Russian MoD Says It Has Evidence US Activities in Ukraine Violated Biological Weapons Convention

Last month, the Russian Defence Ministry revealed that about 30 biological laboratories funded by the Pentagon have been discovered in Ukraine during Moscow’s ongoing special operation in the country.
The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has stated that it has evidence that US activities in Ukraine ran counter to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).
Igor Kirillov, head of the Russian MoD’s radiation, chemical, and biological protection forces, also told reporters on Thursday that the “American curators of biological laboratories in Ukraine were most interested in dual-use projects, many of which are aimed at studying potential agents of biological weapons, such as the plague and tularemia, as well as pathogens of economically significant infections”.
Kirillov added that such projects as P-364, 444, and 781, aimed at “studying the spread of pathogens of dangerous infections through insect vectors, wild birds and bats, were funded in the interests of the US Department of Defence”.
He also said that Russian intelligence found three Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) fitted with chemical sprayers in the Kherson region of Ukraine in March.
“We’re concerned over the fact that on 9 March, in the territory of the Kherson region Russian reconnaissance units discovered three UAVs equipped with 30-litre containers and equipment for spraying chemicals. According to available data, in January 2022, Ukraine purchased more than 50 similar devices that can be used to apply biological formulations and toxic chemicals”, Kirillov stated.
Separately, the head of the Russian MoD’s radiation, chemical, and biological protection forces revealed the names of American and European employees of the Ukrainian Science and Technology Centre (STCU), which was engaged in research in the interests of the US military biological programme.
“I will give the names of officials who were involved in the implementation of military biological programmes. The post of Executive Director of the STCU is held by US citizen Curtis Bjelajac. Born on 27 August 1968, in California, he studied at the Anderson University of Management in California […and] has been working in Ukraine since 1994”, Kirillov said. According to him, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation Programmes Phillip Dolliff supervises on behalf of Washington.
Kirillov noted that the documents obtained by the Russian MoD confirm the connection between the STCU and the US military department through the Pentagon’s main contractor, the engineering firm Black & Veatch. The MoD has the correspondence of the vice president of this company, Matthew Webber, where he expresses his readiness to work with the STCU within ongoing military biological research in Ukraine.
“From 2014 to 2022, the Ukrainian Science and Technology Centre implemented more than 500 research projects in the post-Soviet republics”, such as Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and Azerbaijan, the MoD official said.
Last month, Kirillov stressed that the total amount of US funding for military-biological work carried out in the laboratories of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence amounted to $32 million.
In a separate development last month, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia will demand explanations about the purported involvement of US President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, in financing biological laboratories in Ukraine that were tracked by Russian forces in the course of their ongoing special military operation there.
Moscow’s special operation to demilitarise and de-Nazify Ukraine, which began on 24 February, only aims to destroy the country’s military infrastructure with high-precision weapons, according to the Russian Defence Ministry.