Is Russia’s “special military operation” actually a smokescreen to target US bio-labs in Ukraine?

Speculation on social media suggests Russian strikes on Ukrainian military installations could also include US bio-labs in the region, as the Russian government has for years accused the US of developing bio-weapons near its border.

The ulterior motive theory was put forth Thursday by Twitter user @WarClandestine, whose account was suspended soon thereafter. Fortunately, his thread was archived before the account was banned.

Evidently there are several US bio-labs in Ukraine under the auspices of the US State Department’s Biological Threat Reduction Program, an initiative where the US partners with other countries “to counter the threat of outbreaks (deliberate, accidental, or natural) of the world’s most dangerous infectious diseases.”

“The Biological Threat Reduction Program’s priorities in Ukraine are to consolidate and secure pathogens and toxins of security concern and to continue to ensure Ukraine can detect and report outbreaks caused by dangerous pathogens before they pose security or stability threats,” the Ukrainian US Embassy’s website states.

The program also led to the creation of two bio-labs in Kyiv and Odessa in 2019, areas that were recently attacked by Russia.

According to a map circulating online, US-backed bio-labs are also located in Vinnystia, Uzhgorod, Lviv, Kherson, Ternopil, and near Crimea and Luhansk.

Another map purports to show areas that were recently attacked by Russia, many of which are cities where US bio-labs are believed to operate.

Meanwhile, Russia for years has raised concerns over the prospect the US is developing biological weapons along its border, with Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev claiming last year there were clear signs dangerous pathogens at the labs could be used for military, or political purposes.

**By Adan Salazar