Right-wing supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent days have been pushing claims that the Russian military had to invade Ukraine in order to stop dangerous bioweapons laboratories within the country that are purportedly being run in conjunction with the United States.
NBC News reporter Ben Collins did some digging about the origins of this particular theory and he concluded that it is "dumber than you’d ever imagine."
First, Collins notes that Putin never mentioned these supposed biolabs at all when he tried to lay out his initial casus belli for invading Ukraine, as he instead depicted the operation as necessary to defend Russian-speaking Ukrainian citizens from supposed "genocide" being conducted by the Ukrainian government.
Given how those claims were met with a wall of disbelief by the international community, the Kremlin then turned to the supposed labs.
"So what made the 'biolabs' conspiracy theory take off on the day of the invasion? It was a Twitter thread from a now-banned account called @WarClandestine," writes Collins. "The account was previously a QAnon account that had been evading bans with new names."
From there, the claims about the biolabs spread through far-right internet forums, including the Great Awakening QAnon website and the forum previously known as "The Donald."
"Once @WarClandestine’s post took off among right-wing influencers, it was everywhere on the English-language far-right," notes Collins. "Pro-Trump and Q forums had been uneasy rooting against Putin. The “biolabs” allowed them to refocus on their major enemies: the Bidens and Anthony Fauci."
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