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Biopreparat



Biopreparat (Russian: Биопрепарат, English: "Biological substance preparation") was the Soviet Union's major biological warfare agency.

Additional recommended knowledge

Overview

Biopreparat was established in 1973. Its 30,000 employees helped to develop research and to produce pathogenic weapons for use in a major war. The project was reportedly initiated by academician Yuri Ovchinnikov who convinced Leonid Brezhnev that development of biological weapons was necessary [1]. The research at Biopreparat constituted a violation by the Soviet Union of the terms of the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972 that outlawed biological weapons. The Biopreparat complex suffered with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since then several large bioweapons production lines have been officially closed. Its current state is unknown, however it is likely that Biopreparat and successor entities continued bioweapons research and development at least through the 1990s. [1]

Biopreparat was the largest producer of weaponized anthrax in the Soviet Union. Additionally, Biopreparat was a leader in the development of new bioweapons technologies.

Pathogens that were successfully weaponized by the organization included (in order of completion):

Annual production capacities for many of the above listed pathogens were in the tens of tons, typically with redundant production facilities located throughout the Soviet Union. The anthrax production facility in Sverdlovsk became well-known because of the 1979 accident and was since then prominently featured in the Western press (see also Sverdlovsk anthrax leak).

Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov (also known as Ken Alibek), was the First Deputy Director of Biopreparat from 1988 to 1992, when he defected to the United States. Dr. Alibekov wrote the book Biohazard detailing his extensive inside knowledge of the structure, goals, operations and achievements of Biopreparat. Dr. Alibekov was also featured in the October 13, 1998 episode of Frontline (PBS TV series).

References

  1. ^ a b Alibek,K. and S. Handelman. Biohazard: The Chilling True Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World - Told from Inside by the Man Who Ran it. 1999. Delta (2000) ISBN 0-385-33496-6 [1]
 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Biopreparat". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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