Russia on Thursday alleged that the United States is actively funding research into the development of biological weapons in Ukraine, as Moscow stepped up its campaign to gain control of key Ukrainian cities.
In a televised briefing on Thursday, Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov stated that ‘the purpose of this — and other Pentagon-funded biological research in Ukraine — was to establish a mechanism for the stealthy spread of deadly pathogens.’
Konashenkov also claimed that the ministry had obtained documents detailing US military-biological activities in Ukraine, including on the transfer of Ukrainians’ biomaterial abroad.
He said Washington ‘planned to carry out research on a bird, bat, and reptile pathogens’, as well as on African swine fever and anthrax.
‘Biolaboratories set up and funded in Ukraine have been experimenting with bat coronavirus samples,’ Konashenkov added.
Both Washington and Kyiv have denied the existence of laboratories intended to produce biological weapons in the country, which has faced a Russian assault by tens of thousands of troops since February 24.
Russia in 2018 accused the United States of secretly carrying out biological experiments in a lab in Georgia, another former Soviet republic, which like Ukraine aims to join NATO and the European Union.
In the meantime, the United States will send $13.6 billion in humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine after the US House approved a $1.5 trillion spending bill to keep the government’s doors open for the next six months.
The bill included more than $4 billion to assist Ukraine and others in Eastern Europe grappling with the millions of refugees fleeing the former Soviet republic after Russia invaded two weeks ago.
Nearly $7 billion would backfill the transfer of US military equipment to Ukraine and its allies, as well as cover the current and future deployment of American troops and equipment to defend NATO in the region.
Meanwhile. US President Joe Biden has continued to maintain that he would not send troops to Ukraine.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK