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Ukrainian opposition urges probe into US biolaboratories in Ukraine

As an example, Opposition Platform members mentioned the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine - an international organization funded by the US authorities whose employees enjoy diplomatic immunity

KIEV, April 15. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Opposition Platform - For Life party has urged the authorities to probe into the operation of 15 US military biological laboratories. It argues that since their emergence Ukraine has seen outbreaks of dangerous diseases, as follows from a message by the head of the party’s Political Council, Viktor Medvedchuk, and parliament member from the same party Renat Kuzmin, published on the party’s website on Wednesday.

"I, as the chairman of the Political Council of the Opposition Platform - For Life, and a member of parliament from our party, Renat Kuzmin, have addressed Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Prime Minister Denis Shmygal, Health Minister Maxim Stepanov and chief of the security service SBU Ivan Bakanov with a demand for presenting information concerning the operation of 15 US military biological laboratories in Ukraine. These laboratories carry out unlawful activity that threatens the life and health of Ukrainian citizens. The European mass media openly write about this," Medvedchuk said in the statement.

"We demand that the authorities should make public the instances of illegal ‘cooperation’ between Ukraine and the United States concerning the activity of US biolaboratories in our country. This ‘cooperation’ began back during the presidency of [Viktor] Yushchenko, continued under President [Pyotr} Poroshenko and is going on under the current authorities," the message says.

As an example Medvedchuk and Kuzmin mentioned the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU) - an international organization funded by the US authorities whose employees enjoy diplomatic immunity. "This center is involved in financing projects for the creation of weapons of mass destruction," Medvedchuk and Kuzmin say.

"The emergence of US biolaboratories in Ukraine and the financing of STCU projects was accompanied by several outbreaks of serious infectious diseases in the country," Medvedchuk and Kuzmin say in their statement. "In view of the growing rates of serious infectious diseases there are solid grounds to say that covert and non-transparent activity of dangerous foreign biological facilities in Ukraine is in reality aimed at testing viruses and bacteria on Ukrainian citizens," the opposition legislators say.

They recall that 2010-2012 probes into the biological laboratories’ observance of safety rules exposed a number of crude violations that might have caused leaks of dangerous infections. In 2013, a decision was made to terminate Ukrainian-US cooperation in the field of biological experiments. "However, with Poroshenko’s rise to power this program was resumed," the oppositional Ukrainian politicians say. "Moreover, the authorities have eliminated the sanitary rules that set certain standards of ensuring biological safety, thus endangering the life and health of millions of Ukrainians."

Medvedchuk and Kuzmin urged the Ukrainian authorities to present exhaustive information about how many US military laboratories funded from abroad operate in the country at the moment, the regulatory basis for their activity and what way the authorities control their operation. "The Ukrainian people have the right to know about secret programs. We demand the termination of experiments that the authorities have long been carrying out on its people at the demand and in the interests of the United States," Medvedchuk and Kuzmin said.

Outbreaks of infectious diseases in Ukraine

In their message Medvedchuk and Kuzmin mentioned the outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases in Ukraine in recent years, which, in their opinion, might be connected with the activity of US laboratories. In 2009, a virus caused a hotbed of hemorrhagic pneumonia, which claimed 450 lives. In 2011, Ukraine saw an outbreak of cholera, with 33 patients taken to hospital. Three years later another 800 patients were diagnosed with cholera. One year later more than 100 cases of cholera were identified in Nikolayev.

In January 2016, at least 20 military servicemen died of a flu-like virus. Another 200 people were taken to the hospital. Two months later 364 died in Ukraine of the swine fever virus A (H1N1) pdm09, the very same strain that caused the 2009 pandemic, Medvedchuk and Kuzmin say. They recall that an outbreak of hepatitis A occurred in Nikolayev in 2017. Another one followed in the summer of that year in Zaporozhie and Odessa, one more in the autumn in Kharkov.