LONDON: Russia has accused US President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, of funding biological weapons labs in Ukraine, The Telegraph has reported.
Moscow has previously claimed that Kyiv had been developing chemical and biological weapons — a claim it has since used to justify its invasions of Ukraine.
The Hunter Biden claim has raised fears that the Kremlin is laying the groundwork to use chemical weapons in Ukraine, the Telegraph reported.
The Russian Defense Ministry did not provide evidence for its assertion that Hunter Biden was involved in funding labs. The claim appears designed to build on negative coverage in US right-wing media about the president’s second son.
Igor Kirillov, the head of radiation, chemical and biological defense at Russia’s Defense Ministry, accused an investment fund run by Hunter Biden of bankrolling “the Pentagon's biological weapons program in Ukraine.”
“The scale of the program is impressive,” Kirillov told a briefing for Russian state media, naming USAID, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Hungarian philanthropist George Soros among those he said were contributing to the research.
Kirillov quoted unnamed documents uncovered by Moscow that purported to prove “links between US state bodies and Ukrainian biolabs.”
The Russian military suggested the fund has up to $2.4 billion at its disposal to run the program.
President Biden recently warned that Russia may be preparing a chemical attack, saying there were “clear signs” that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces are plotting a “false flag” operation.
The White House has reportedly set up a team of national security officials to make contingency plans in case Russia uses chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, NBC said earlier this week, quoting a senior administration official.
A chemical or biological attack would mark a dramatic escalation in the month-long war.