Russian President Vladimir Putin has said someone powerful is harvesting biological samples of ethnic groups all across the country for unknown reasons. He said the Russian pool of genes is a "kind of object of great interest" for those who were behind the alleged practice.
Speaking at an event organised by Russia's Human Rights Council on Monday, 30 October, Putin touched a variety of topics revolving around Russian affairs. His revelation has also led to speculation that biological weapons are being prepared to target Russians if such situation arises.
Putin was addressing the gathering against the backdrop of reports that Russian local elections are being closely watched by hundreds of thousands from abroad.
While touching upon the topic, the Russian leader went on to say: "Images are one thing, but do you know that biological material is being collected all over the country, from different ethnic groups and people living in different geographical regions of the Russian Federation? The question is – which is it being done? It's being done purposefully and professionally. We are a kind of object of great interest."
Nonetheless, Putin did not specify who all were behind such collection of samples or their possible motives. He simply concluded by emphatically saying: "Let them do what they want, and we must do what we must."
Still, Moscow's state broadcaster Russia Today said Putin could be speculating about the July announcement made by the US Air Force Air Education and Training Command, which called for acquiring RNA samples from Russians of Caucasian origin.
Following Putin's remarks, Franz Klintsevich, the first deputy chairman of the Federation Council's Committee for Defence and Security, said a scenario of biological warfare on Russia could not be fully dismissed.
"I'm not saying that it is about preparing a biological war against Russia. But, its scenarios, are, no doubt, being worked on. That is to say, in case the need arises," Klintsevich wrote on Facebook. "The president's warning is very timely. Relevant agencies in the West should know that we are aware of their interest."