By: Steve Johnson

Truenewsblog – According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Russian forces have discovered several laboratories in Ukraine that are producing biological and chemical weapons with the help and support of the US Defense Department.

Filippa Lentzos, a lecturer in science and international security at King’s College London, told Truenews in an email that there were no “US laboratories” in Ukraine. Instead, she said there are labs in the country that have received money through a US Department of Defense threat reduction program. “These are public and animal health facilities owned and operated by Ukraine,” she said. Could these labs have a dual purpose?

This week, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused Ukraine of running chemical and biological weapons laboratories with US support. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called Russia’s claim “absurd” and said it could be part of an attempt by Russia to lay the groundwork for its own use of such weapons of mass destruction against Ukraine.

“All this is an obvious ploy by Russia to try to justify its further deliberate, unprovoked and unwarranted attack on Ukraine,” Psaki tweeted on Wednesday. “Now that Russia has made these false claims, and China appears to have backed this propaganda, we should all be on the lookout for Russia potentially using chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, or launching a false flag operation using them.”

In 2003, the US invaded on the pretext that Saddam Hussein possessed chemical and biological weapons.

The US has been warning of Russian “false flag” operations for months to create a pretext for the invasion. Wednesday’s warning suggested Russia could be trying to create a pretext for further escalation in the two-week-old conflict, which has seen the Russian offensive slowed but not stopped by stronger-than-expected Ukrainian defenders.

Dmitry Chumakov, a Russian deputy ambassador to the UN, repeated the allegation on Wednesday, urging Western media to report “the news about secret biological laboratories in Ukraine.”

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Wednesday called the Russian claim “a bunch of nonsense.” This is not the first time a world superpower has used such nonsense to justify invading a sovereign country.

When asked by a Russian journalist about the claims, United Nations spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said. “As of this writing, I have no information to corroborate these reports or these claims about these types of labs.”

“Our colleagues at the World Health Organization who have worked with the Ukrainian governments said they are not aware of any activities by the Ukrainian government that violate its international treaty obligations, including chemical or biological weapons,” Dujarric added.

Russia, like the United States, has a long history of spreading disinformation about biological weapons research. In the 1980s, Russian intelligence promoted the conspiracy theory that the US created HIV in a laboratory. More recently, Russian state media have circulated theories about dangerous research labs in Ukraine and Georgia.

The conspiracy theory about US-run labs in Ukraine has been picked up by state-controlled Chinese media and is now circulating on online forums popular with COVID-19 conspiracy theorists and far-right groups in the US

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