Russia says it has obtained documents that reveal US-funded laboratories in Ukraine have been creating biological weapons components and testing them on the population of the country.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday that a few months into Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine, Russian troops began compiling data related to the role and functions of US biolabs in the country.
"Russian troops have secured over 20,000 documents, reference and analytical materials, and interviewed eyewitnesses and participants in American military-biological programs" since the start of the war in February last year, said the commander of Russia's Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Forces, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov.
The general said that the documents "confirm... the focus of the Pentagon on creating biological weapons components and testing them on the population of Ukraine and other states along [Russia's] borders."
He said that based on the documents, which purportedly originate from the Pentagon's Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), service members, prisoners, drug addicts, and other "patients at high risk of infection" were among the targeted groups.
Kirillov said the latest trove of documents had been unearthed in Lisichansk, in the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic (LPR), early this month.
"Clinical samples and patient records with their personal data were buried, and not cremated or destroyed in a proper fashion," the general said. "This suggests that the destruction of this evidence was carried out in extreme haste."
Soon after the onset of the war in Ukraine, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia claimed that secret American labs in Ukraine had been engaged in biological warfare. The United States and Ukraine, however, denied the charges.
In October last year, Russia asked the UN Security Council to establish a commission to investigate its claims that Washington and Kiev were violating the convention prohibiting the use of biological weapons as a result of alleged activities being carried out at biological laboratories in Ukraine.
The Council rejected Moscow's proposal after the US, the UK, and France voted against it. Kirillov said the US opposition at the time "confirms that Washington has something to hide, and that ensuring the transparency of biological research is contrary to US interests."
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