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The Truth About Ukrainian Biolabs


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When the invasion of Ukraine began, Russian leaders accused the U.S. of weaponizing deadly pathogens in Ukrainian biolabs near Russia’s borders. While the U.S. initially denied the claim, Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland admitted in a congressional hearing that biolabs do exist in Ukraine and that the U.S. has partnered with the country on work relating to dangerous pathogens.

As the war continues, questions still surround the nature of these labs. Where did they come from? Who runs them and what kind of work are they doing? Also, why are Anthony Fauci and even Hunter Biden involved? A new report from the Government Accountability Institute sorts facts from fiction to answer those questions and reach the truth.

According to our report, the U.S. began helping Ukraine develop biological research facilities as early as 2005, when the two countries signed a cooperative agreement on biological threat reduction after all biodefense related research was placed under the oversight of Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the U.S. had created similar partnerships through the Department of Defense’s Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP), which was set up to help dismantle bioweapons facilities in the former Soviet states.

One of the companies that the DoD hired for biological research in Ukraine was also performing biodefense related work in Wuhan, China. That company, called Metabiota, had been performing work in Ukraine on infectious pathogens such as anthrax, tularemia, and Ebola. Prior to the 2020 Pandemic, Metabiota had also worked with EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology on research relating to bat-coronaviruses in China.

Even more striking is the fact that Metabiota had also received investments from President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. Hunter Biden’s firm Rosemont Seneca was the lead investor in Metabiota in 2014 when the biotech company won its largest defense contract for work in Ukraine. Hunter’s political connections proved useful for Metabiota as the company gained access to some of the most tightly closed doors in Washington, D.C.

Additionally, an email recovered from Hunter’s laptop reveals how he helped Metabiota pitch the idea of a joint “Science Ukraine” project to an executive of the Ukrainian oil and gas company, Burisma, on whose board he sat. In the email, a Metabiota representative suggested ways the company could leverage Metabiota’s expertise to assert Ukraine’s independence from Russia.

That email has led some to believe that Metabiota’s work in Ukraine had more to do with geopolitics than global health. Even so, the United States insists that its biological defense programs are meant solely for peaceful, biosecurity purposes.

However, that may not have always been the case. Back in 2001, a New York Times report found that the U.S. had been conducting several secretive research projects that straddled the line between biosecurity and biowarfare. Those projects examined the feasibility of mass-producing anthrax, the creation of a vaccine resistant strain of anthrax, and the testing of Soviet-style bomblets that could spread dangerous pathogens.

While GAI’s report notes that Russia is likely using this information as an excuse for its invasion of a sovereign nation, our report did conclude that the totality of evidence presents a very different picture of Ukrainian biolabs than what has been conveyed to the American people from media outlets and government officials.

Read GAI’s full report here