WAR PROPAGANDA: NATO attacked Russia with ticks launched from Ukraine

A 'Biological Hazard' sign in Duesseldorf, Germany, 08 November 2016.
© EPA/FEDERICO GAMBARINI   |   A 'Biological Hazard' sign in Duesseldorf, Germany, 08 November 2016.

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NATO has biological laboratories in several ex-Soviet states, and its laboratories in Ukraine produced ticks and pathogens used to attack Russia, pro-Kremlin propaganda writes.

Propaganda: Russia needs to protect itself from biological weapons produced by NATO in Ukraine and other ex-Soviet states

NEWS: Biological laboratories located close to Russia’s borders should be treated as US and NATO military bases, with all the direct consequences that entails, the Kazakh politician Aynur Kurmanov, the representative of the International Coalition for the Prohibition of the Development and Proliferation of Biological Weapons, has told Ukraina.ru. […]

These laboratories are time bombs used to destabilize the South Caucasus and to open an additional frontline, designed to thwart NATO’s plans on the territory of Ukraine. Armenia is used as backup by NATO to create another hotbed of hostility towards the Russian Federation.

[…] Military biologists are returning to Ukraine. The difference this time is that it’s not just Americans, but also Germans, in particular Bundeswehr units. Experts are now working in the shelters of the former Soviet military enterprises in the town of Shostka. They are conducting secret research on their premises. Shortly afterwards, heavy tick infestations were reported in the regions of Bryansk, Belgorod, Kursk and Voronezh, causing encephalitis. […] Ukraine remains a springboard for aggressive military and biological attacks targeted against Russia.

NARRATIVE: NATO attacked Russia with ticks and viruses produced in its biological laboratories in Ukraine

Fact: NATO does not have any laboratories developing biological weapons on the territory of Ukraine and does not fund programs aimed at destroying Russia

WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: The false narrative promoted by Russian government media is based on an interview given by Aynur Kurmanov, whom the article describes as a Kazakh politician and a member of the International Coalition for the Prohibition of the Development and Proliferation of Biological Weapons. The interviewee has no professional competences in the fields of biology, security or medicine, nor is he a Kazakh politician. Kurmanov is simply a journalist born in Kazakhstan. Organizing various anti-government and pro-Kremlin protests in Astana in breach of public order regulations, Kurmanov sought refuge in Moscow, and is often cited by Russian propaganda to manipulate public opinion on current topics in the Caucasus, South Caucasus and Ukraine.

Kurmanov writes in Moscow-based media about Russian speakers being persecuted by Kazakh president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, echoing narratives about the “Banderist regime” in Kyiv. Kurmanov supports far-left movements, presenting himself as an “Orthodox communist”. The International Coalition for the Prohibition of the Development and Proliferation of Biological Weapons, whom Kurmanov represents, is not a professional organization, but rather a forum for debate created by communist and socialist parties from Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Pakistan and Ireland. Left-wing media in Russia wrote about the activity of this organization three years ago. Aynur Kurmanov reiterates the old narrative about biological laboratories used by the West/ NATO / USA to threaten the Russian Federation. The narrative was circulated even prior to the large-scale invasion of Ukraine, when Russian propaganda would write about bio-labs set up on the borders with Russia in ex-Soviet states. For that matter, the narrative was so widespread, that in 2020 the US embassy in Kyiv felt compelled to public dismiss the existence of any American secret laboratories on the territory of Ukraine. Some of the false narratives rolled out on the market around the COVID pandemic referred to the alleged production of this virus in American bio-labs. Later, in the wake of the February 24, 2022 invasion, Russian propaganda claimed such laboratories were actually operating out of Ukraine. The purported existence of biological laboratories – which was never corroborated with hard evidence – has been used to legitimize the invasion of Ukraine, and has been regularly publicized since the start of the war. One such occasion was the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam, when this particular narrative was promoted both in Russia and abroad. Without providing any evidence, Kurmanov claims that the Bryansk Belgorod, Kursk and Voronezh regions were invaded by ticks that caused encephalitis and other diseases, the work of American and German specialists hiding in the shelters of old enterprises in Shostka, in the Sumy region in northern Ukraine. In fact, the aforementioned regions typically favor the abundant reproduction of ticks, due to their specific forestry and climate characteristics. Moreover, public health agencies regularly inform the population regarding the threats caused by tick bites. In addition, the town of Shostka is bombed by Russia on a weekly basis, given its proximity to the Russian border. For this reason, the positioning of biological research centers manned by NATO experts in this hot zone is highly unlikely.

It’s also worth noting that starting 2007, Kyiv joined the Convention on the non-proliferation of biological weapons.

GRAIN OF TRUTH: The USA and Ukraine do have a history of cooperation in the field of biological research. However, what Russian propaganda articles fail to mention every time is that bio research is not the same as military research, nor does it have anything to do with manufacturing actual bio-weapons.

  • Publication / Media:
    UKRAINA.RU
  • Date of publication:
    29/01/2024
  • Target audience:
    The Russian-speaking population in Russia, Belarus and other ex-Soviet republics, as well as in Russian-held territories in Ukraine
  • Amplification:
    DZEN.RU, the Telegram channels of Russian media outlets
  • Political affiliation:
    The Kremlin
  • Key narrative:
    NATO attacked Russia with ticks and viruses via a biological laboratory in northern Ukraine

EBOOK> Razboi si propaganda: O cronologie a conflictului ruso-ucrainean

EBOOK>Razboiul lui Putin cu lumea libera: Propaganda, dezinformare, fake news

Marin Gherman

Marin Gherman




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