A U.S. funded, Ukrainian biological project named UP-4 studied the spread of infections through migratory birds, including highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza and Newcastle disease.
In addition, experiments were carried out with samples of coronavirus in biological laboratories in Ukraine, created and funded by the United States, according to "declassified documents relating to military biological programs that the United States conducted in biological laboratories in Ukraine."
Documents related to Ukraine's biological activity had been seized by the Russian military last week. A briefing regarding the documents was held by the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) on Saturday and published in the MoD's official TV channel, TVzvezda.
The MoD presented the results of an examination of materials handed over by employees of Ukrainian biological laboratories and studied by Russian specialists of the Radiation, Chemical and Biological Defense Forces (RCBDF).
During the examination, details of the UP-4 project, which was implemented with the participation of laboratories in Kyiv, Kharkov and Odessa, and was designed for the period up to 2020, became known.
The purpose of the project is to study the spread of especially dangerous infections through migratory birds, including highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza and Newcastle disease, Igor Kirillov, Chief of the RCBDF said at a briefing on the results of the analysis of documents related to the US military biological activities in Ukraine.
The migration routes of many birds pass through the territory of Russia and the countries of Eastern Europe, which can be made carriers of bacteria and viruses. During the study, experts collected migratory pattern data about them.
According to the documents, the Americans planned to conduct work in Ukraine in 2022 on pathogens of birds, bats and reptiles. They intended to move on to studying the possibility of their transmission of African swine fever and anthrax.
According to the presentation, 42 outbreaks of the H5N1 subtype (the highly pathogenic "bird flu") were recorded in Crimea, Kherson, Odessa and Sumy in 2005-2006, and three more outbreaks in Crimea in 2008. The virus affected chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, mute swans and cormorants.
“The available documents confirm numerous cases of the transfer of biological samples of Ukrainian citizens abroad. Thus, 350 cryocontainers with blood serum samples were transferred from the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine to the reference laboratory for infectious diseases of the Australian Doherty Institute under the pretext of determining antibody titers,” Kirillov said.