The anti-US narrative is by far one of the most prominent of the Russian propaganda in Ukraine.
The main messages tackle the connection between the US and secret laboratories on the territory of Ukraine where allegedly biological weapons and pathogens are being tested.
Additionally, the narrative is intertwined with xenophobic elements and state that more Black Americans are being targeted by the new coronavirus.
Some narratives are set up to explore who is to take advantage of the pandemic and, not surprisingly, propaganda’s sources indicate that the US is the one to grasp all the benefits. For instance, it is promoted that the commercial war on 5G with China is beneficial only to the US and its allies.
The US has systematically tested biological weapon on its population
Pro-Russian politicians parties controlled media
The pro – Russian Opposition Platform – For life has built a narrative on anti-US messages. The leader of the party, Viktor Medvedchuk is a pro-Russian politician with close ties to Putin. He is also an influential oligarch that allegedly controls several Ukrainian media outlets such as: 112 Ukraine, Newsone and ZIK. Medvedchuk is a frequent anti-US commentator on TV, as well as on the official website of the party. In an address on the frequently encountered topic of the US laboratories in Ukraine, he mentioned:
“This is an opportunity to conduct the most dangerous studies, studies on humans – in particular, which are prohibited by law in the United States, but are allowed in Ukraine – both because of imperfections in Ukrainian legislation, and to a greater extent because of the external governance of Ukraine by the United States.”
Viktor Medvedchuk, Chairman of the Political Council of the Opposition Platform – For Life Party
U.S. Embassy removes information from its website on the laboratory that works only with human pathogens
Dmytro Korneychuk, a political commentator, stated in a talk show on the ZIK TV channel that the United States knew about coronavirus in China from the very beginning but did nothing to prevent the pandemic because it was lucrative for them.
Naspravdi.info is a website project launched to fight the myths of the catastrophic second Ukrainian Maidan, as it indicates in the about us section. Voicing a pro-Russian attitude, their articles explore the nostalgic tone for the former glory of the USSR and regard the current government a failure. In an article on the origins of the new coronavirus, they suggested searching for who is to win from a global pandemic. According to their analysis, the US is the main beneficiary, particularly, the Democrats who seek to weaken Trump’s image in wake of the upcoming elections, as well as the U.S. authorities who seek to undermine China’s economic thrive by spreading the coronavirus in China.
Biological bomb equipment
The narrative has been explored in Russian and Ukrainian. It targets the pro-Russian audience who can be complementary to the supporters of the opposition and anti-governmental groups. It is set to fuel and intensify anti-US opinions in the Ukrainian society which is lucrative for pro-Russian parties and Russia itself. Overall, the Medvedchuk-controlled channels are having an almost 5% share of total viewership, according to Kyiv Post.
Stop Fake.org – Ukraine’s most popular fact-checking platform, countered the narrative by providing fragments of the response of the U.S. Embassy on the topic of the existence of malicious laboratories in Ukraine:
“Here in Ukraine, the Biological Threat Reduction Program of the US Department of Defense is collaborating with the Ukrainian government to create safe repositories of pathogens and toxins of safety concern at Ukrainian government facilities, which will allow for peaceful research and vaccine development.”
The Biological Threat Reduction Program has been implemented since 1991 and is aimed at helping the countries of the former USSR in the destruction of weapons of mass destruction.
Besides, article 142 of the Penal Code of Ukraine states that it is illegal to conduct biomedical, psychological or other experiments on a person, if this poses a danger to his life or health.