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Crit Rev Microbiol. 2004;30(4):241-61.

The Russian biological weapons program: vanished or disappeared?

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  • 1Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel. shoham_d@netvision.net.il

Abstract

The legacy and arsenal of biological weapons Russia inherited from USSR in 1991 became a lingering unsolved issue, in terms of a prime strategic arm that ought to be eliminated, advisably, in accordance with the Biological Weapons Convention Russia is committed to, and considering further undertakings and declarations made by the Russian regime. Indeed, that inheritance was created by USSR as a powerful, highly sophisticated component of utmost importance within the Soviet military paradigm, based on a wide spectrum of virulent, stabilized pathogens and toxins plus delivery systems. Moreover, remarkably advanced biotechnologies were thus applied to procure stockpiles of military-grade pathogens and toxins. Yet, an intriguing debate aroused with regard to the extent of the weaponized biological inventory accumulated by USSR, as well as the in effect attitude of Russia towards perpetuating or wiping out that inheritance. It turned out to form a far reaching and challenging complexity, both strategically and scientifically. The present study concentrates on the strategic as well as scientific spheres shaping that overall issue at large, attempting to thoroughly analyze it through an innovative methodology. One main conclusion thereby reached at is that the Russian military still poses a potential menance, in terms of both stockpiled, probably deployable biological weapons, and prevailing production capacities.

PMID:
15646399
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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