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

October 28, 2022

The United Nations is not aware of any biological weapons programmes in Ukraine, a senior official in the Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) reiterated in a briefing to the Security Council. 

March 15, 2022

Russia has claimed without any evidence that biological weapons are being developed in laboratories in Ukraine with support from the United States. It says material is being destroyed to conceal the country's weapons programme, but the US says this is "total nonsense" and that Russia is inventing false narratives to justify its actions in Ukraine.

CBW Document / Report

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.

CBW Opinion / Analysis

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.

September 12, 2022

"Before Russia invaded Ukraine in February, its diplomatic missions began circulating some particularly fantastical lies. For example, the United States was using Ukrainian laboratories to develop biological weapons that would be spread by specially trained migratory birds and 

September 08, 2022

Despite its moniker, the 1918 “Spanish flu” pandemic almost certainly did not originate in Spain. The belligerents of World War I suppressed reporting on the outbreak in order to avoid harming morale, while Spain, as a neutral country, had a media free to report openly on the extent of the disease. Since most media coverage of the outbreak came from Spain, so too did its origin story. The 1918 outbreak — frequently compared to the current COVID-19 pandemic in terms of public fear and response — could have begun in China, or the United States, or northern France.

September 03, 2022

One fall day in 2006, Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian defector who once worked in Moscow’s secret intelligence community and who became a prominent Kremlin critic in the United Kingdom, ate sushi for lunch before meeting with two former colleagues from his spy agency days at the Pine Bar in London’s Millennium Hotel. The anti-corruption crusader was reportedly set to travel to Spain to investigate the Russian mob there. But just a few short weeks later, Litvinenko was dead.