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)

News / Event

January 09, 2023

Press Coverage: “BIOLOGICAL (DIS) INFORMATION: Russia – Georgia – USA"  

1-Information on the production of dangerous viruses and bacteria in a Georgian laboratory under the auspices of the United States needs international verification - Igor Giorgadze

https://www.interfax.ru/presscenter/628867/ (September 11, 2018)

2-Georgia rejected Russia's accusations about the biological laboratory named after Lugara

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.

Document / Report

January 05, 2023

"A little-remembered aspect of the Korean War is an issue of great importance to those concerned with arms control and allegations of the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), namely nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. During and after the war, North Korea, China, and the Soviet Union alleged that the United States used biological weapons (BW) on an enormous scale in areas of both China and North Korea.

January 03, 2023

UN General Assembly:

"Countering disinformation for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms: Report of the Secretary-General" (August 12, 2022)

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.

December 19, 2022

Abstract: Previous research dedicated a lot of effort to investigation of the activities of the Internet Research Agency, a Russia-based troll factory, as well as other information operations. However, those studies are mostly focused on the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Brexit, and other major international political events. In this study, we have attempted to analyze how narratives about a domestic issue in Russia are used by malicious actors to promote harmful discourses globally and persuade an international audience on Twitter.

Opinion / Analysis

December 16, 2022

ABSTRACT: This article explores the relevance of disinformation in international relations. It discusses the nature of information manipulation, ways to counter disinformation, and possibilities for international organizations, including the OSCE, to initiate confidence-building measures. The article suggests that although disinformation has become an increasingly salient aspect of global politics, its security impact should not be overstated. As in domestic politics, international disinformation parasites on existing divisions and concerns, which it exploits rather than creates.

December 02, 2022

In late October, after eight months of war, the Russian government claimed that Ukraine was preparing to use a "dirty bomb" and blame it on Russia. There was never any evidence for this claim. But Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nbenzia, nevertheless sent a letter (reproduced below) demanding that the Security Council hold a meeting to discuss the "dirty bomb" issue.

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.