Russia is ready to help to find options for unhindered grain exports

12:01 30.05.2022 • Vladimir Kozin , Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences

1. On May 28, 2022 President Vladimir Putin spoke on the telephone with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The parties reviewed in detail the global food security concerns. Vladimir Putin explained the real reasons for the unstable food supplies, saying that the disruptions were due to Western countries’ erroneous economic and financial policies, as well as their anti-Russia sanctions. He substantiated his statements with evidence and specific data. Russia, on the other hand, is ready to help find options for unhindered grain exports, including the export of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea ports. Increasing the supplies of Russian fertilizers and agricultural produce will also help reduce tensions in the global food market, but that will definitely require the lifting of the relevant sanctions.

2. Recent monkeypox cases originated in Nigeria, possibly at the U.S. biolabs

According to a WHO report, the West African strain of monkeypox originated in Nigeria where the USA has deployed its biological labs – at least four of them.

In this connection it is worth recalling a strange coincidence that needs further specialist verification.

Against the backdrop of multiple US biosafety violations and the negligent storage of pathogenic biomaterials, Moscow calls on the World Health Organisation leadership to investigate the US-funded Nigerian laboratories in Abuja, Zaria, Lagos and inform the global community of the results, Chief of Russian Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Force L-G Igor Kirillov said on May 27th, 2022.

3. The U.S. role in developing biological weapons in Ukraine: new info

The Russian Defence Ministry continues to study materials on the implementation of military biological programs of the United States and its NATO allies on the territory of Ukraine.

Under the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons, each State Party submits an annual report in the form of a declaration of compliance with the requirements of the convention. It is currently the only reporting document on the implementation of the Convention in the framework of the Confidence Building Measures.

Due to the investigation of US military and biological activities on the territory of Ukraine, the Russian side has analyzed the documents sent by these states to the UN.

It should be noted that neither Ukraine nor the United States provided information on cooperative biological research and development in the area of biological protection in the said submissions (in Form A, Part 2, item  "i"). Also, Poland and Germany have not declared engagement with Ukraine in their reports.

In addition, in these reports (Form F) for the period from 2016 to 2020, Ukraine states that: "The Government of Ukraine has not conducted and is not conducting any offensive or defensive activities in the framework of biological research and development programmes. The Government of Ukraine does not have any information on such activities of the former USSR on the territory of Ukraine since January 1, 1946".

This statement contradicts May 20, 2022 statement made by Lewis Gitter, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the OSCE, that assistance to Kiev is aimed at "...reducing biological and veterinary risks, as well as securing the illegal stockpiles of biological weapons left behind by the USSR...".

In addition, there are numerous inconsistencies in Ukraine's reporting. Thus, the Confidence Building Measures Form A for 2020 declares the complete absence of national biosecurity programmes. The Research Institute of Microbial Strain Biotechnology in Kiev, as a participant in the biological defence programme, is listed in part 2 "i" of this form.

In addition, the characteristics of the facility (area of laboratory facilities, number of staff) do not match the information previously submitted by Ukraine.

The question arises: Why did the US and Ukraine's reporting documents to the UN not include work under the joint military-biological projects codenamed UP? Such secrecy is another reason to think about the true goals of the Pentagon in Ukraine.

The official documents presented by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) confirm the work with a clear military-biological focus.

Note the memorandum prepared by the Office of the US Secretary of Defense regarding the UP-2 project to map highly dangerous pathogens in Ukraine.

The document notes that the main objective of this project is to collect information on the molecular composition of pathogens specific to Ukraine and to transfer samples of strains.

Separately it is emphasised that this work should be in line with the main guidelines for the Ukraine Cooperative Threat Reduction Programme on Preventing the Spread of Biological Weapons on November 29, 2005.

A similar memorandum was prepared as part of the UP-1 project to study rickettsia and other diseases spread by arthropods. The document notes the need to transfer all collections of highly dangerous pathogens to a central reference laboratory in order to facilitate their orderly export to the USA.

As part of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Programme, an extensive UP-4 project was carried out to investigate the possibility of spreading highly dangerous infections through migratory birds. Documents received show that 991 biological samples were collected between November 2019 and January 2020 alone.

A total of ten such projects (including UP-3, UP-6, UP-8, UP-10) have been reported to have involved work with pathogens of particularly dangerous and economically important infections - Congo-Crimean fever, leptospirosis, tick-borne encephalitis and African swine fever.

Russia also drew attention to the numerous breaches of safety requirements in Ukrainian biolaboratories.

For example, work with dangerous pathogens under Pentagon control in Kharkov, Kiev and a number of other cities was carried out in laboratories with insufficient staff protection. However, according to official data, only three laboratories with a BSL-3 biosafety level are authorized to conduct such tests. These are the Odessa Anti-Plague Institute, the Lvov Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene and the Public Health Centre in Kiev.

The Security Service of Ukraine noted the preconditions for the emergence of biological threats due to systematic violations and poor quality of work in the reconstruction of biolaboratories.

Black & Veatch, for example, declared that it spent 37.8m on upgrading three veterinary laboratories in 2013. An independent expert review found that the actual cost of the work was overstated compared to the reported costs by UAH 17.7 millions.

This difference was reportedly sent to the accounts of fictitious companies such as Golden Ukraine, BK Profbudinvest and Capital Trade Agency, which further confirms the use of "grey" financial schemes in the personal interests of US and Ukrainian officials.

It is noteworthy that the US handlers demanded that the reference laboratory in Merefa be given a higher level of biosecurity. The Kharkov project organisation said that this was not possible under the prevailing conditions and refused to approve the project. However, the regional administration decided to go ahead with the reconstruction. The facility was commissioned in circumvention of biosafety regulations and requirements. In doing so, the Pentagon's total cost for its modernisation was around $15 million. But where the funds really disappeared to is unknown.

Note the report of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine on the results of an inspection of the strain collection of the Ukrainian anti-plague institute in Odessa, which totalled 654 samples. There were 32 strains of anthrax, 189 of tularemia, 11 of brucellosis and 422 of cholera in storage at the facility.

The report shows gross violations of storage conditions for micro-organisms, lack of access control and management systems and inadequate ventilation systems.

In April 2017, there was a case of internal laboratory infection with tick-borne encephalitis in one of the institute's laboratories as a result of a safety violation.

According to eyewitness accounts of an incident that took place in 2021, an employee of a biolaboratory removed several vials containing dangerous microorganisms from the institution's premises. The consequences of such cases can only be guessed.

It should be noted that all violations occurred during the period of the US bio-threat reduction programme. This demonstrates that Washington's officially declared goals are merely a “smokescreen” for the implementation of illegal military-biological activities in Ukraine.

The neglect of pathogens, the unprofessionalism and corruption of the executive branch, and the destructive influence of US handlers pose a direct threat to Ukrainian and European civilians.

Russian Defence Ministry experts have confirmed that Ukrainian biolaboratories are connected to the global communicable disease surveillance system.

The backbone of this network, which has been formed by the Pentagon since 1997, is the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (Maryland). It includes land and naval laboratories as well as military bases around the world.

It should be noted that the deployment of such a network follows a typical scenario.

The American authorities are initially concerned about the state of the epidemic in the region. The next step is to ensure that officials, particularly those in the health ministries, have an interest and a financial incentive to work together, and to enter into intergovernmental agreements. As a result, a biocontainment facility is erected and connected to the single biomonitoring system. All of the country's biological developments become the US domain. Moreover, restrictions are placed on local professionals' access to a range of tests, as well as on their results.

Meanwhile, the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) is actively implementing automated disease monitoring hardware and software, as well as systems to control access and movement of pathogenic biological agents in storage and research facilities.

Equipping biological facilities with these information systems as part of the Biological Threat Reduction Program allows the U.S. to secure its military contingents in deployment areas, remotely monitor biolaboratories outside national jurisdiction and influence the global biological environment.

As part of the special military operation, materials of US instructors training Ukrainian specialists in emergency response to smallpox outbreaks were discovered in biolaboratories in Ukraine.

The Pentagon's interest in this infection is far from accidental: the return of the smallpox pathogen could be a global catastrophe for all mankind.

Thus, compared to COVID-19, this pathogen is just as contagious (infectious), but its lethality is 10 times higher.

As early as 2003, the US Department of Defense established the Smallpox Vaccination Programme, which requires all US military personnel to be vaccinated. Vaccination in the United States is compulsory for diplomatic and medical personnel. This demonstrates that the US considers smallpox as a priority pathogenic biological agent for combat use, and that vaccine prophylaxis activities are aimed at protecting its own military contingents.

Lack of proper controls and biosecurity breaches in the US could lead to the use of this pathogen for terrorist purposes. Between 2014 and 2021, unaccounted-for vials of the virus were repeatedly found in laboratories at the Federal Drug Administration and the US Army Infectious Disease Research Institute (Maryland) and the Vaccine Research Centre (Pennsylvania).

Operation of such organisations was in violation of World Health Assembly Resolution 49.10 of 1996, which stipulated that only one US laboratory, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, could store smallpox pathogen.

It should be noted that smallpox vaccination, which is not currently available in many countries, provides protection against monkeypox.

The World Health Organization has announced an emergency meeting of Member States on the outbreak of this dangerous infectious disease in May 2022.

By now 98% of those affected are men over the age of 20 of non-traditional sexual orientation. Earlier, Dr David Hermann, who heads WHO's emergency department, told the American press that sexual transmission was the main cause of the spread of the disease.

[From Russian MoD briefing on the results of the analysis of documents related to the military biological activities of the United States on the territory of Ukraine, May 27th]

4. Humanitarian situation

The Russian Federation's Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response, in co-operation with the authorised federal executive authorities, continues to carefully record the continuing egregious facts of the inhumane treatment of civilians by the authorities in Kiev, and use of social infrastructure for military purposes by Ukrainian armed formations:

a) militants of the territorial defence battalions have equipped firing positions and sniper points in residential buildings in Kharkov on Klochkovskaya Street and in Kostantinovka of the Donetsk People's Republic on Tsiolkovskyi Street while no civilians have been evacuated from the building;

b) in Kramatorsk, units of armed nationalist formations have equipped strongholds in Lyceum No. 65 and the Kramatorsk Vocational Education Centre No. 47 on Yubileynaya Street, artillery and MLRS mounts have been placed and residents of nearby houses are being held in the premises of the educational institutions under the pretext of ensuring security;

c) in Kazachya Lopan, Kharkov Region, a poultry factory has ammunition depots in its workshops, military equipment in hangars, and factory personnel are forcibly held in the basement of one of its administrative buildings.

d) In Seversk, Donetsk People's Republic, Tochka-U missile system and MLRS have been deployed at a grain storage facility located at the intersection of Tolstoy and Donetskaya streets. At the same time, nationalists are systematically shelling populated areas of the Donetsk People's Republic, provoking the Russian Armed Forces to return fire in order to accuse Russian servicemen of allegedly indiscriminate strikes on civilian infrastructure, following a previously practiced scenario.

e) In addition, militants of the radical Right Sector nationalist organization in Velikonoselkovskyi district of Donetsk People's Republic are openly calling for genocide against the Russian-speaking population and the Greek diaspora. Under the pretext of loyalty to Russia, civilians are physically abused, money, valuables and personal vehicles are seized ostensibly for the needs of territorial defence, and the proceeds from the sale of seized property are appropriated by unit commanders.

Such actions by Ukrainian neo-Nazis are acts of terror against their own population and war crimes without statute of limitations, and the officials of the Kiev regime and the direct perpetrators are war criminals and terrorists.

Despite all the difficulties and obstacles imposed by the Ukrainian side, over the past day, without the participation of Kiev, 19,598 people were evacuated from dangerous areas, 2,629 of them children, and in total, since the beginning of the special military operation, 1,502,055 people have already been evacuated to Russia, of which 247,458 are children.

More than 9,500 temporary accommodation centres continue to operate in the regions of the Russian Federation. The refugees are dealt with on an individual basis and are promptly assisted with various pressing issues relating to onward accommodation, employment assistance, places for children in kindergartens and educational institutions, and the provision of entitlements to social benefits.

Over the past 24 hours, the hotline of the Interdepartmental Coordination Headquarters of the Russian Federation for Humanitarian Response, federal executive authorities, constituent entities of the Russian Federation and various NGOs received 109 requests from foreign and Ukrainian citizens to be evacuated to Russia, the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, as well as to the Russian Armed Forces-controlled areas of Zaporozhye, Nikolaev, Kharkov and Kherson regions.

In total there are 2,756,697 such appeals from 2,136 locations in Ukraine in the database.

Federal executive authorities, together with the subjects of the Russian Federation, various public organizations, patriotic movements, continue to accumulate humanitarian aid. More than 27 tonnes of basic necessities and food kits, including baby food and life-saving medicines, have been prepared at collection points.

Since March 2, 23,346.9 tons of humanitarian cargo have already been delivered to Ukraine, 1,061 humanitarian actions have been carried out, including 7 actions in Kharkov and Kherson regions, as well as in Donetsk People's Republic, during which 415.6 tons of basic necessities, medicines and food were transferred to the civilian population of the liberated areas.

Demining detachments of the Russian Armed Forces and the EMERCOM of Russia are carrying out land and facility clearance tasks in the territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. A total of 2,161.52 hectares were checked (including 194.88 hectares during the day), 35 buildings (including 13 socially important facilities), 1 bridge and 9.64 km of roads. 10,959 explosives were detected and defused, 248 of them during the day.

On May 27, 6 humanitarian actions have been planned and are currently being carried out in Kharkov and Zaporozye regions, in Donetsk People's Republic, during which 277.4 tons of basic necessities, medicine and food will be distributed.

[from the statement of the Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response, released on May 27, 2022]

5. Situation at the Black Sea

70 foreign vessels from 16 countries still remain blocked in six Ukrainian sea ports (Kherson, Nikolaev, Chernomorsk, Ochakov, Odessa and Yuzhniy). The threat of shelling and high mine danger posed by official Kiev prevents vessels from entering the high seas unhindered. The danger to navigation from Ukrainian mines drifting off their anchors along the coasts of Black Sea states remains.

As a result of the measures taken by the Russian Navy, the mine threat in the waters of the port of Mariupol has been eliminated and measures are being taken to restore the port infrastructure. The first commercial cargo vessel entered that sea port.

The Russian Armed Forces have opened two maritime “blue-water” humanitarian corridors, which are safe lanes for commercial ships:

a) at the Black Sea - to leave Kherson, Nikolaev, Chernomorsk, Ochakov, Odessa and Yuzhnyi ports in a south-westerly direction from Ukraine's territorial sea, 139 miles long and 3 miles wide;

b) at the Sea of Azov, to leave Mariupol port 115 miles long and 2 miles wide towards the Black Sea.

Detailed information in English and Russian on the modus operandi of the maritime humanitarian corridor is broadcast daily every 15 minutes on VHF radio on 14 and 16 international channels in English and Russian.

At the same time, the Kiev authorities continue to avoid engaging with representatives of states and ship-owning companies to resolve the issue of ensuring the safe passage of foreign vessels to the assembly area.

The Russian Federation is taking a full range of comprehensive measures to ensure the safety of civilian navigation in the waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

6. The Biden administration is eager to send extra deadly weapons to Ukraine

The Biden administration is preparing to step up the kind of weaponry it is offering to Ukraine by sending advanced, long-range rocket systems that are now the top request from Ukrainian officials, multiple officials say. The administration is leaning toward sending the systems as part of a larger package of military and security assistance to Ukraine enlarged several times.

A new package will include Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System – M-31 GMLRS.

Another is the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, known as M-142 HIMARS, a lighter wheeled system.

On May 26, Moscow warned that the USA will "cross a red line" if it supplies these systems to Ukraine, and provoke a very harsh response from Russia.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina responded to CNN's reporting by saying he was frustrated the Biden administration has been "dragging their feet" on giving Ukraine the rocket systems.

Russian military experts say that any kind of delivery – be it arranged by air aboard heavy transport airplanes or by railroads – will be destroyed immediately. They also point out that any kind of weapons offered by Washington to kill both Ukrainians and Russians, and this fact cannot be forgotten.

There are also voices in Russia to sever diplomatic relations with the USA due to supply of lethal offensive arms to Kiev and for imposing illegal sanctions vs Russia.

During telephone conversation on May 28th with President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron and Federal Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz, the President of Russia was critical of the continued dangerous practice of pumping Ukraine with Western weapons, cautioning against the risks of the country’s further destabilisation and aggravation of the humanitarian crisis.

7. Situation on the battlefields

The Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to shell intentionally residential areas in Donbass where there are military facilities. On May 28 they seriously injured five small children in the LPR by a heavy-weapon fire, including three of them in a very critical condition. 15 other civilians have wounded.

As a result of joint action by units of Donetsk People's Republic and the Russian Armed Forces, Krasnyi Liman has been completely liberated from Ukrainian nationalists.

High-precision air-based missiles of the Russian Aerospace Forces have destroyed the forward command post of the 30th mechanized brigade of the AFU in Bakhmut and command post of the territorial defence brigade in Soledar.

In addition, 5 command and observation posts, 17 areas of Ukrainian military manpower and military equipment concentration, and 4 ammunition depots near Nyrkovo, Bakhmut and Mironovka of the Donetsk people's republic have been hit.

Operational-tactical and army aviation have hit 6 command posts, 1 communications centre, 4 ammunition depots, 2 Grad MLRS batteries, as well as 50 areas of manpower and Ukrainian military equipment concentration.

The attacks have resulted in the elimination of more than 260 nationalists.

In addition, fighter aircraft have shot down 2 Su-25s of the Ukrainian Air Force over Zagradovka, Kherson Region, and Barvenkoe, Kharkov Region, over the day.

Russian air defence means have shot down 1 Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter near Orekhovo, Zaporozhye Region.

Also during the day, 18 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles have been shot down in the air over Zhovtnevoe, Pitomnik, Russkaya Lozovaya, Liptsy, Volokhov Yar, Glubokoe, Strelechya, Petrovskoe, Mikhailovka, Mospanovo, Malye Prokhody in Kharkov Region, Pervomaisk in Lugansk People's Republic, and Voznesensk in Nikolaev Region.

Including 1 Ukrainian Bayraktar TB-2 unmanned aerial vehicle shot down near Pokrovka, Nikolaev Region.

In addition, 1 Ukrainian Tochka-U ballistic missile have been intercepted near Svatovo, Donetsk People's Republic, and 7 Smerch rockets have been shot down near Sukhaya Kamenka, Kharkov Region, and Golaya Pristan, Kherson Region.

Missile troops and artillery have hit 57 command posts, 618 areas of manpower and military equipment concentration, 42 Ukrainian artillery and mortar units at firing positions and 2 batteries of Grad multiple-launch rocket systems.

In total, 182 Ukrainian aircraft and 128 helicopters, 1,045 unmanned aerial vehicles, 324 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3,297 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 444 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,714 field artillery and mortars, as well as 3,245 of special military vehicles were destroyed during the operation.

8. The fate of Ukrainian POW

Donbass authorities admit there are totally 8,000 Ukrainian and foreign POW  so far surrendered or captured by the Russian and Donbass troops.

Ukrainian POW confessed that they have been instructed to kill local Ukrainian citizens for the slightest disobedience and any sign of disloyalty, and not to capture Russian soldiers as POW at all, but also have been ordered to kill them.

President Zelensky instructed military authorities not to inform the relatives of those Ukrainians ‘killed in action’ as KIA, but rather as ‘missed in action’ so that not pay compensation to their parents and relatives.

The leader of the DPR Denis Pushilin said that all Ukrainian POW would be sent to military tribunal that should be open for general public and foreign representatives who should know about real war crimes committed by them.

Three criminal cases for two British (Andrew Hill and Sean Pinner) and one Maroccan (Saadun Brahim) subjects who arrived to Ukraine to kill Russians and Ukrainians  have been finalized by Prosecutor General Office in the DPR. Victor Gavrilov, the Procecutor General, said that due to the respective convictions and military situation they may get a capital punishment verdict. They will be trialed under Article 440 called “Mercenarism”, and two more Articles of the Criminal Code of the DPR.