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Stalin's Secret WeaponThe Origins of Soviet Biological Warfare$
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Anthony Rimmington

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190928858

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190928858.001.0001

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The Soviet Union’s Secret of Secrets

The Soviet Union’s Secret of Secrets

The Creation of BW Facilities on the Island of Gorodomyla

(p.65) 4 The Soviet Union’s Secret of Secrets
Stalin's Secret Weapon

Anthony Rimmington

Oxford University Press

By 1935, the Soviet military was becoming increasingly concerned that testing undertaken by the Red Army’s Biochemical Institute at Vlasikha involving dangerous infectious diseases could conceivably pose a threat to Moscow. It was therefore decided to create a new branch at Gorodomyla Island on Lake Seliger. At this point the Vlasikha facility was renamed the Biotechnical Institute and all ongoing offensive biological warfare work was transferred to Gorodomyla. It was around this time that Stalin and his security organs unleashed the mass repression dubbed the Great Terror. The repression was to have an enormous impact on microbiology and resulted in the decapitation of the leadership of the Red Army’s BW program with the arrests of both Fishman and Velikanov.

Keywords:   Soviet Union, Biological warfare, Gorodomyla Island, Red Army, Red Army Biochemical Institute, Red Army Biotechnical Institute, Great Terror, Fishman, Velikanov

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