In Russia the bird flu outbreak in a very short time had reached from the Far East to the Urals and was recently officially registered in Kalmykia. Hundreds of thousands of birds have become victims of the virus, mainly poultry: hens, ducks and geese. Fortunately so far the virus does not infect people. But, the danger of this pathogen’s mutation is very high. The Ministry of Public Health of the Russian Federation has already made a decision to make an experimental batch of vaccine for the population. However its creation may take about a year.
Recently experts of the Chelyabinsk territorial directorate of the Rospotrebnadzor (Russian oversight state body on consumers’ rights protection and public well-being) have made the unfavorable forecast that in 2006 all territory of the Russian Federation will be subject to the bird flu. In the second half of 2005 the bird flu will quite possibly extend to the territory of the Southern Russia - Krasnodar region, Astrakhan and Volgograd areas. And in 2006 the country could be completely enveloped by this virus.
In the end of the current year or the beginning of 2006 the bird flu from Russia could be carried by wild birds of passage to the Eastern and Western Europe. The gravity of this threat is confirmed by the fact that Russia and EU intend to discuss the problem of the bird flu at the next session of the International Epizootic Bureau (IEB) which is to take place in the middle of September in Suzdal.
Meanwhile, the bird flu outbreak in Russia arouses many questions and suspicions among independent observers. In particular, till now the precise source of the infection and the way by which it got into Russia has not been determined. Presently the most widely circulating version is that the blame lies on wild ducks hibernating in "the bird flu’s native land" - the countries of South-East Asia. However the speed of flu’s expansion, its scale and geographical selectivity look too suspicious for a mere spontaneous natural epizootic.
Besides, by a strange coincidence the bird flu has struck the most dynamically developing branch of the Russian agriculture - poultry farming. Last year the fowl breeding in Russia grew by 15 percent. The country has got a real chance to strengthen its food security and reduce deliveries of chicken meat from abroad, which now is covering 47 percent of the Russian poultry market.
It’s also of interest that the bird flu outbreak in Russia almost immediately caused a wave of sometimes simply panic publications in western media about the threat of the infection almost inevitably spreading on the countries of the European Union, which have a powerful poultry farming industry.
Proceeding from a known principle "qui prodest", it is difficult to get off the sensation that the main interested party in this entire situation is the USA - the largest world manufacturer and the exporter of chicken and other poultry. For example, in Russia today two thirds of all import of chicken meat are represented by so called "Bush's legs" (chicken frozen legs) and other American poultry production.
The American poultry manufacturers annually receive only from export of chicken meat to Russia nearly US$2 billion and are eager to cut off a good chunk of the European poultry market. In this situation the bird flu outbreak in Russia with its real threat of spreading to Europe - looks simply like a gift of destiny for American manufacturers of poultry meat who now under certain conditions could not only flood the markets of Russia and the European Union with their products, but also dictate prices for them.
From this point of view the version on military-bacteriological character of the bird flu outbreak starts to look not so absurd. In 1972 Soviet film-director Savva Kulish shot a movie "The Committee of 19" in which some neo-Nazis aided by sympathizers from western special services intended to use a bacteriological weapon created by them in a secret laboratory in Africa by means of birds of passage, capable to span hundreds of thousands miles. And recently the report prepared by the Canadian military intelligence was published which specified, that terrorists could use the bird flu virus as a bacteriological weapon.
However, serious experts think, that the bird flu is poorly suitable as a weapon of terror. But using such bacteriological weapon by one state against others for undermining economy or destabilization of internal political situation could be a different matter.
Meanwhile, the USA has both resources and rich enough practical experience of application of biological/bacteriological weapons against its opponents. It’s well known that in 1950-60s various secret experiments and tests of bacteriological weapons were conducted in Hawaii and in the states of Alaska, Maryland and Florida. And during these tests American military personnel and civilians played the role of "guinea pigs". In the end of 1960s - beginning of 1970s countries of Indochina and especially Cuba became the targets of the US bio-war. Cuban officials publicly accused the USA of repeatedly using against Cuba bacteriological weapons with the purpose to undermine its economy, cause devastation and famine and stimulate mass antigovernment uprisings. According to Cuban and independent international experts, the CIA and US military intelligence through their agents and by means of special aircraft caused on island an outbreak of tropical fever and various infections affecting plantations of tobacco, sugar cane, mass destruction of bees and livestock.
In 1970 the American agents delivered to Cuba a container with the virus of African pig fever. After that the island was struck by the first in the Western hemisphere epizootic which led to destruction of 500 thousand pigs. In 1980 new cases of the pig fever were detected in Cuba, and in 1981 – of the Dengue fever which infected 300 thousand people. Researches conducted with participation of foreign experts established, that the virus was purposely delivered to Cuba. Then Cuba was suddenly struck with an epidemic of the hemorrhagic conjunctivitis resulting in 156 people, mainly children dead.
According to American media, despite of signing in 1972 of the international agreement on prohibition of development or purchase of bacteriological weapons, the USA actually never stopped its activities in this direction. Especially actively these weapons were developed during Bill Clinton’s presidency and have been even more expanded by George W. Bush administration under the pretext of studying terrorists’ capabilities on creation of bacteriological weapons.
According to the western press, the American authorities gave jobs in their secret laboratories to many former Soviet scientists/experts in the field of bio-weapons. In the desert of Nevada the Pentagon constructed the whole secret factory for production of bacteriological weapons. Here, in particular, by methods of gene engineering a new lethal version of the anthrax virus was created.
In view of all this the fact of unexpected even for US allies refusal in 2001 by the administration of George Bush to sign the draft of new multilateral agreement on toughening the prohibition of bacteriological weapons, already signed by 140 countries, must not be ignored. And in 2002 the group of prominent scientists-microbiologists of the USA and England publicly accused authorities of the USA of development of the new generation bacteriological weapons, in particular special cluster bombs which represents a gross violation of international agreements.
Also attracts attention that in the USA after September 11th, 2001 a campaign of intimidating the population by bacteriological threat from terrorists - letters with "white powder ", etc. - has been used by the Pentagon for legitimization and coverings of its own large-scale program of bio-weapons development.
The US propaganda assiduously maintains an image of "rogue states", allegedly preparing to use bacteriological weapons, while Washington obviously prepares ground for its own actions of this kind, and probably already and secretly is carrying them out. So, some experts point out to rather suspicious character of recent outbreaks of the bird flu in North Korea and China, which are obviously not registered in the ranks of American friends.
In the opinion of some experts, proceeding from available facts and the general orientation of the American policy, today there is a probability of using bacteriological weapons by the USA with the subsequent attempts to shift the responsibility on other countries or international terrorists.
Certainly, to prove direct participation of any US structures in occurrence of the bird flu in general, and in Russia, in particular, is hardly possible. However, until Washington reveals the whole truth about its confidential programs in the field of development and application of bacteriological weapons, there will always be grounds for such suspicions.
In fact, as the newest history testifies, many of innovations and inventions released in the past from the American "Pandora’s box" - sometimes deliberately, and at times, probably, by chance - have already brought to mankind a lot of troubles and sufferings. Should we wait for more?