The opening of Wall of Sorrow memorial was the event that concluded the session of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights. During the session the idea was voiced that some people, with the help of surveillance systems, are collecting images of Russian people. Answering this assumption, Putin spoke of even more mysterious fact, saying:
“Images, it’s okay. But did you know that biological material of different ethnic groups and peoples living in different geographical areas of Russia is being collected? The question is why they are doing it? Purposefully and professionally. We are an object of great interest.”
Sarcastically smiling President comforted not to be afraid and added: “Let them do whatever they want, and we must do what we have to do.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the next day that the Russian special services are in possession of intelligence suggesting that NGOs are collecting the genetic material – intelligence that presumably prompted Putin’s initial speculation about who might be behind the collections.
“Some representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations and other bodies are really carrying out such activities. Such cases were registered by the security services and the President naturally has this information,” Peskov said.
Several scientists, quoted by Russian press, explain that studying of the genetic material of different ethnic groups is a regular part of a research needed for the finding medicines for many diseases.
Nevertheless in the center of attention of Russians were not these explanations, but completely different comments of some journalists and politicians.
Russian propaganda TV station Russia Today devoted a lot of time to the issue. Igor Nikulin, who was presented as a former member of the UN biological weapons commission, told RT:
“This is not the first attempt to collect samples of Russian genetic material by foreign agencies in Russia. Such attempts were made back in the 90s, when there was a Human Genome program, then there also were various programs in the 2000s … under different pretexts, including the most noble, but for some reason all this happens in the interests of the US military department, and this raises suspicion.
“As a rule samples of Europeans of the Slavic group, mostly Russians, are sought-after. Blood samples are taken for analysis, and as the organizations are foreign, it is unknown what they are doing with the results of the analysis.
“It’s clear that new types of biological weapons are being developed. For what other reason such research would be carried by the military? The US is trying to develop various types of biological weapons for specific types of the gene pool.”
According to the website of Igor Nikulin, he has nothing to do with UN commissions. He introduces himself as the only heir of the oldest Russian tsars dynasty of Rurikoviches born in the USSR, and also as the chairman of the monarchical party “Justice “.
The website Zerohedge published an article entitled: “US Air Force Admits To Harvesting Russian Tissue”. The article claims:
“A representative for the US Air Force Education and Training Command explained to Russia Today that the choice of the Russian population was not intentional, and is related to research the Air Force is conducting on the human musculoskeletal system.
“Eyebrows were first raised in July when the AETC issued a tender seeking to acquire samples of ribonucleic acid and synovial fluid from Russians, adding that all samples (12 RNA and 27 synovial fluid) ‘shall be collected from Russia and must be Caucasian.’” The Air Force said it wouldn’t collect samples from Ukrainians, but didn’t specify why.
“According to AETC spokesman Capt. Beau Downey, the 59th medical group’s molecular research center is currently conducting “locomotor studies to identify various biomarkers associated with trauma.
“ ‘The fact that Russian tissue samples specifically are on the wanted list made some Russian commentators wonder whether the Pentagon is working on a biological weapon to target Russians.’”
Some Internet sources explained that the American Air Force hospital was investigating joint diseases common to pilots. What happened was that the first material for the control group was delivered from Russia, and, accordingly, the control group also had to be the next one from Russia. Most of the Russian commentators, though, didn’t believe the explanation and ridiculed it.
“I’m not saying that it is about preparing a biological war against Russia. But its scenarios, are, no doubt, being worked on. That is to say, in case the need suddenly arises,” Franz Klintsevich, the first deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee for Defense and Security, wrote on Facebook: “It is also no secret that different ethnic groups react differently to biological weapons. Hence they need the collection of the biological material from Russians living in different geographical locations. In the West, everything is done extremely scrupulously and is verified up to the tiniest detail.”
Gennady Onishchenko, State Duma deputy from the ruling United Russia party, former Chief Sanitary Doctor of Russia also stated that the situation with the collection of biological materials today is very acute, since the decoding of the genome makes it possible for deliberate harm, including with military purposes.
In an interview with RIA, Novosti Onishchenko explained that the collection of biological materials after WWII was always banned, since some countries back then began talking about offensive biological weapons programs. However, according to the deputy, today this situation is more acute.
Onishchenko said: “This is due to the fact that today we are not talking about biological weapons, but about genetic weapons, because today the decoding of the genome gives huge opportunities: it brings humanity to a fundamentally new level of development, on the one hand, and on the other – there is a threat of deliberate harm, including with military objectives.”
Onishchenko said that a draft will be submitted to the State Duma in December to ensure the safety of biological material, that it is necessary to take serious control over the work of these laboratories that are working to produce, apparently, combat viruses.
He said: “Today they conduct research. I have repeatedly drawn the attention of the special services: this is the evidence that the US has not ceased its offensive military program, and even a belt of military biological objects has been created around us.
“We need control over the actions of foreign agents on our territory.”
A member of the Presidential Council for Human Rights (HRC), the head of the Russian Red Cross, Raisa Lukutcova, is in solidarity with Onishchenko. In her opinion, the issue of collecting biological materials requires careful study; it is necessary to monitor this situation, so that such facts do not lead to any undesirable or dangerous consequences.
She noted that she shared the opinion on the severity of this issue. “I think that control must be installed. I think it’s not quite right to close eyes to this. We should definitely study this problem and definitely take concrete measures.”
The head of the Duma Committee on Social Policy Valery Ryazansky told RIA Novosti: “If there really is information on the state of affairs in this area that worries the president, we will gladly join the legislative work.”
He suggested that the legislative act could equate samples of biomaterials of Russians to their personal data, the protection of which is already ensured at the legislative level.
The most straightforward was the reaction of Alexander Mikhailov, a retired Major-General of the FSB. He explained to the readers of one of the most popular Russian newspaper Moscovski Komsomolets:
“This is a very serious matter. The fact that the President announced it means that it is moving into the implementation phase. The racist theory is not new. Such experiments were carried out earlier, for example, in Nazi Germany. In this case, we are most likely talking about creating a system of effects on a person at cellular, chromosomal level. In the West, there is much talk about the so-called ‘mysterious Russian soul.’” The soul is an immaterial substance. But the bio-specimen opens the way to the impact on the body. After all, it’s no secret that there are races that die under certain conditions. For example, many northern peoples are not allowed to drink alcohol, because their organisms are not capable of splitting it.
“If someone intends to transfer the war to the plane of genetics and to hit the enemy at cellular level, then, the collection of biomaterials from the opposite side can result in enormous losses. After all, biological warfare is not only the spread of viruses and infection: the impact on individual cells of a person can also give a tremendous effect! It can be the most villainous invention, which, of course, should be banned along with chemical weapons.
“I believe that the statement of our president should become a serious warning to the Americans. We are also not suckers and we are able to conduct similar studies. And it’s far from the fact that they would be the winners.”