There are no US-run biological weapons laboratories in Ukraine
The claim that the United States runs secret bio laboratories in Ukraine is a conspiracy theory that has been spread by Russian propagandists since 2018. The allegations misinterpret the 2005 US-Ukraine agreement, which aims to prevent biological threats rather than create them. According to the Security Service of Ukraine, the laboratories referred to on social media are owned and funded by the Ukrainian government
A map is being shared on social media, allegedly showing the locations of the US, i.e. the Pentagon-funded laboratories in Ukraine. This information is not true.
11 PENTAGON BIO LABS IN UKRAINE
The truth is that there are no bio-labs owned by the United States on the territory of Ukraine, and this has been repeatedly debunked by world fact-checking services.
The allegations misinterpret the 2005 US-Ukraine agreement, which aims to prevent biological threats rather than create them. According to the Security Service of Ukraine, the country’s main security agency, the laboratories referred to on social media are owned and funded by the Ukrainian government.
The agency and the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine have repeatedly stated that such claims are false. Media reports show that the theory is related to a multi-year Russian disinformation campaign aimed at discrediting the U.S.
Under the August 2005 Agreement, the Ukrainian and U.S. governments agreed to work together to “prevent the spread of dangerous pathogens and related expertise and minimize potential biological threats.“
In May 2020, the Security Service of Ukraine issued a statement calling on politicians to stop spreading false information about the existence of foreign military biological laboratories in Ukraine.
Recently, “fake news” on alleged activities of the U.S. military biological laboratories in Ukraine has spread in the media and social media… No foreign biological laboratory operates in Ukraine. Recent statements by individual politicians are incorrect and are a deliberate distortion of the facts, the statement read.
The US Embassy in Ukraine issued a statement in April 2020 calling the theories “disinformation spreading in some circles in Ukraine reflecting Russian disinformation about the strong U.S.-Ukrainian partnership to reduce biological threats.”
There is no U.S. military laboratory in Ukraine, Andy Weber, a member of the Board of Directors of the Arms Control Association and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Defense Programs, told PolitiFact.
On the contrary, the U.S. Department of Defense Cooperative Threat Reduction Program provides technical support to the Ukrainian Ministry of Health since 2005 to improve public health laboratories whose mission is analogous to that of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “These laboratories have recently played an important role in stopping the spread of COVID-19,” Weber told PolitiFact.
The claim that the U.S. runs secret bio-labs in Ukraine is a conspiracy theory spread by Russian propagandists since 2018.
According to think-tank Atlantic Council, Russian propagandists have been spreading propaganda in Ukraine for a long time, including claims that these laboratories are experimenting on citizens.
Coda, a non-profit media company, announced in 2018 that the claim was part of a broader Kremlin disinformation campaign to discredit the U.S. in the eyes of Russia’s pro-Western neighbors, Ukraine and Georgia.