The Russians are once again promoting through “Western experts” narratives about the development of biological weapons in American laboratories in Ukraine. In particular, the propagandists write that in Ukraine the DNA of the military is collected to later use these materials to create bioweapons. With the help of this weapon, the USA is apparently planning to destroy the Slavs.
With the support of the USAID Health Reform Support project, VoxCheck analyzes and refutes public health narratives spread in the information space of Ukraine, Belarus, and russia on a weekly basis.
Russian media and Telegram channels are spreading the statement of “retired US Air Force captain” Stanislav Krapyvnyk. Krapyvnyk, in turn, says that Ukraine is allegedly collecting DNA samples from the soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces for the creation of biological weapons in American laboratories. He adds that in this way the USA is trying to destroy all Slavs.
What’s the reality?
First, there is no official confirmation that Ukraine is going to produce or has already produced biological weapons. Even at the beginning of the large-scale invasion, the Russians’ false claims about bioweapons were denied by the United States and later by the United Nations.
To shift responsibility for their crimes to Ukraine, the Russians accuse it of developing biological weapons. In 2005, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine signed an agreement on cooperation with the United States under the Biological Threat Reduction Program. Ukrainian laboratories are working on identifying and reducing the threat from dangerous pathogens. Russia deliberately distorts these facts to justify the development of biological weapons in its country. The US State Department is convinced that Russia, contrary to the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons, continues its development.
On July 9, 2022, Ukraine adopted the law “On state registration of human genomic information”. According to the law, during the period of martial law, military personnel, police officers, members of the non-executive and commanding staff of the State Emergency Service, as well as members of voluntary formations of territorial communities, must submit their DNA data. Digitized DNA samples are stored in an electronic register and taken only when necessary to carry out an examination for identification in the event of death. If the procedure is carried out at the expense of the state for the military, police, and rescuers, then civilians or foreigners pay for it themselves when DNA is voluntarily submitted.
Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs
On April 17, 2023, the Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories announced plans to launch the DNA collection procedure from the military and law enforcement officers. DNA materials will be digitized and stored in a personal file.
In addition, some Western charitable foundations or countries, such as France and the United States, have provided mobile DNA laboratories to Ukraine, where genetic testing is carried out to identify the dead. In particular, work in DNA laboratories speeds up the process of identifying the deceased and lasts up to two hours. Previously, the identification of the deceased by DNA could take years.
Russian propagandists say that Ukraine plans to create bioweapons against the Slavic peoples. However, humans are genetically similar, so it is impossible to develop a weapon that affects one ethnic group but does not threaten another. Moreover, the DNA test will not allow to establish the exact ethnicity. The head of the department of biological sciences and food technology at the Royal University of Technology in Melbourne, Oliver Jones, assures that DNA testing can only show from which region a person originates. For example, from Europe, Africa, but not from a specific country.
Second, the Russian media, in order to promote their propaganda, present Krapyvnyk as a Western “expert” and indicate him as a “former officer of the US Army.” Whereas Stanislav Krapyvnyk himself was born in Luhansk and currently lives in Russia. According to Russian media reports, in 1993-2004 Krapyvnyk served as an officer in the US Army, and in 2010 he returned to Russia. However, we have not found any information about the Krapyvnyk in American sources. In addition, Stanislav Krapyvnyk systematically spreads Russian narratives. For example, Krapyvnyk supports the Russian invasion, calls for a more aggressive policy against Ukraine, and spreads fakes about the activities of so-called “Western mercenaries” in Ukraine.
This information piece was produced with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), provided on behalf of the people of the United States of America. This article’s content, which does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the United States Government, is the sole responsibility of Deloitte Consulting under contract #72012118C00001.
The author doesn`t work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have no relevant affiliations