Putin accused of ‘insane delirium’ over claim Ukraine trying to spread WMD via birds

Putin accused of ‘insane delirium’ over claim Ukraine trying to spread WMD via birds
‘Russia does not give a monkey’s about safety of its own citizens, including thousands of decomposing bodies of its soldiers’

Vladimir Putin has been accused of “insane delirium” over claims Ukraine is seeking to spread biological weapons via migratory birds and insects.

Speaking at at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council in New York, Russian representative Vasily Nebenzya said Moscow had evidence there were at least 30 laboratories in Ukraine where work on biological weapons was being conducted.

He said the alleged programmes looked at spreading diseases through using birds, avian flu, bats and even insects.

“We call upon you to think about a very real biological danger to the people in European countries, which can result from an uncontrolled spread of bio agents from Ukraine,” Mr Nebenzya said.

“And if there is a such a scenario then all Europe will be covered.”

He added: “The risk of this is very real given the interests of the radical nationalist groups in Ukraine are showing towards the work with dangerous pathogens conducted together with the ministry of defence of the United States.”

The Russian’s claims were widely dismissed by other nations attending the meeting, but most powerfully by the representative of Ukraine, Sergiy Kyslytsya.

“By calling this meeting, the aggressor state has shot itself in the foot once again,” he said.

He said Russia “does not give a monkey’s about the safety of its own citizens, including thousands of decomposing bodies of its soldiers”.

He said Ukraine ran a health care system that was “in full compliance with its its international obligations and in full cooperation with all relevant international organisations”.

“The rest is his bunch of insane delirium from Putin and his henchmen, including the Russian Mission to the United Nations,” he added.

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A number of Western nations have denounced the Russian claims over Ukraine’s alleged possessions of weapons of mass destruction, including biological weapons, as a potential pretext or justification for pressing ahead with its invasion of Ukraine.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Russia was delivering on a scenario laid out in the council last month by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who had claimed Mr Putin would “fabricate allegations about chemical or biological weapons to justify its own violent attacks against the Ukrainian people”.

“The intent behind these lies seems clear, and is deeply troubling,” she said.

“We believe Russia could use chemical or biological agents for assassinations, as part of a staged or false-flag incident, or to support tactical military operations.”

As it was, Russia had called the meeting to ask the council to address its allegations of US “biological activities” in Ukraine. Russia has not provided evidence of the claim, and the US and Ukraine have denied them.

UN disarmament chief Izumi Nakamitsu told the council she was aware of media reports about allegations of biological weapons programs and said: “The United Nations is not aware of any biological weapons programs.”

Britain’s UN Ambassador Barbara Woodward called the allegations “utter nonsense” and said “Russia is sinking to new depths today, but the council must not get dragged down with it”.

Meanwhile, the UN human rights office said it received “credible reports” that Russian forces were using cluster munitions in Ukraine, including in populated areas which is prohibited under international humanitarian law, Undersecretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council.

“Indiscriminate attacks, including those using cluster munitions, which are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction, are prohibited under international humanitarian law,” Ms DiCarlo said.

“Directing attacks against civilian and civilian objects, as well as so-called area bombardment in towns and villages, are also prohibited under international law and may amount to war crimes.”

Additional reporting by Associated Press