On March 10, Jen Psaki, White House Secretary, tweeted to refute claims made by China and Russia that the United States is operating a dangerous biological laboratory in Ukraine, while the U.S is also watching China’s response to these conspiracy theories.
She wrote, “This is preposterous. It’s the kind of disinformation operation we’ve seen repeatedly from the Russians over the years in Ukraine and in other countries, which have been debunked, and an example of the types of false pretexts we have been warning the Russians would invent.”
Psaki said the United States fully complies with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention and “does not develop or possess such weapons anywhere.”
“It’s Russia that has a long and well-documented track record of using chemical weapons, including in attempted assassinations and poisoning of Putin’s political enemies like Alexey Navalny.”
“It’s Russia that continues to support the Assad regime in Syria, which has repeatedly used chemical weapons. It’s Russia that has long maintained a biological weapons program in violation of international law.”
“Also, Russia has a track record of accusing the West of the very violations that Russia itself is perpetrating. In December, Russia falsely accused the U.S. of deploying contractors with chemical weapons in Ukraine.”
“This is all an obvious ploy by Russia to try to try to justify its further premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack on Ukraine.”
“Now that Russia has made these false claims, and China has seemingly endorsed this propaganda, we should all be on the lookout for Russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, or to create a false flag operation using them. It’s a clear pattern.”
In the press releases published on March 9, Ned Price, State Department spokesman, also accused the Kremlin of intentionally spreading outright lies that the United States and Ukraine are conducting chemical and biological weapons activities in Ukraine.
Ned Price added that Russia has an active chemical and biological weapons program and is in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention.
According to Xinhua, the Chinese foreign ministry said on March 8 that the US’ biological laboratories in Ukraine reportedly store large quantities of dangerous viruses, adding Russia also found that the United States used these facilities to carry out military biological programs in military operations.
Zhao Lijian (赵立坚), Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, said at a daily press briefing, “In particular, the United States, as the party that knows the laboratories best, should release relevant specific information as soon as possible, including what viruses are stored and the research that has been carried out,”
He added, “What is the real intention of the United States? What exactly has it done? These have always been the source of misgivings for the international community.”
On Sunday, March 6, a Russian defense ministry spokesperson said Russia had discovered evidence of U.S.-funded biological weapon facilities in Ukraine.
The spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said, “In the course of the special military operation, evidence of the Kyiv regime’s hasty measures to conceal any traces of the military biological program, financed by the U.S. Department of Defense in Ukraine, has been revealed.”
As The New York Times reported on March 10, Chinese diplomats, government agencies, and state media organizations have pushed the Ukraine labs’ conspiracy theory on Twitter and other social media sites.
Bret Schafer, who tracks disinformation from China, Russia, and Iran as a senior fellow for the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a Washington nonprofit group, said, “Now that American tech platforms have taken action against Russian state media, the Chinese state media are filling the gap,”
Bret Schafer added, “They’re mirroring Kremlin talking points.”
On March 9, the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington think tank that follows the Ukraine crisis, issued a warning that the Russian claims could be part of a plan to prepare the basis for a chemical or biological strike by Moscow. It said, “Russia may conduct or fabricate such an attack and blame Ukraine and NATO to justify additional aggression against Ukraine.”