‘Bio laboratories’ in Odesa: cynicism that cannot reach the bottom

‘Bio laboratories’ in Odesa: cynicism that cannot reach the bottom

Fact Check
Russian propaganda used a photo from Bucha to spread a fake about the sale of "biomaterial" of fallen soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Russian Telegram channels and online media share a fake "investigation" by unnamed "Ukrainian journalists" that in Odesa, "biomaterials" of fallen Ukrainian soldiers are being sold abroad, their remains are being burnt, and relatives are being told that their family members have "gone missing".

And that they are allegedly involved in illegal transplantation in a reference laboratory at the Ukrainian Mechnikov Research Anti-Plague Institute located at 2/4 Tserkovna Str. Moreover, the process is allegedly headed by Professor Serhiy Pozdniakov.

Photos showing black bags with bodies in the truck and screenshots from the e-procurement monitoring site Clarity-Project are cited as evidence.

Photos of corpses in bags were not taken in Odesa. They are from in Bucha. These bags contain unidentified bodies of people tortured by the occupiers. Propagandists only added the "Typical Odesa" watermark.

The organization "Ukrainian Mechnikov Research Anti-Plague Institute" no longer exists, as this institute was reorganized in 2015 and became part of the Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. The legal entity under this name has been in the process of liquidation since 2016. On its basis, I.I. Mechnikov Research Anti-Plague Institute of the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine has been established.

The activity profile of the laboratory is completely different: it collected and studied dangerous viruses and pathogens, and was not involved in organ transplantation. After the coronavirus epidemic began, a coronavirus testing center was created in the laboratory.

The source of this fake is a video of an alleged "investigation" about the so-called "bio laboratories" in Odesa. The video is posted on the "Typical Odessa" YouTube channel and the Telegram channel with the same name. The main content of these channels includes historical photos of Odesa, quotes from Russian classics and pro-Russian narratives.

The video contains information that is not based on facts, but on so-called "own sources".

The reference laboratory in Odesa had been under attack by Russian propaganda and pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine even before the full-scale invasion began. Such "investigations" were carried out by media that were part of Viktor Medvedchuk's pool.

Andriy Olenin

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