By: Umme Kulsum
July 17 2023
There is no credible evidence indicating that Hunter Biden funded bio-labs in Ukraine.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, conspiracy theories around Ukrainian bio labs have gained widespread attention. Russian media outlets have previously spread incorrect information about the United States developing biological weapons in Ukraine. Social media posts claim that U.S. President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, suggesting that Hunter Biden funded biological facilities in Ukraine.
It is also claimed that Hunter Biden personally funded assistance from Metabiota, a U.S.-based company that compiles data from around the world to predict disease outbreaks, at the labs in Ukraine. However, these claims are false. There are no U.S. biological weapons programs being carried out in Ukraine, and Hunter Biden is not directly funding any bio facilities there.
Metabiota and Hunter Biden’s connection to the firm
In 2009, Hunter Biden co-founded a firm named Rosemont Seneca Partners, along with Christopher Heinz and Devon Archer. The firm also had stock in Rosemont Seneca Technology Partners (RSTP), a separate company that made investments in start-ups in the technology sector. According to a report by Washington Post, RSTP invested and helped lead initial rounds of funding for a company named Metabiota.
An anonymous source confirmed to the Washington Post that although Biden was a member of RSTP, he was not on the committee that made investment choices. Therefore, Hunter Biden was not directly associated with financing the labs in Ukraine linked to Metabiota. It should also be noted that there is no evidence that Ukraine has biological weapon research centers.
The Hunter Biden-Ukraine conspiracy theories have flourished on social media with false allegations since Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Metabiota had already raised $30 million in a Series A funding round led by RSTP in 2015, and in 2016, Black & Veatch and Metabiota representatives met with counterparts from Ukraine, Poland, and the United States in Lviv, Ukraine, to discuss the existing frameworks, regulatory coordination, and ongoing cooperative projects in research, surveillance, and diagnostics of a number of dangerous zoonotic diseases.
According to PolitiFact, the director of the Cooperative Threat Reduction program said that Metabiota has worked in Ukraine, among other countries, and its work in Ukraine included collaborating with local and international professionals to examine diseases and assisting scientists in disseminating their findings at international conferences and in peer-reviewed journals. The company also provided biosafety, biosecurity, and diagnostic training to employees, the report added. There is no evidence that Metabiota was working for labs linked to the development of bio-weapons in Ukraine.
U.S. and its links to labs in Ukraine
The United States has worked with the international community to reduce nuclear, chemical, and biological hazards in Ukraine and other former Soviet Union countries. Many Russian officials and far-right American media sites have long alleged that there are U.S.-funded bio-labs in Ukraine, and many users on social media also claimed that the U.S. Department of Defence is assisting Ukraine in developing biological weapons. However, all these allegations are false. Logically Facts has previously debunked claims around the U.S-Ukraine bio labs theory.
Since 2005, the United States and Ukraine have worked together as part of the Pentagon's Biological Threat Reduction Programme (BTRP) to enhance safe and peaceful biological detection and diagnostic capabilities as well as to lessen the risks posed by pathogens.
The BTRP program is implemented by the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). The DTRA has enlisted the help of several companies, including Metabiota, to help with its efforts. According to a news release by Metabiota, the company gains government momentum with Black & Veatch sub-contracts for DTRA.
Additionally, RSTP’s website shows Metabiota listed among its investments. But Biden was not involved directly in those investments. Moreover, Ukraine has no nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons programs.
Hunter Biden has been criticized for his business dealings in Ukraine. Biden’s role at Burisma Holdings Ltd had come under intense scrutiny in 2019 while Joe Biden was the U.S. Vice President.
There is no evidence of Hunter Biden’s RSTP involvement in financing Ukrainian biological research laboratories in Ukraine. Moreover, Ukraine does not have any active biological weapons development programs. We have therefore marked this claim as false.