The Russian Defense Ministry claimed on Thursday that it had obtained documents indicating that US-sponsored biological laboratories in Ukraine conducted experiments with bat coronavirus samples.
The biolabs in Ukraine studied the possibilities of transfer of African swine fever and anthrax through infecting birds, bats, and reptiles, the ministry's spokesman Igor Konashenkov alleged during a daily briefing in Moscow.
The records recovered by Russia confirmed that these biolabs investigated pathogen transmission by wild birds traveling between Ukraine and Russia, as well as other bordering nations, he added.
"Russian specialists of the radiation, chemical, and biological protection divisions have studied documents on the transfer of human biomaterials taken in Ukraine to foreign countries on the instructions of US representatives.
"Of particular interest was detailed information about the implementation of a project by the US on the territory of Ukraine to study the transfer of pathogens by wild birds migrating between Ukraine and Russia and other neighboring countries," he noted.
Also, these biolabs did experiments with bat coronavirus samples, the spokesman added.
"In the near future, we will publish the next package of documents received from Ukrainian biolaboratory employees and present the results of their examination," he pledged.
Meanwhile, the Russian armed forces continued to "demilitarize" Ukraine, as of Thursday, 2,991 objects of the country's military infrastructure were hit, including 97 aircraft, 107 unmanned aerial vehicles, 141 anti-aircraft missile defense systems, 86 radar posts, 986 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 107 multiple rocket launchers, 368 field artillery and mortars, 749 units of special military vehicles, Konashenkov claimed.
The rebel forces of Ukraine's Donetsk regions continued "liberation of the city of Mariupol of nationalists," and they also took two more settlements under control, he added.