The Soviet Union’s Biological Weapons Program

1263 words - 5 pages

Throughout the history of the Army Chemical Corps, many weapons of mass destructions have evolved. Many governments have established policies to regulate the production and use of weapons of mass destruction, to include the United States. This essay will discuss the Soviet Union’s biological weapons program. You will read about the history of the Soviet Biopreparat, how it was established, the scientists and officials that started this program, and the demise of their biological weapons program. This paper will also inform you about the top secret facilities used and how the program was named as a cover to keep it secret from the rest of the world. The Soviet Biopreparat program was a historical event that has help the United States become more aware of bioterrorism and other weapons of mass destruction in the world for the sake our country’s national security.
The year of 1969 was when President Richard Nixon began to devise a policy to end the biological weapons program in the United States. (Davis, August 1999) Later there was the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention in 1972 which ended the production of biological weapons in most of the world. Most governments in the West were assuming that everyone could rest easy knowing that such a dangerous aspect of defense was shut down. (Davis, August 1999) Around the world, biological experts, technicians, and scientists were retiring and transferring. (Davis, August 1999)
The Soviet Union, also known as the USSR then, also agreed and the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, but they developed a program to secretly research and develop biological warfare agents. (www.infosources.org, 2009) In 1973 the Soviet Union grouped all these programs under one organization called Biopreparat. (www.infosources.org, 2009) These groups and secret research facilities were developing agents such as smallpox, anthrax, ebola, and influenza. (www.infosources.org, 2009) Even though the Soviet Union had biological weapons prior to the 1972 Convention; they continued their program secretly under the Biopreparat name to at least the mid to late 1990s. (www.infosources.org, 2009) The Soviet Union claimed that Biopreparat was a civil pharmaceutical facility. (Tucker, 2007)
The Biopreparat program and facilities had many intelligent scientists and technicians that kept the program secret and made it very successful. The scientist that started the program was named Yuri A. Ovchinnikov. (www.infosources.org, 2009) There were other organizations that got involved in the development and the cover of this secret facility. These organizations included the Soviet Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Health in Soviet Union. (Tucker, 2009) Dr. Yuri Ovchinnikov was a former chemistry professor and member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences; so the support for him to develop and maintain this program was easy to come by. (www.infosources.org, 2009) There was another...

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