A US-funded biomedical laboratory in Georgia may have conducted bioweapons research under the guise of a drug test claiming the lives of at least 73 subjects, the Russian Defense Ministry said on October 4.
Refering to files received from a former Georgian minister, Igor Kirillov, commander of the Russian military branch responsible for defending troops from radiological, chemical and biological weapons revealed that the documents record the deaths of 73 people over a short period of time. This indicates a test of “a highly toxic chemical or biological agents with high lethality rate.”
“The documents showed many lethal outcomes among the patients. Despite the deaths of 24 people in December 2015 alone, the clinical trials were continued in violation of international standards and the wishes of the patients,” Kirillov claimed. “This led to the deaths of 49 more people.”
Kirillov emphasized that the US has a long record of unethical testing on human subjects in foreign countries.
As to the Georgian case, Kirillov refered to the tests carried out by the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research near the Georgian capital Tbilisi, involved clinical trials of a drug called Sovaldi, which is meant for the treatment of Hepatitis C. The drug is produced by Gilead Sciences, a California-based biomedical firm that recruited former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld as a board member in 1988, in between his two tenures as head of the Pentagon.
The Russian military pointed out that the US has at least 30 laboratories under its control all over the world and Washington is highly likely boosting its military and biological potential under the cover of peace research.
“The United States is consistently increasing its biological potential and control of national collections of pathogenic microorganisms not only in the former Soviet republics. More than 30 US-controlled laboratories with a high level of biological protection are functioning and are being constantly modernized today, which has been confirmed by official UN data,” Kirillov said.
Kirillov further noted that these labs are a source of the constant source of biological threats to Russia and China. He added that the Russian Defense Ministry was aware of the US researching ways to deliver and unleash biological weapons in breach of international accords.
“This is in line with the US concept of ‘contactless warfare’… They [images] show how capsules can be filled with poisonous, radioactive or narcotic substances, and pathogens. Such munitions are not listed among conventional or humane weapons, while any publishing of such data runs against international accords on nonproliferation of biological weapons,” Kirillov said.
“The Lugar Center is only a small element of the extensive US military-biological program. Vigorous activity has been launched on the territory of the states adjacent to Russia, where the Pentagon-controlled laboratories also function,” he stated adding that the Pentagon is working to reconstruct laboratories under its control in Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.
The US commented on the Russian Defense Ministry press briefing claiming that the provided information is false and is a part of the ongoing Russian disinformation campaign against the West.