A quote supposedly from the Russian President, featured on an Instagram post, is entirely fabricated.
A post on Instagram shows an image of Russian President Vladimir Putin alongside the quote: “I will make public the depopulation plan that the United States and Europe have prepared. It will be the scientists hidden in the bioweapons lab that have been found who will uncover everything, they are right now” (sic). We could not find any evidence that Putin has said this at any point. The post does not provide sources for the quote. Putin has suggested that U.S. funded Biolabs operate in Ukraine on several occasions. As the BBC, Logically, and other fact checking sites have noted, there is no evidence that this is true. Biological research facilities do exist in Ukraine, but they are not being used to develop biological weapons. Part of this research in these institutions involves researching harm caused by biological weapons in order to limit their use and access. Their locations are available to the public. Filippa Lentzos, a biosecurity expert at King's College London, told the BBC: "There are no indications that Ukrainian labs have been involved in any nefarious activity, or any research or development in contravention of the Biological Weapons Convention.” Several similar claims surrounding quotes which have been misattributed to Putin, or entirely fabricated, have arisen over the past few months. Poynter debunked a similar claim in 2019. While Putin has referenced bioweapons and made false and misleading statements about the motives behind Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there is no evidence that he made this statement. As such, we have marked it as false.