Meet the Detroit-born Ukrainian scientist in the crosshairs of Russia’s biological “military labs” disinformation campaign

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Kyiv — Black tea in a blacked-out kitchen. It is not regular, nevertheless it’s one other little sacrifice Ulana and Marko Suprun could make to guard themselves from Russian shelling of their Kyiv dwelling. 

The goal on their heads is larger than most, however as Marko instructed CBS Information correspondent Chris Livesay, if “you are going to die for one thing, would possibly as effectively do it standing up.”

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Ulana and Marko Suprun communicate with CBS Information at their dwelling in Kyiv, Ukraine.

CBS Information


A physician born in Detroit to Ukrainian dad and mom, Ulana was as soon as Ukraine‘s Minister of Well being. She’s been credited with modernizing the previous Soviet republic’s medical laboratories to assist the nation forestall lethal outbreaks.

In accordance with Russia’s disinformation, nevertheless, Ulana hatched an evil plot to trigger one as an alternative.

Russia, Ulana instructed CBS Information, needed the world to imagine “that I used to be a CIA agent that got here right here particularly to design biolabs, to create organic weapons and to experiment on Ukrainians.”

Vladimir Putin’s regime has wielded the conspiracy concept as a lethal weapon. Putin and his high aides have claimed for weeks that U.S. “navy labs” simply throughout Russia’s border in Ukraine had been one purpose they wanted to invade.


Inside the Russian biological weapons conspiracy theory

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CBS Information was granted exclusive access to one of the labs within the crosshairs of Russia’s lie. It was constructed to detect and diagnose among the world’s most infectious illnesses, like cholera and anthrax. 

The federal government reference laboratory in Kyiv was not, nevertheless, constructed for work on organic or some other weapons, its analysis chief Natalia Vidayko instructed Livesay. 

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CBS Information’ Chris Livesay is led into Ukraine’s reference laboratory in Kyiv by Dr. Natalia Vidayko, the lab’s chief researcher.

CBS Information


They had been testing sufferers for illnesses, and all of the pathogen samples from her lab and all of Ukraine’s others had been destroyed quickly after Russia invaded — exactly to stop any potential outbreaks. 

However that hasn’t stopped Moscow from waging a full assault on Ulana and Marko, with social media posts accusing them of getting Nazi hyperlinks. 


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“My preliminary response was, ‘Holy crap, like, they’re coming after us,'” Marko instructed CBS Information. 

And never solely on social media. The assaults had been hurled from the rostrum at Russian Protection Ministry briefings, too.

The Pentagon has warned that Russian forces may very well be laying the bottom for a “false flag” assault, which might see them use organic weapons of their very own however blame it on Ukraine. 


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“The disinformation is inflicting folks to die. It is not simply disinformation,” Ulana instructed Livesay. “It really has real-life penalties.”

“You are conscious of the worry,” stated Marko, choking again tears as he described the nervousness the couple now reside in. “You maintain hugs a little bit longer.”

“You do not wish to lose one another,” added Ulana.

However the stress and fear is a worth the couple stated they’re keen to pay, like so many different Ukrainian victims of Russia’s data struggle. 

The Kremlin now claims that it has discovered American coaching supplies in Ukrainian labs on easy methods to weaponize smallpox. It is one more declare, supplied with none proof in any respect, that Russia is utilizing to justify its bloody struggle on its neighbor.



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