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Russia planned to use monkeypox as a Bio-weapon; Claims Ex-Soviet scientist

According to a former Soviet scientist, Russia explored deploying monkeypox as a bioweapon until at least the 1990s, according to the British tabloid The Metro. Kanat Alibekov, often known as Kenneth Alibek, was the Soviet Union’s bioweapons specialist until his demise in 1991. He lived in Russia for a year before coming to the United States.

In a recently uncovered 1998 interview with the American Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Project (CBWNP), Alibekov, who purportedly commanded 32,000 personnel across 40 locations, stated that the Soviet government had a program to deploy viruses as weapons. ‘As a result, we created unique software to decide which ‘model viruses might be employed instead of human smallpox. We used vaccinia virus, mousepox virus, rabbitpox virus, and monkeypox virus as smallpox models’.

‘The plan was to use these model viruses for all research and development efforts.  Once we had a set of favorable results, it would only take two weeks to replicate the experiments with the smallpox virus and stockpile the warfare agent. We would have a genetically engineered smallpox virus in our arsenal that could replace the old one.’  The expert further stated that following the fall of the USSR, Russia’s successor defense ministry continued to experiment with monkeypox to ‘develop future biological weapons’.

The same year, he testified before the United States Congress, saying he was ‘convinced that Russia’s biological weapons program has not been entirely eliminated’. Monkeypox was initially recognized in the 1950s, when two outbreaks occurred in study colonies of monkeys, with the first human case recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The condition is sometimes compared to a lesser variant of smallpox, a disease that has been eliminated globally thanks to universal immunisation against the smallpox virus.


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