Public Health Fakes: unknown vaccines were tested in biolaboratories on military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Issue #54

Public Health Fakes: unknown vaccines were tested in biolaboratories on military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Issue #54

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7 September 2023

In this issue, we refute another “exposure” of the activities of Western biolaboratories in Ukraine. This time, the authors of the fakes allegedly found documents confirming the testing of unknown vaccines on military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the Pharmbiotest company. In addition, the Russians spread information about 50 medical workers in the Volyn region who were released and mobilized to the front.

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.

Disinformation: Military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were used for testing unknown vaccines

Russian Telegram channels one more time repeat narratives about the so-called “Western biolaboratories” in Ukraine. In the posts, interviews of servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are given, who say that it seems that their command gave orders to vaccinate “from something unknown.” Experiments on military personnel were carried out by the Ukrainian company “Pharmbiotest” in the occupied Luhansk region, as evidenced by documents allegedly found at the site of a destroyed clinic.

Screenshot of the post

What’s the reality?

In a propaganda video, a serviceman of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Yurii Kuzmych, talks about the vaccine, after which the soldiers of one of the brigades allegedly died. According to him, there were “rumors” in the brigade that experiments on the military were conducted with a “Western” vaccine. In other interviews published by the occupiers, Yurii Kuzmych is called a soldier of the 24th or 63rd separate mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Second military officer Viktor Khaev, whom we also did not manage to identify, also talks about “experiments” on military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Since the men are in captivity, they could have been forced to spread disinformation.

At the same time, Russian propagandists do not provide any real evidence or documents that prove that the clinic could have tested banned vaccines. In addition, to strengthen their propaganda, the Russians could have fabricated the video.

Yurii Kuzmych from the Armed Forces of Ukraine in a propaganda video

This is not the first time the Russians have tried to blacken Pharmbiotest. Earlier, the Kremlin’s telegram channels made similar statements that the laboratory tested dangerous drugs on military personnel and civilians. The website of the State Expert Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine clearly states the list of experiments conducted by various clinics. Pharmbiotest, in turn, conducted studies on the bioavailability of drugs such as “Adesin”, “Tenzocard”, “Klovask”, etc. There is no mention of vaccine testing on the clinic’s official website.

Source: State Expert Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine

All of the above names are common medicinal products. For example, “Klovask” capsules, which were studied by “Pharmbiotest”, are prescribed to people after myocardial infarction. In addition, any scientific or medical experiments on humans in Ukraine are conducted only with voluntary consent.

According to the Statute of the Internal Service of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, military personnel are vaccinated against major infectious diseases. Vaccination is carried out according to the vaccination calendar or according to epidemic indications by order of the commander. However, according to the doctor’s opinion, the military can be exempted from vaccination.

Therefore, there is no evidence that the Pharmbiotest clinic tested vaccines against infectious diseases on soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Information leaks and accusations of the development of “biological weapons” have long been heard against Ukraine. The purpose of such propaganda is to show that the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, private clinics, and laboratories, instead of treating Ukrainians, subject them to “Western experiments.” While the latest report of the US Department of Defense emphasizes that it is Russia that continues the offensive program of biological weapons and thus violates the Biological Weapons Convention.

Disinformation: In the Volyn region, medics are released to be sent to the front

Users, referring to the Suspilne article, are spreading information that two departments are being dissolved, and 50 medical workers are being dismissed at the Rozhyshche multidisciplinary hospital (Volyn region), as there is an order to send them to the front. The authors claim that after the mobilization of medical workers, in particular women, they will start recruiting other state employees to the front lines.

What’s the reality?

Reductions are indeed taking place at the hospital, but doctors are not going to be mobilized. The Suspilne article stated that by the end of 2023, the Rozhyshche multidisciplinary hospital plans to dissolve two departments — maternity and children’s, and as a result, 50 employees will be laid off. According to the director of the institution, Viktor Redzii, they are doing this because of a lack of funding and low attendance. He stated that due to migration, a demographic crisis exacerbated by the war, the birth rate in the city has been falling for several years. So, in 2020, there were 240 patients in the maternity ward, in 2021 — 222, in 2022 — 170, and in 7 months of 2023 — only 77.

According to the 2018 reform, the system of financing medical services has changed, from now o, the institution receives money for each patient visit, and not for a bed, as it was before. Therefore, since fewer patients go to the hospital, the institution receives less money from the National Health Service of Ukraine (NHSU). According to the management’s calculations, the hospital lacks 4 million UAH for employee salaries.

In February 2023, the government also adopted a resolution on the creation of a capable network of medical institutions in Ukraine. The network integrates all elements of care into a single system. Thanks to this, the patient receives continuity of medical care at all stages: from prevention and diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation. Rozhyshche multidisciplinary hospital joined the network as a general hospital. Accordingly, the medical facility provides medical care in the following areas: anesthesiology and intensive care, neurology, infectious disease department, orthopedics and traumatology, therapy, and surgery. However, obstetricians or pediatricians are not included in this list.

“We will not make money on childbirth, because this is not our direction! We will not make money on children’s, because this is not our direction! We have directions: therapy, neurology, surgery, where we make money, and which we must retain,” said Redzii at a staff meeting. The director noted that the intensive care unit and doctors on duty will operate in the city to provide emergency care, but a separate specialized institution will provide medical assistance to children.

Tetiana Kudyk, director of the Western Interregional Department of the NSHU, said that in 2023, the hospital received UAH 24.7 million to pay for 11 packages of services. She also added that the service does not interfere in the internal affairs of the medical institution and does not deal with the reorganization of departments. In the speech, neither the staff nor the management of the hospital mentioned the mobilization of workers, it was only about the optimization of the medical facility.

Source: National Health Service of Ukraine

It is interesting that the Russian bots did not stop at spreading only this fake. On Facebook, Viktoriia Beliavtseva, introducing herself as a doctor who worked for 10 years at the Rozhyshche hospital, said that doctors are not just fired, but are immediately sent to the front in the 14th brigade to the medical company.

Comment from a user who pretended to be an employee of a medical institution

However, her Facebook page looks suspicious: the account was created on August 24, 2023, as the page of a marketing agency, the city of residence is Kharkiv, and the work section states: “Nurse of the physical office at the Volyn Regional Children’s Clinical Hospital.” In addition, in the comment to the NGO “Information in its pure form,” Viktor Redzii reported that Beliavtseva did not work at the Rozhyshche hospital.

Authors of fakes could spread disinformation about the mobilization of medical workers, based on changes in the legislation from October 1, 2023. Doctors, pharmacists, and nurses must register for the military. Representatives of these professions can voluntarily register during the transition period until 2026, from 2027, women who have not done so will not be able to get a job in their profession.

This is how propagandists spread panic in society, saying that the losses are so great that there are not enough men, so women have to fight. Although registration does not guarantee an immediate deployment to the front line. This is necessary so that the state understands how much reserve potential there is. Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Maliar indicated that currently, women are not being mobilized forcibly.

In addition, such messages create the impression that all medics are thrown to the front indiscriminately, so the quality of medical services suffers. The enemy is trying to inflame the situation, claiming that civilians will soon not be able to receive qualified assistance. Earlier, we refuted a fake, allegedly in the Volyn region, doctors are being mobilized en masse, and there are not enough ambulances, because “all were given up for the Armed Forces of 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.



Автори не є співробітниками, не консультують, не володіють акціями та не отримують фінансування від жодної компанії чи організації, яка б мала користь від цієї статті, а також жодним чином з ними не пов’язаний