The Russian authorities are currently battling an avian flu (bird flu) outbreak in their capital, and they’re blaming illicit U.S. research for it.
“Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on Thursday ordered a quarantine for multiple districts in Russia’s capital due to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu,” the Moscow Times reported on May 18. “The order introduces a quarantine for 11 of Moscow’s 125 districts that have been assessed to be most at risk for spreading influenza.”
Elements of the Russian Federation government are pointing the finger for any novel viral outbreaks at U.S. biolabs in Ukraine. Per Al Mayadeen:
According to Lt. Gen. Igor Kirillov, the director of the Russian armed forces’ radiation, chemical, and biological defense units, evidence collected by the Russian Defense Ministry once again confirms that the US is developing biological weapons on Ukrainian soil.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov stated that Moscow eyes the West’s military and biological activity as a threat to Russia’s security.
Ryabkov revealed that the US is massively building and upgrading microbiological laboratories worldwide, most notably in Ukraine.
The Russian Embassy in the U.S. got in on the action as well.
⚡️@mod_russia: Documents seized in the veterinary laboratory of the Biosphere Reserve in Askania Nova, Kherson region, confirm the involvement of the Kharkov Institute of Veterinary Medicine in the work of 🇺🇸 UP-8 & P-444 Projects and preparations for the Flu-Fly-Way project. pic.twitter.com/BoB4yB7Y8N
— Russian Embassy in USA 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbUSA) May 26, 2023
Confirming the claims of the Russian government is difficult for many reasons, not least of which is that much of Ukraine is an active warzone.
But, perhaps coincidentally or perhaps not, the Guardian just two weeks ago ran a story warning that avian flu could very well be the next big pandemic — the next “current thing,” if you will.
Since November, the signals emerging across the world continue to be worrying. In January and February this year, more than 3,000 sea lions died of bird flu in Peru (where the death toll in wild birds reached an estimated 50,000). In Russia, 700 Caspian seals died… the large number of cases in these outbreaks suggest the possibility of mammal-to-mammal transmission…
The risk of spread among mammals is ever-present. A new research pre-print from Canada showed that H5N1 samples could spread efficiently between ferrets with fatal outcomes. In order to spread efficiently to humans, H5 would need three major categories of genetic changes, according to bird flu expert Prof Richard Webby. So far, the virus has been able to make one of these changes, but not the other two. So right now, H5N1 is a theoretical risk for the next human pandemic, rather than one requiring urgency in response today. And a prime minister or health secretary might say, “Why prepare for something that might never happen?”
Articles like this accomplish two goals simultaneously: they pre-condition the public with the requisite fear to reflexively accept the Public Health™ response whenever an avian flu pandemic kicks off, and it also establishes the narrative early on that the origin will be a trans-species animal vector rather than the result of illicit gain-of-function work.
Another important aspect to consider, which I have written about previously, is the U.S. government’s own admission in March 2022 during Congressional testimony that the U.S., in fact, does have active biolabs in Ukraine.
“Ukraine has biological research facilities, which, in fact, we are now quite concerned Russian forces may be seeking to gain control of. So we are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces, should they approach,” Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland read into the record under questioning from Sen. Marco Rubio.