The soviet union began a biological weapons program in the 1920s during world war ii joseph stalin was forced to move his biological warfare bw operations out of the path of advancing german forces and may have used tularemia against german troops in 1942 near stalingrad. In 1972 the united states the soviet union and other nations signed the biological and toxin weapons convention that was supposed to ban biological weapons at that very time however the soviet union was embarking on a massive expansion of its offensive biological weapons program which began i. This is the first attempt to understand the broad scope of the ussrs offensive biological weapons research from its inception in the 1920s gorbachev tried to end the program but the us and uk never obtained clear evidence he succeeded raising the question of whether the means for waging biological warfare could be revived in russia in the future. Leitenberg and zilinskas periodize the soviet biological weapons program into two phases the first generation was from 1928 through 1971 and used classical genetic selection techniques mendelian selection and its subsequent variations the very early program was an outgrowth of a chemical weapons program and made the ussr the only
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