The head of Russia’s Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, has told reporters that his team is making progress in a criminal probe into Ukraine’s alleged multi-million dollar Pentagon-funded bioweapons program.
“The analysis of the obtained documents allowed us to clearly identify the people involved in the military biological activities in Ukraine, including representatives of the US Department of Defense and American companies with ties to it,” Bastrykin said.
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Bastrykin added that the US has secretly spent more than $224 million on biological weapons research programs in Ukraine since at least 2005. The investigator added that US funds were used to equip and upgrade around 30 biolab research centers governed by Ukraine’s defense, health and agricultural ministries.
“The results of said research had been evacuated to Kiev-controlled territory before the start of [Russia’s] special military operation,” Bastrykin said, adding that his agency would continue to study the documents on the matter.
In March, Moscow claimed that it had found evidence that the US had been funding biological weapons research in Ukraine. Washington and Kiev denied this claim and accused Russia of waging a propaganda campaign.
Senior US diplomat Victoria Nuland admitted at the time that Washington was working with Ukraine to prevent “research materials” from falling into the hands of Russian troops.
China demands Pentagon come clean
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, meanwhile, urged the US to “give a full account of its biological military activities at home and abroad and subject itself to multilateral verification.”
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.
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