Stalin's Secret Weapon

Stalin's Secret Weapon : The Origins of Soviet Biological Warfare

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Stalin's Secret Weapon is a gripping account of the early history of the globally significant Soviet biological weapons program, including its key scientists, its secret experimental bases and the role of intelligence specialists, establishing beyond doubt that the infrastructure created by Stalin continues to form the core of Russia's current biological defense network. Anthony Rimmington has enjoyed privileged access to an array of newly available sources and materials, including declassified British Secret Intelligence Service reports. The evidence contained therein has led him to conclude that the program, with its network of dedicated facilities and proving grounds, was far more extensive than previously considered, easily outstripping those of the major Western powers. As Rimmington reveals, many of the USSR's leading infectious disease scientists, including those focused on pneumonic plague, were recruited by the Soviet military and intelligence services. At the dark heart of this bacteriological archipelago lay Stalin, and his involvement is everywhere to be seen, from the promotion of favored researchers to the political repression and execution of the lead biological warfare specialist, Ivan Mikhailovich Velikanov.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 142 x 218 x 30mm | 517g
  • United States
  • English
  • 0190928859
  • 9780190928858

Review quote

"Rimmington's fascinating account of Western intelligence services' efforts to divine the scope and scale of these scientific projects is especially useful. This book makes a major contribution to understanding the emphasis the Russian state has, and undoubtedly still does, put on the development of these awful weapons. ... Summing up: Highly Recommended" -- CHOICE

"A fascinating account of Stalin's multi-pronged, well-resourced and ambitious biological weapons programs. Rimmington expertly synthesizes intelligence assessments and academic publications, concluding that much of the structure created by Stalin is still in place." -- Jonathan Brewer, Visiting Professor, Centre for Science and Security Studies, King's College London

"In this path-breaking book, Anthony Rimmington peels back successive layers to reveal the inner workings of a secret state. The efforts of Soviet scientists and various intelligence agencies to discover what was going on are outlined in remarkable detail. Original and fascinating."-- Michael Goodman, Professor of Intelligence and International Affairs, Department of War Studies, King's College London

"Eye-opening . . . [Rimmington's] remarkable findings . . . [and] painstaking analysis of the Russian archives is [a] real achievement . . . an important book."--The Scotsman
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About Anthony Rimmington

Anthony Rimmington is Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Russian, European & Eurasian Studies, University of Birmingham. He has published several scholarly articles on the Soviet Union's offensive biological weapons program and the civil life sciences industry in Russia and the former Soviet Republics.
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