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In March 2012, at a meeting convened by the recently reelected Russian president Vladimir Putin, Minister of Defense Serdyukov informed Mr. Putin that a plan was being prepared for “the development of weapons based on new physical principles: radiation, geophysical wave, genetic, psychophysical, etc.” Subsequently, in response to concerns expressed both in Russia and abroad, the Russian government deleted the statement from the public transcript of the meeting. But the question remains: Is Russia developing an offensive biological warfare program?

Middlebury Institute Professor Raymond Zilinskas and Philippe Mauger MANPTS '15 investigate the multiple dimensions of this crucial security issue in their comprehensive, authoritative survey. Ranging from the Soviet legacy to current doctrine, from advanced weapons-development networks to civilian biotechnology research, from diplomatic initiatives to disinformation campaigns, they document and analyze the build-up and modernization of Russia’s biodefense establishment under the Putin administration.