A viral claim suggesting that the United States has several biological weapons lab set ups in Ukraine, which are now prime targets of Russian military, is found to be fake. Unlike the viral claim, there are no U.S. military-run labs in Ukraine.
The Twitter handle @WarClandestine, which first started the conspiracy theory on February 24, has been suspended by the micro blogging platform.
Map Shows Location of U.S. Military Labs in Ukraine
The twitter user, @WarClandestine, posted two maps comparing Russian airstrikes and US biolabs in Ukraine.
"It certainly appears Putin is targeting the cities and locations with #USBiolabs present," the account tweeted. "He is 100% going after the alleged bioweapons." Foreign Policy reported that the account which appeared to be legitimately belong to an American named Jacob, who carried images and video of himself. The user also shared QAnon conspiracy theories.
Despite the account being removed and the information being fake, it was widely shared on social media platforms. "Targets Putin is bombing in Ukraine are US Biolabs funded in large part by the NIH. If you remember from the Fauci emails the NIH were the ones to actually fund the gain of function of C19. Putin is laying waste to where they are working on the next deadly bioweapon viruses!" tweeted a user.
"100%. Think about it. What we know about Biden and Burisma. What we know about US biolabs in Ukraine. What we know about the central banks and their laundering through Ukraine. This is so much more than it seems," wrote another user.
Here is the Truth
Debunking the claim, Politi Fact called it false. Speaking to the outlet, Andy Weber, a member of the Arms Control Association Board of Directors and a former assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical, and biological defense programs, said that there are no U.S. military-run labs in Ukraine.
"Rather, the U.S. Department of Defense Cooperative Threat Reduction Program has provided technical support to the Ukrainian Ministry of Health since 2005 to improve public health laboratories, whose mission is analogous to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," Weber said.
"These laboratories have recently played an important role in stopping the spread of COVID-19," he added.
USA Today reported that the viral posts misrepresent a treaty between the two countries which aim at preventing biological threats. Stating that the labs are owned and funded by the Ukrainian government, the outlet reported that according to the treaty, "the Ukrainian and U.S. governments partnered in August 2005 to prevent the proliferation of dangerous pathogens and related expertise and to minimize potential biological threats."