On July 26, an online portal Geworld.ge released an article “Why does the U.S. turn Ukraine into a bio-bomb” prepared by Strategic Culture Foundation (Фонд стратегической культуры) and posted on its website on July 5. According to the article, the Ukraine-based biological laboratories represent a laboratory network controlled by the Pentagon, which aim to study the effects of viruses on people, animals or plants as well as to manage local and global epidemics through using pathogens. The article describes Ukraine as a biological bomb for Russia, Belarus and Transnistria. But according to Geworld.ge’s editorial comments, such laboratories represent “slow-motion bombs” for the entire world, including Georgia.
allegations, as if the laboratories operating on the territories of Ukraine and Georgia represent a threat for these countries, are groundless because their real goal is to protect the region against the threat of epidemics and to increase biological safety.
The Biological Research Laboratories operating in Ukraine are the facilities subordinated to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the State Veterinary and Phytosanitary Service and the Academy of Agrarian Sciences. The laboratories were built after the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the U.S. Department of Defense signed the agreement within the framework of the Biological Threat Reduction Program. The three pillars of the program in Ukraine are:
- Enhanced disease surveillance
- Consolidation of Especially Dangerous Pathogens into state-of-the art Bio-Safety Level III facilities (one BSL-III lab for human pathogens and one BSL-III lab for animal pathogens)
- Cooperative Biological Research Projects
The key priorities of the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research, U.S.-funded biological research laboratory in Tbilisi outskirts, are:
- Food safety – the laboratory is cooperating with the Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture in terms of biological research of food products.
- Protection of Georgian citizens against epidemics and infectious diseases – through timely diagnosis and prevention of detected or spread epidemics both in animals and humans.
- Biological disaster threat reduction – that will contribute to the security in Georgia and globally.
- Scientific-research direction – the Lugar Center provides venues for training of graduate and doctoral level students from different universities, among them from neighboring countries.
The Richard Lugar Public Health Research Center was opened in 2011 within the framework of the 1997 Umbrella Agreement and the 2002 Agreement signed by the U.S. Department of Defense and the Ministry of Defense of Georgia. In 2013 it became a central part of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC). From 2018, the Government of Georgia will take a responsibility for full funding and operation of the Laboratory Network. The Laboratory has provided employment to Georgian staff.
The biological laboratories operating in Ukraine and Georgia are important in terms of threat reduction in the spheres of agriculture and epidemiology.
Ukraine – Veterinary Training Lab in Kiev
Georgia – The Richard Lugar Public Health Research Center
Mykola Mandryha, secretary of the Academy of Agriculture of Ukraine:
“This laboratory with its state-of-art equipment allows us to give people much higher quality of training and make precise diagnosis. This is going to help the Ukrainian Veterinary Medicine tremendously.”
Amiran Gamkrelidze, National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC):
“It is possible to identify in a very short period of time those pathogens that cause infectious diseases, including especially dangerous infections, which cannot be detected by other laboratories operating in Georgia or throughout the region.”
The Russian Federation against biosafety in Ukraine and Georgia
Russian officials have spoken out repeatedly against the biological laboratories operating in Georgia and Ukraine, which aim at preventing epidemic threats in the region. The below infographics provides a number of illustrative examples.
See the infographic
Prepared by Dali Kurdadze
Myth Detector’s materials covering this topic
- Recurrent black propaganda against Lugar laboratory
- Disinformation by global research center in Alia regarding the Lugar laboratory
- The myth that the Lugar laboratory conducts biological experiments on Georgian population is groundless
- Speculations and disinformation in media concerning Lugar Laboratory