When the coronavirus flew as a bat out of China’s laboratory in Wuhan at the end of 2019, the world closely tracked its movement from China to Italy and then further around the globe. In months, people on both sides of the Atlantic started demanding an independent investigation by international experts, with China expected in advance to be found responsible for the world's downtime. These people could count on widespread international support as many sought to find a simple explanation for unprecedented events.
Since the late 2000s, there have been occasional news reports about secret CIA prisons or biological laboratories in Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics. However, no one has responded to the news by demanding that evidence to the contrary should be immediately presented to the public.
Let’s go back to the spring of 2008. Darko Mladic, the son of fugitive Serbian general Ratko Mladic, went missing for several weeks and suddenly reappeared, suffering from short-term memory loss. Those mysterious events led the conspiracy-prone Serbs to believe that Darko Mladic had been kidnapped and held in a secret CIA prison somewhere in Eastern Europe.
Later, a similar version was also put forward by several Serbian intellectuals and writers, particularly Branislav Crnčević. In other developments, Mykola Rudkovsky, a high-ranking Ukrainian politician, was arrested by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) when he was the Minister of Transport. He directly accused the SBU of facilitating the opening a secret CIA prison in Ukraine during President Viktor Yushchenko’s term.
It has been fourteen years since then. Ukraine has experienced another Maidan with the prefix "euro". It was followed by a coup, an eight-year civil war in the Donbas and several months of large-scale hostilities against Russia.
When Russia began its military operation, the first news report from Ukraine suggested that the United States was urgently evacuating its representatives from all medical laboratories. The report came from a representative of the White House, so there is no reason to doubt its authenticity. This means that there were both US laboratories and US personnel in Ukraine and some classified material that under no circumstances could fall into the hands of Russia’s advancing army.
It is worth remembering that US laws prohibit the development of biological weapons and any related biological experiments in the United States. As a result, all biological work has been moved outside the United States. According to different estimates, up to 300 US biolabs operate worldwide. No one knows for sure what they are developing.
There is no shortage of versions concerning the beginning of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine. One of them refers to a secret report allegedly placed on President Putin's desk, including a detailed and conclusive description of Ukraine’s capabilities to use deadly viruses or even a "dirty" nuclear bomb against the Russian regions along the shared border. Since we do not have this report either in whole or in part, we are not in a position to discuss this version further.
However, it would be logical to assume that Ukraine could use biological weapons against Russia in the short or medium term. After all, it is no secret that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States took control over some biological facilities in Central Asia (Uzbekistan) and the Caucasus (Georgia). The sudden outbreak of tuberculosis in Donetsk in the summer of 2018 raises some flags about experiments with viruses on civilians across the Donbas front.
There is only one way to show the international community whether or not the United States has been involved in any biological experiments in Ukraine. This means conducting a thorough international investigation by a panel of independent experts from third countries, just like the investigation planned in Wuhan at the start of the pandemic.
Are there any brave and incorruptible experts willing to risk their reputation and run this impartial investigation? Is Ukraine going to let them do their work? We are unlikely to get straight answers any time soon.