MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. The Russian Defense Ministry has made public a list of persons involved in creating components of biological weapons in Ukraine.
The chief of Russia’s radiation, chemical and biological protection force, Igor Kirillov, told a news briefing that one of the key figures was Robert Pope, the Director of the US Defense Department's Cooperative Threat Reduction Program at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (also known as the Nunn-Lugar program - TASS).
"Pope authored the idea of creating a central depository of high-threat pathogens in Kiev," Kirillov said.
He pointed out that "in his letter to Health Minister Ulana Suprun (a US citizen - TASS) Pope spoke highly of her activities. "In particular he emphasized her role in providing US specialists with access to Ukrainian biological facilities and the beginning of efforts to form a depository of microorganisms."
"Let me remind you what this kind of activity led to: according to the available evidence all pathogenic biomaterials were removed from the depository at the beginning of February 2022 and taken by a US military transport plane to the United States via Odessa," Kirillov said.
List of officials
Kirillov said that Joanna Wintrol, the head of the DTRA office in Ukraine, was responsible for coordination of military biological projects in the country and for personnel selection.
"Under her guidance several projects (UP-4, UP-6 and UP-8) were implemented. They envisaged research into deadly pathogens, such as anthrax, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever and leptospirosis," he said.
Kirillov drew attention to the Ukrainian branch of the Black & Veatch company and its chief Lance Lippencott, the main contact person for Ukraine’s defense and health ministry officials. "The company has worked for the Pentagon since 2008 under projects for studying potentially hazardous bioagents, including project UP-1 for studying rickettsia and tick-borne encephalitis virus in arthropods in northwestern Ukraine. For the purpose of global control of the biological situation in the course of the UP-2 project the company introduced a system of remote monitoring of tularemia and anthrax at Ukrainian bio-facilities," Kirillov said.
He stressed that "Black and Veatch activities aroused many questions even from Ukrainian special services." In particular, the Kherson office of the Ukrainian security service SBU back in 2017 noted growing potential risks of a worsening in the epidemiological situation due to the DTRA’s intention to use the Black and Veatch company to establish control of Ukrainian laboratories studying the pathogens of particularly dangerous infections.
The supervisor of biomonitoring and information transfer, David Mustra, acted in close coordination with Metabiota - another contractor working for the Pentagon.
"Earlier, Mustra coordinated military-biological projects in Ukraine and Eastern Europe under the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program," Kirillov said.
He stressed that Metabiota was well-known for its research into forecasting outbreaks of infectious diseases. Also, the Pentagon used its services for modelling the epidemiological situation in the post-Soviet space.
"Metabiota’s representative in Ukraine was Mary Gutierrez - its vice-president and Hunter Biden’s confidant, which is confirmed by their correspondence," Kirillov said.
Lastly, Scott Thornton was responsible for the laboratories’ upgrade.
"Also, he (Thornton) provided advice to local personnel regarding the handling of high-threat pathogens under the DTRA’s Ukrainian projects. The obtained evidence indicates the direct involvement of the US Department of Defense and of its contractors in planning and implementing the Pentagon’s projects in Ukraine. We believe that the aforesaid executives are obliged to answer questions concerning the real purpose of these works," Kirillov said.