This is the most authoritative and comprehensive account of an important if arcane subject, requiring prodigious research and care in evaluating and verifying official and unofficial reported information. The book does not address the continuing problem of determining current or future compliance or noncompliance with the Biological Weapons Convention by Russia (or others), but it demonstrates the great difficulties in seeking to do so. (Ambassador Raymond L. Garthoff)
Comprehensive...Leitenberg and Zilinskas drill deep into the institutional, scientific and personnel factors in the Soviet program...I have a feeling that students of the Cold War will be digging into it for a long time to come. (David E. Hoffman Foreign Policy
)The Soviet Biological Weapons Program
is an immense work, and one whose very thoroughness--when conflicting narratives are available, both are offered--can be exhausting. But for those seeking to understand the Soviet Union's complicated relationship with biological weapons, perhaps with an eye toward discerning the Russian Federation's contemporary position, it is an invaluable book. (Jennifer Siegel Wall Street Journal
This stunningly holistic and definitive account (almost 900 pages) catalogs the entire history of 65 years of Soviet biological warfare research, tracking the various civilian and military Biopreparat programs. These employed as many as 65,000 people from 1928 to 1992, and later resisted the efforts of Russian leaders such as Gorbachev and Yeltsin to shut them down. This volume provides extensive, in-depth coverage, not only of the various civilian and Ministry of Defense efforts, illustrated with useful diagrams, but also of the various doctrines for using weaponized pathogens. Leitenberg
also document the extensive Soviet and later Russian Federation violations of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention of 1972, and end with a chilling reminder that even today, the current status of all the programs not verifiably terminated is simply not known...This is a very important, even disturbing, book. (C. Potholm II Choice
Undoubtedly The Soviet Biological Weapons Program: A History
will be the standard and definitive reference source on this issue for years to come, until such times as more archival material becomes available in Russia, US, UK and elsewhere which may help flesh out in greater detail some other aspects of this sad story. The book has no rivals. It is a scholarly work in the finest traditions of academic research covering a complex series of events over many decades: a thoroughly impressive achievement by any standard. (John R. Walker Harvard Sussex Program Occasional Papers, Issue 2
About the Author
Milton Leitenberg is Senior Research Scholar at the University of Maryland.
Raymond A. Zilinskas is Director of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.