in his book, Biohazard , a defector from the Soviet germ-warfare programme, Kanatjan Alibekov, has written that Soviet researchers tried to turn HIV, the AIDS causing virus, into a weapon. Even as the last Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev, pursued peace openings with the West, he ordered a vast expansion of the deadly effort to turn germs and viruses into weapons of mass destruction. Alibekov says that he knew of the plans because, as deputy director of a top branch of the Soviet programme, he saw secret Soviet intelligence reports twice a month. Spy satellites found what seemed to be a large biological weapons laboratory and a plant for testing nuclear warheads in China.
Two epidemics of haemorrhagic fever were reported in the region in late 1980s. The area had never previously known such a disease, which causes profuse bleeding and death.
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