There are “no offensive biologic weapons” in the Ukrainian laboratories that the United States has been funding, a Pentagon official told Congress on April 1.
The Pentagon funds labs in Ukraine through its Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), a support agency within the Department of Defense for countering weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. and Ukrainian officials both say the labs seek to prevent bioweapons and pathogens.
The Biological Threat Reduction Program has “improved Ukraine’s biological safety, security, and surveillance for both human and animal health,” according to the fact sheet.
But analysts believe that the narrative being pushed by the Kremlin is part of its plan to create a false-flag operation in an attempt to justify using chemical weapons operations in Ukraine itself.
Rosenbaum told officials on April 1 that “the department remains very concerned about the ability to get accurate and transparent information out to the U.S. public, as well as certainly our allies and the rest of the world.”
“So one of the things that the department has been doing—and this is particularly related to the public health laboratories in Ukraine that is being tragically used by the Russians as a potential for a false flag operation—from the White House on down to the Defense Department, as well as Department of State, as well as all of the vehicles that we have to be able to communicate accurate information out about this and the work that has been underway,” she said.
“I think the Russians know enough about the kinds of pathogens that are stored in biological research laboratories that I don’t think they would deliberately target a laboratory,” Pope said. “But what I do have concerns about is that they would ... be accidentally damaged during this Russian invasion.”