Since 2005 the US have generously funded up to 16 ‘biological defense’ laboratories across the Ukraine. A recent hack by Cyber Berkut uncovers the secret funding network of Ukraine’s Department of Defense backed ‘biological defense’ laboratories, and reveal who’s behind them and what they are actually being used for.
In recent years the Ukrainian town of Izmail, in the south west region of Odessa Oblast, experienced a mysterious outbreak of an unidentified intestinal infection that lead to over 400 children being hospitalized in a single 24 hour period.
[Translated] The situation with the epidemic of intestinal infection in Ismail reached the scale of the national disaster: the first reports of hospitalized residents of the city and surrounding areas were received on June 17, and on June 18 it became known about hundreds of victims. By June 19, it became clear that local authorities themselves can not cope, and on the 20th the number of new infected combined intestinal infections has already declined.
On 28 October 2009, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine informed WHO, through its Country Office in Ukraine, about an unusually high level of activity of acute respiratory illness in the western part of the country, associated with an increased number of hospital admissions and fatalities.
As of 30 October 2009, over 2,300 individuals have been admitted to hospital, including over 1,100 children. One hundred and thirty one (131) cases have required intensive care, including 32 children. As of 31 October 2009, a total of 38 fatalities associated with severe manifestations of ARI have been registered. ….The situation is quickly changing with increasingly high levels of acute respiratory illness (ARI)/Influenza-like-illness (ILI) activity being observed in Ternopil, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Chernivtsi regions.
More than 300 people have been killed in little over four months by a swine flu outbreak ripping through Ukraine. The country’s health minister, Alexander Kvitashvili, urged the public not to panic last month but 3.8 million cases of influenza and Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) have now been reported and transmission shows no sign of slowing.
[Translated] In one of the villages of the Kherson region the outbreak of bird flu was recently detected. From a dangerous virus, birds were killed in five private farms. The last time this disease was manifested in our country in 2008 and also in the south – in the Crimea. “Today” has found out whether the virus can spread to the Odessa and Nikolaev regions and threatens it to people.
An outbreak of measles in Ukraine is rapidly spreading. This year there have been 1,000 cases; that’s 20 times higher than the whole of last year, with measles reported among children, adolescents and adults in 14 of the country’s 24 provinces.
In a follow-up on the botulism outbreak in Ukraine this year, health officials announced (computer translated) Tuesday that 76 botulism cases, including eight fatalities have been reported. Part of the problem in getting the situation under control was the lack of botulism anti-toxin, which the country hasn’t had in stock since 2014. The antitoxin is only produced by a few companies worldwide only a few companies and was purchased by the Development Program of the United Nations (UNDP). The high quality Canadian drugs arrived at the airport in Kiev, where they are transferred to the Ministry of Health.
As you see in the above article the botulism antitoxins were supplied by a Canadian company and is only produced and sold by a handful of companies worldwide. The only Canadian company I could find that produces the antitoxin is the American owned, Canadian company Cangene Corporation, which had financial support from the US governments Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop the drug.
Cangene developed BAT as part of a $427 million contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Cangene Corporation was a biopharmaceutical company based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Founded in 1984 it specialized in hyperimmunes, contract manufacturing, biopharmaceuticals and bio-defense. In February 2014, the company was acquired by Emergent BioSolutions.
Emergent BioSolutions, in partnership with the federal government, spent $80 million to double the size of its East Lombard Street plant near Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
While the expansion creates a facility federal officials can tap for a needed surge in vaccine manufacturing, it also allows the Gaithersburg-based drug developer and maker to take on larger contracts for drugs sold in the commercial market and to accelerate development of its own pipeline of products.
It is developing a new anthrax vaccine and working on potential therapeutic treatments for the flu, dengue, Zika, Ebola and other diseases. Havey said the company aims to double its revenue to $1 billion a year by 2020.
“Emergent is pleased that Health Canada has approved this critical countermeasure against botulinum toxin, which has been identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Public Health Agency of Canada as one of the more likely biological threat agents,” said Adam Havey, executive vice president and president, bio-defense division at Emergent BioSolutions. “As a leading global provider of medical countermeasures that address CBRNE threats and emerging infectious diseases, Emergent is committed to helping allied governments fulfill their preparedness needs. We expect to expand upon our longstanding relationship with the Canadian government and develop similar relations outside of North America as a key strategic objective for the organization.”
Ukraine’s Ministry of Health plans to purchase serum from botulism through international organizations, since such a mechanism will allow buying drugs that are not currently registered in Ukraine. According to the ministry, at present the agency has prepared calculations of the corresponding budget program for the purchase of serum from diphtheria, rabies, tetanus, botulism, and malaria.
Emergent BioSolutions made its name churning out Anthrax vaccines in 2002, after Anthrax-filled envelopes started arriving in the mailboxes of prominent lawmakers. In 2012, it won an eight-year, $220 million government contract putting it to work fighting Ebola. It’s latest opportunity has come with the Zika crisis.
How extensive is avian influenza in the Ukraine, and what was Ukraine’s disease status prior to the outbreak?
On December 5, 2005 outbreaks of avian influenza (AI) virus subtype H5 were reported in five villages, located in three districts (Dzhankoyskiy, Nizhnegorskiy, and Sovetskiy) of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (see map below). The outbreaks reportedly began on November 25….. This is the first reported occurrence of AI in Ukraine.
This project was initiated in 2005 when Senator Lugar and Senator Obama witness the signing of the Agreement between the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the U.S. Department of Defense. Since that time, the State Veterinary and Phytosanitary Service and Academy of Agrarian Sciences were added as executive agents to the Agreement.
The three pillars of the Biological Threat Reduction Program in Ukraine are:
- Enhanced disease surveillance
- Consolidation of Especially Dangerous Pathogens into state-of-the art Bio-Safety Level III facilities (one BSL-III lab for human pathogens and one BSL-III lab for animal pathogens)
- Cooperative Biological Research Projects
As of January 2013, the U.S. Government has upgraded Ministry of Health and Veterinary laboratories in Lviv, Odesa, Uzhgorod, Ternopil, Kharkiv, Simferopol, Kyiv, Dnepropetrovsk, and Luhansk.
Next is one of the contracts from 2012 where the US government paid an American based building and engineering firm to build one of its bio-defense labs in Kherson, Ukraine. This is just one of many building contracts the company has been given by the Pentagon. Kherson is also one of the places where there was an outbreak of bird flu in 2016.
Dr. Pearlman worked for the US army for 27 years as a surgeon and in the field of military preventative medicine before moving to the Ukraine in 1991. After moving to the Ukraine he worked on various USAID projects and established the International HIV/AIDS and TB Institute (IHATI) in the Ukraine in 2002.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the United States Government agency which is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid.
- Vendors: Those doing business with the federal government “will be able to log in to one system to manage their entity information in one record, with one expiration date, through one streamlined business process. Federal agencies will be able to look in one place for entity pre-award information. Everyone will have fewer passwords to remember and see the benefits of data reuse as information is entered into SAM once and reused throughout the system.”
- Grant-seekers and grantees: “Active SAM registration is a pre-requisite to the successful submission of grant applications
Cyber-Berkut explains that most of the labs employees are actually native Ukrainians although most don’t have access to the storage units and inner facilities that contain the viruses and bacteria samples. They continue in their blog post by further explaining that:
The labs are officially reported to operate under the Ukrainian Ministry of Health which is evidently just a formality taking into consideration that since August 1, 2016, the department is headed by Ulyana Suprun, an American citizen and a Maidan activist. In fact, the secret studies on biological substances are guided by the Pentagon.
These are the Defense Intelligence Agency and its component, the National Center for Medical Intelligence that lead the American secret biological projects in the USA. The latter is located at Fort Detrick, Maryland. The DIA’s biological projects in foreign countries, in particular in Ukraine, are implemented under the cover of governmental bodies and commercial organizations.
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the Pentagon handles construction and maintenance of the labs. Kevin Garrett is in charge of the Ukrainian unit at the DTRA headquarters. The agency’s interests in Ukraine are represented by Joanna L. Wintrol, the U.S. Embassy employee. The work of the American specialists at the classified sections of the biological labs is supervised by Miles Dudley, the official of the U.S. Embassy political department and the DIA’s officer.
As for the commercial sphere, the Intelligence involvement is covered by Black & Veatch Special Projects Corp, a general contractor for construction, equipment and further maintenance of the labs, including biological researches. The Ukrainian company Metabiota is a subcontractor. It’s located in the same office as Black & Veatch though it has an independent juridical status. The structure of the U.S. military biological activity in Ukraine can be presented as follows:
The Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine is the main healthcare body in the system of central government. It is based on former Ministries of Healthcare. Naturalized Ukrainian American Ulana Suprun was appointed acting Minister on July 27th, 2016. On July 11th, 2015 President Petro Poroshenko conferred Suprun citizenship. ….Section of coordination and providing medical care during anti-terrorist operations, emergency and martial law.
Ulana Suprun is a medical doctor, the director of Humanitarian Initiatives of the Ukrainian World Congress and founder of Patriot Defense. …In 2013, she and her husband moved to Ukraine. From 29 November, both were on the Maidan during the Revolution of Dignity in Kyiv (2014 Ukrainian revolution). Ulana worked in the medical services of the Euromaidan.
There are many people that feel the US backed bio-security projects that are responsible for starting these labs in the Ukraine are in fact just a covert way of getting around the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. And that these bio-defense labs, which are supposedly used to help reduce biological threats within the Ukraine, are actually a network of research facilities controlled by the Pentagon to study the impact of viruses and bacteria on the Ukrainian people, animals, and plants.
Journalist Jeffrey Silverman claims the bio-defense labs goals are to study biological weapons at a location far from the US. This would not only help to circumvent the Geneva Convention, but would also aid in the testing, tracking, and monitoring of the spread of biological agents in the field in the hope of making them more virulent.
It would also allow them to expand their knowledge base, and develop technology that could be used to attack biological-weapons facilities in other parts of the world. They could even be used to carry out sabotage operations intended to cause social and economic harm to the countries (Russia) near where these labs operate. The pharmaceutical companies would also significantly benefit financially as well by being funded to develop new medicines and vaccines to help fight against a variety of these pathogens.
The US Air Force is looking to acquire samples of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and synovial fluid from Russians, according to a government website used to place tenders. The reason behind the order hasn’t been specified. The Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command has placed a listing on the Federal Business Opportunities website asking for at least 12 RNA samples from Russian people of a European ancestry, as well as 27 samples of synovial fluid.