the real intentions of the Ukrainian side regarding any peace talks and gestures that could lead to certain openings.

UNSC Session on Biological Laboratories in Ukraine: Statement by Vassily Nebenzia

Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC Briefing on Biological Laboratories in Ukraine, March 18, 2022