The UN Security Council met to discuss Russian claims about biological labs in Ukraine and an alleged fake photograph of a woman injured in a Russian airstrike that destroyed a hospital.
Moscow’s claims have been harshly criticized by other member states, including Ukraine.
Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said Ukraine has a network of at least 30 biological warfare laboratories conducting dangerous experiments.
The UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs said he was not aware of any biological weapons program in Ukraine. British and American envoys reacted strongly to Russia’s assertion.
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said: “Russia asked the Security Council for today’s meeting for the sole purpose of lying and spreading misinformation.”
British Ambassador to the UN Barbara Woodward said: “This is utter nonsense. There is not a single thread of credible evidence.”
The Russian ambassador also made unverified claims of damage to a Mariupol hospital in a Russian airstrike on Wednesday.
Local authorities say three people, including a young girl, were killed.
The ambassador showed what he said was a fake photograph taken by a Ukrainian blogger who played the role of a pregnant woman in footage taken at the hospital.
Ukraine denied the claim. Ukraine’s Ambassador to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, said: “Ms. Mariana, a pregnant woman, gave birth to a healthy baby girl last night. Ukrainian cities have been destroyed while we are forced to listen to Russia’s absurd counterfeits. Kyslytsya added that there is an urgent need to counter Russia’s lies and barbaric actions.