US media is reporting that QAnon conspiracy theorists are amplifying Russian information alleging US bioweapons labs in Ukraine. According to a Newsweek report:
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Wednesday denied accusations from Russia that the U.S. had bioweapons labs in Ukraine, but QAnon conspiracy theorists have already widely spread Russia’s claims throughout its communications channels. Evidence also shows many members of QAnon believe a “baseless” theory that the Russian war is actually a secret mission backed by former President Donald Trump to destroy clandestine bioweapon labs created by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden. NBC reported on March 4 that the theory was being spread during the American offshoot of the “Freedom Convoy” of protesting truckers in Washington, D.C., by members of QAnon. Along with groundless claims that Fauci is trying to create a pathogen for a new pandemic, the conspiracists also falsely state he created the COVID-19 pandemic.[…]
Foreign Policy reported on March 2 that believers of QAnon are widely spreading the conspiracy theory that Russia is targeting labs in Ukraine to stop Fauci from creating a new virus similar to COVID-19. According to the magazine, messages about the theory have hundreds of thousands of hits each day on the platforms. Russian officials are feeding the false narrative. On Wednesday, Russia’s foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Moscow possessed documents that proved the Ukrainian health ministry had ordered the destruction of pathogen samples before Russian military forces moved into Ukraine.On Thursday, the Russian Defense Ministry released information to the public on social media. It claims the U.S. and Ukraine are conspiring to spread diseases through migratory birds.
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In mid-February, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported that Russian media was claiming the United States was developing biological weapons in a network of labs in Ukraine.
In October 2020, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported that Russia’s Internet Research Agency was attempting to use social media accounts to boost the role of conspiracy theories promoted by QAnon.
According to the BBC, QAnon is:
…a wide-ranging, unfounded conspiracy theory that says that President Trump is waging a secret war against elite Satan-worshipping paedophiles in government, business and the media .QAnon believers have speculated that this fight will lead to a day of reckoning where prominent people such as former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be arrested and executed.
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