Countering CBW Disinformation

This dedicated page aims to monitor, document, and analyze ‘disinformation’ issues and trends in the sphere of Chemical and Biological arms control and nonproliferation. While curating CBW-related (dis)information (News, Analysis, Reports/Books etc.) from open source (with due credit), the page would focus on how State Actors and Non-State Actors spread false/fake narratives and propaganda to erode nonproliferation norms and undermine trust in multilateral treaties and international institutions.

(Supported by Health Security Partners (HSP) and Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict (SSPC)

CBW News / Event

November 25, 2022

China, ostensibly neutral on Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, took a significant step into Moscow's camp on Tuesday when a government official repeated a Russian conspiracy theory about the existence of U.S.-funded biological weapons in the country.

At a regular press briefing in Beijing, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry, read out a Russian media report about the alleged discovery of a "military biological program" in Ukraine in the days after the large-scale offensive began.

November 24, 2022

After accusing the U.S. of producing bioweapons in Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defense has added another feather-ruffling theory to their accusation: That the U.S. is training birds in Ukraine to spread deadly diseases among Russian citizens.

The claim is just one of many false claims that Russia has offered to justify its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, including the baseless allegation that Ukrainian officials were committing genocide against ethnic Russians.

February 21, 2022

Russian and separatist media claim that Ukrainian military have used white phosphorus munitions, weapons that are banned under the Geneva Convention. However, the mine fragments they have shown as evidence are of a different type of munition.

On February 19 the Donetsk television station Union reported in its newscast that near the city of Horlivka, some 56 kilometres north of the eastern Ukrainian city Donetsk, the center of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR,  the Ukrainian side had fired white phosphorus bombs on the Russian supported militants.

March 21, 2022

Myth 3: “Ukraine will use chemical, nuclear and other prohibited weapons against civilians in Donbas."

https://www.eeas.europa.eu/delegations/china/disinformation-about-russi… (Brussels: 18.03.2022)

CBW Opinion / Analysis

November 16, 2022

Since invading Ukraine in February, the Russian government has tirelessly worked to convince others of the existence of an illicit US-Ukrainian bioweapons program. It’s brought the claims to the UN Security Council, the Biological Weapons Convention, and other international venues, sometimes more than once. Earlier this month, Moscow went to the Security Council for the fourth time this year. This time, Russian diplomats triggered a never-before invoked mechanism to vote on creating a commission to investigate its bioweapons allegations. Once again, few countries sided with Russia.

October 30, 2022

For the fourth time this year, Russia accused the United States and Ukraine of being in non-compliance with the Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention (BTWC)—and once again found little support for its allegations. At the conclusion of the Article V Formal Consultative Meeting in September, no other state formally accused these two nations of non-compliance. Russia stands alone in its allegations, with limited support from eight other states.

September 22, 2022

“We’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic,” said World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the Munich Security Conference on February 15, 2020.

CBW Document / Report

November 12, 2022

Social Media + Society(4), 2022: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic was an unexpected event and resulted in catastrophic consequences with long-lasting behavioral effects. People began to seek explanations for different aspects of COVID-19 and resorted to conspiracy narratives. The objective of this article is to analyze the changes on the discussion of different COVID-19 conspiracy theories throughout the pandemic on Twitter.

September 30, 2022

ABSTRACT: While biological warfare has classically been considered a threat requiring the presence of a distinct biological agent, we argue that in light of the rise of state-sponsored online disinformation campaigns, we are approaching a fifth phase of biowarfare with a ‘‘cyber-bio’’ framing.

September 19, 2022

Preface: In response to legislation passed in 1985, the Department of State on July 30, 1986, submitted to Congress a document titled Active Measures: A Report on the Substance and Process of Anti-U.S. Disinformation and Propaganda Campaigns. This report updates that document, focusing on events and changes which occurred between June 1986 and June 1987. Both reports were prepared by the Active Measures Working Group.