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Russia accuses U.S. of using African people for biological research
By Cassie B. // Nov 07, 2023

The Russian Defense Ministry has accused the U.S. of carrying out illegal biological research using African people as a “free clinical resource.”

Russian Armed Forces Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Protection Troops Head Lieutenant Governor Igor Kirillov said that these “illegal” experiments are taking place in Nigeria and other African countries.

Kirillov also accused the U.S. of moving biological weapons projects from Ukraine to Africa, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia under the pretense of public health programs.

He said that a three-year contract between the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the nonprofit group RTI International signed last August for monitoring infectious disease in Nigeria is really a part of wider “biological espionage” activity.

Among the activities the ministry is accusing the U.S. of is “analyzing the epidemic situation along the borders of geopolitical adversaries and in the expected regions of military contingent deployment.”

Russia also claims it has proof that the U.S. is surveilling biological situations in “Iraq and Afghanistan bordering China, Türkiye, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.”

According to Kirillov, a biological project whose stated aim is combating HIV and AIDS in Nigeria is putting Africans at serious risk, pointing to those who have been given antivirus therapy from pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences. He said that Gilead is affiliated with the Pentagon and has tested drugs on Ukrainians in the past and implied they are currently doing the same on African people.

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He said that 60 percent of Nigerians with HIV and AIDS are receiving the medications, but they are not effective.

“Despite annual funding increases totaling about $100 million, the HIV incidence rate has remained virtually unchanged and corresponds with 2009 figures. The mortality among HIV-infected people also shows unfavorable progression,” he noted.

This has led him to conclude: “American pharmaceuticals, even with the documented increase in consumption in Nigeria, do not have a tangible therapeutic impact, and Nigerian citizens are being exploited as a ‘free clinical resource.'”

According to Russia, the Pentagon takes advantage of public health issues in Africa to monitor biological matters, collecting and exporting various samples of infectious agents.

They said that some projects have been carried out by the State Department to avoid accusations against the Pentagon. For example, they identified a research program carried out by the State Department in Afghanistan that involves studying dangerous pathogens such as anthrax by collecting biological samples there and bringing them to the U.S.

America's dark history of using African people for medical experimentation

Authorities in Nigeria and the U.S. have denied these claims and emphasized their commitment to preventing diseases and protecting public health. While these allegations have yet to be independently confirmed and Russia has plenty of motivation to try to cast the U.S. in a negative light, they nevertheless draw attention on the ongoing problem of maintaining ethical standards when carrying out scientific research.

The U.S. has a long and dark history of carrying out medical experimentation on African Americans, who were often used as “guinea pigs” and subjected to painful experiments and disease exposure in pursuit of novel treatments.

U.S. will continue biological research in Ukraine when conflict ends, Russia claims

Kirillov also alleged that the U.S. still has a heightened interest in carrying out research in Ukraine and maintains control over a number of biological research facilities there, adding that he believes the U.S. intends to resume these efforts after the Ukraine-Russia conflict ends.

He pointed to a letter sent last December to Ukrainian contractors in which the American engineering company CH2M Hill said it would continue to collect dangerous pathogens in western Ukraine.

Sources for this article include:



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