A Russian investigator says biological weapons of mass destruction have been financed by the Pentagon and other US organizations in Ukraine.
Alexander Bastrykin, the head of Russia’s Investigative Committee, told state broadcaster RT on Tuesday that his team was making progress in a criminal probe into Ukraine’s alleged 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 claimed.
The Russian investigator told RT that the US had spent more than $224 million on biological programs in Ukraine since 2005. He added that foreign aid had been used to equip and upgrade around 30 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, referring to the Russian military offensive against Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the “special military operation” against Ukraine on February 24.
In March, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed it had found evidence of US-funded biolabs in Ukraine, which urgently destroyed samples of deadly pathogens when the Russian military offensive started.
The ministry said it had been closely monitoring the bioweapons programs that were developed by the Pentagon in post-Soviet countries, adding that according to the alleged findings, a “network” of more than 30 biological laboratories had been formed in Ukraine in particular.
Washington and Kiev denied the claim and accused Russia of waging a disinformation campaign.
Committee opens cases against 75 mercenaries in Ukraine
Bastrykin also told RT on Tuesday that the committee had opened criminal cases against 75 mercenaries taking part in hostilities on the side of Ukraine.
According to the investigations, the mercenaries came from the UK, the USA, Norway, Canada, Georgia, and other countries.
“For example, a citizen of Georgia, Mamulashvili, created the Georgian National Legion armed group on the territory of Ukraine, became its leader, and involved at least 24 Georgian citizens in its activities as mercenaries,” Bastrykin said, adding that some of them had surrendered and were questioned by investigators.
Bastrykin also said that in total, there were more than 2,000 Ukrainian servicemen in Russia who voluntarily laid down their arms, including five commanders of the Armed Forces of Ukraine brigade who fought against the population of Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region.
“Investigators are working with them, learning a lot of details about the circumstances of the crimes of the Ukrainian regime. These testimonies concern, in particular, working with foreign instructors, as well as the participation of citizens of other countries as mercenaries,” he said.