Created: 8/26/1964

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Soviet Capabilities and Intentions with Respect to Biological Warfare


Concurred it by Ihe UNITED STATES INTELLIGENCE BOARD As Indicated ovetleof4



Soviet Capabilities and Intentions Respect to Biological Warfare




To assess the capabilities and intentions of the USSR to employ biological warfare agents over about the next five years.


have no doubt that the USSR hai seriously consideredof BWupplement to its other militarybelieveW research program exists in the USSR, butof no facility devoted exclusively to offensive BW researchhave no evidence of field testing. Soviet military training initself exclusively with defense, as do the discussions ofthose Soviel military writings to which we have access.

believe thai the Soviets have no present intention toin militaiy operations. They probably consider BW to hethan other available weapons and uncertain in itsUSSR, however, will continue to develop defensive meanswith its estimate of the Western BW threat, and tooffensive potential of BW.

we have no positive indications of any Soviet effortand stockpile BW weapons, BW research alone wouldthe USSR with the capability for clandestine employmentFurther, wc believe that if they decide to do so, theproduce large quantitiesumber of BW agentsew mouths afterecision. Deliveryaccomplishedariety of existing means.


Soviel BWrch and Development

hu USSH's infant in the poyaWc military applkatiuit

his been evident in Soviet technical and mibtaiy literature since thend research applicable to BW has been utsderway (or two or three dccadci. Virtually all available evidence could be related lo Soviet week in epidemiology.

public liealth. and sanitation. we lieltevrW research program nrf* in the USSR Wu know o( no facility in the USMI dc-vutcil exclusively to ofleii-sivc BW research and we have no evidiuwre o( field testing. However, over lhe years we bave accumulated indications of possible BW activityow locations. The most suspect of these locations is Vodirnzdrniya Inland In the Aral Son, wheto there has been activity which could be related to military needs. Tin-re is no strong evidence, however, that this activity II connected wilh ItW research.

Avoilobility of BW Agents in tho USSR

here are no positive indications that the USSR now possesses BW agonls (or offensive use. Soviet scientists ate studying actively the usual variety of communicable diseases of humans and animals av part of their researchIn public health and veterinary medicine. The long history ol seriousdiseases in the USSR has forced attention to epidemiological problam. and Soviet scientists have accumulated much experience In this field. This study and experience could be put to use ta theand production of offensive BW agents if the Soviets so choose, bulo firm indication (hat this has been done.

3 The Soviets have been experimenting withrogenic immunization technique which involves duwmmation of immunizing agents (antigens) by aurosolslosed area. Further development of this process couldan economical, practical method of immimuing large groups of people and animals. Thoia experiments also provide the Soviets with valuable datato the dissemination of BW agents. The combination of antigens given the test subjects suggest thai these expedients gourely public health function.

o bcllove lhat. through their own research and open US litcrnlure, Ihe Soviets aro well aware of tlie propertiesariety oi BW agents, andl>ili'v 'o elevcbp. pioduce, -mlhen) In Blu larily significant quantities. We have, however, insufficient evidence on which lo base an estimate of the types and quantities of BW agents which might be available to the Soviets for offensive use.

5 While we cannot confirm that any BW agents have been sUndarclixed In the Soviet Union, there are certain biological warfare-delated activities that are suspect. Soviet studies on bocuiinum toxin strongly suggest BW interest.

For example, there have been rateiuivr Soviet studio on lhe diumMnataon of thil toxin by the aerosol route, althoughis nottuial means of tram* milting tlie toxin. Soviet work on plague and <tnl)>rax mayI1Wnnd there have been post Soviel expressions of interest in Ihese discusesovietiiL-lumic emtphalili* have Ihtii conducted widely inwith ]Mil>ln IkmIiIi. This disease is nut endemic lo tin* US,er cfore would tiliti tome advantage* in (lie Soviets for uie againit US persounrl, who have Utileatural immunityrueelloiii.evee arc endemic in the USSR, and the Soviet* liase conducted consider-.ihlr ii-ummonivcawimlilx. CMtH .iko . e iL-vclopintiit olgjnmm IIW agents.

(able (on pageertain possible Soviet anti-personneland iheir properties. Ihii list of possible BW agents is based onwhich there ha* been extensive Sovietuie diseases endemicUSSR or known to be subjects of US BW research. Other diseasesand/or animals which may have future importance as BW agentsand mouth disease, psittacosis, rabies, rinderpest, smallpox.and glanders.linical literature reveals noen Is.

Soviet BW Munitions and Delivery Systems

have no evidence of any munitions and delivery systemsfor BW by the USSR Some usm of biological warfare agents,clandestine dissemination, are technically so simple thai evidenceexistence cannot be expected. Delivery systems for agents which canliy dry or wet oeromK (botulinum toxin, anthrax,encephalitis, yellow fever) present no special technicalmight provide positive evidence of BW weapon systemsystems for ground vehiclet. aircraft, cruise missiles, surface ships,could also be developed without our knowledgeon technically more complex systems, such as BW warheads forwould be more difficult to conceal.

Soviet Military and Civilian Dofonse Against BW

Soviet military establishment includes organi/atkins charged withof troops against BW. The Chief Military Medical Directorate ofof Defense has the prime icspousibility for defense of personnelnumerous military and non military medical iesearch centers whichBW defense matters. In addition to medio! service troops for BWservices exist at all military levels to provide sanitationfacilities. Soviel military forces are known to undergo trainingdefensive measures. Defense against BW has bcon includedivil defense efforts which are now under Ihe control of the MinistryPoo* Instruction and lack of equipment have limited thethis BW defense training. There is no indication that tlie Soviets havedeveloped an automatic BW alum system.






F.neephalimYellow Fever

Type ant: personnel

a nti-personnel,


anti-personnel,anM- personnel


anti-personnel anti-personnel



Animal contact, inhalation





Insect-borne or aerosol

Effect lethal

lei bul

incapacitating, sometimes


generally lethal


incapacitating, sometimes

Variable lethality depencling on state of

Pmviktion toxoid

partial. .iil-able

1n available

immunisation available


vel-oped vacc ine

immiiDir anon available

immunl rn tion available

TntATMEKT iiwSectrve

partially effective



part inCy effective



paitinUy effective

Endemic in the USSR.

'lodudeseans ol HiiMcunatioii

Soviot Military Doctrine with Respect to BW

discussion of BW in those Soviet classified and unclassifiedto which we have access concerns itself exclusively with defense.treated undo lhe general heading of "weapons of man destrmtinn'*iuu.lf.ii ,iml chemical weapons. While, Soviet military sviitings andexercises often include consideration ul use. hy both sides of unclearweapons. consideration ofare In those cases where itavailable documents indicate that the 'enemy,'* not theBW offensively.

Soviet Intentions and Prospects

believe tint Soviet intelligence hasgood assessment ofUS, capabilities and activities in (he UW field We belies'c thatwill continue to monitor Western BW efforts to (he extent possible,develop defensive means consistent with their estimate of (he Western threat.

political considerations may Impose some restraints against usein Soviet doctrine, tho Soviet assessment of relative militarydisadvantages of tbe use of BW weapons would probably imposeDespite protective equipment (such as gas masks developeduse) and Immunization programs, the USSH remains vulnerableattack. Civil defense efforts have included indoctrination in BWbut there is an apparent lack of interestaucity ofview of the delayed effects of BW weapons and the greater predictabilityof nuclear weapons, wc believe it highly unlikely (hat (heconsider BWseful means of strategic attack In the event of genera)

wax. Further, (he Soviets probably believe lhat BW weapons are of doubtful

cifecuVeimss in tactical situations because of delayed and unpredictable effects.

These factors would also weigh heavily against Soviet employment of BW in

limited wars.

the foregoing, if the ollonsive use of BW In militaiyto appear advantageous to Soviet planners, we believe (ha( the USSRsignificant quantitiesumber of pathogenic organismstusing present facilities. Some CW munitions might be modifiedBW uso. Several years would be required toineBW weapons systems for usearge scale. In any case, weSoviets nowapability for clandestine use of BW.

BW Programs in the East European Countries

are no known offensive BW programs within the EastAltltougli there is no indication of Soviet direction orresearch In Czechoslovakia and East Ccrmany almost certainlyto Soviet research programs applicable to BW. All Easthave the capability to produce BW agenU for clandestineit is highly unlikely tha( any member of tlio Warsaw Pact wouldemploy BW in military operations without the concurrence andthe Soviet Union.

fll D atMMaaasalBiasaM



woiby the Onl'd Inetligsnce Agency. ThH'he intormoron cull use ofrecipient ond o: pcom under hiion a

need lo know fcoiii. Additional essential dillvmnaTioi moy be aulhoriicrl by Ihe tallowing oflicioli wilhin their respective dflpoirmenli!

ol IntelligenceRcseoreh, lor the Department of S'0te

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Defense one! Ihe orgeuiizahon ol the Joint Chiefs of Stoff

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Department of Ihe Army

Chiel ol Navol Operation, flnl* licence I, for the Deportment ol the


Chief of Siaff. Intelligence, USAF. lor the Deportmenl ol the A>


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of NSA. (or the National Security Agency

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This document may bo retained, ot destroyed by burning in accordance with applicable security regulations, or relumed to lhe Central IMell-asnce Agency by arrangement with lhe Office ol Central Reference, OA.

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title ol this document when used separately from the text should be clot-

sided-. nrrif'tr trvr


White Haute

National Security Council

Department ol Stare

Department ol Defense

Atomic Energy Com minion

Federal Burcag of Inve.tlgaI (on

Original document.

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