Gennadiy Lepeshkin: I came to work at the microbiology plant, specifically at the Stepnogorsk research and development facility. Construction there began in 1974 and continued until 1990. When I arrived, there were only six buildings at the facility. And in those buildings, at any rate, there was not a single researcher who knew specifically what the facility was going to do.
But in addition to me, there were... there were other researchers who had come who did know what its purposes and objectives were, why it had been built.
Here I should note that while the facility was intended for biological, biological weapons manufacture, it never worked at full capacity in that area. It developed specific elements, which were vetted and tested, but its purpose was not fully met.
The facility was unique in the way it developed, because there was no similar facility in the Soviet Union. It was built based on the latest scientific knowledge of the time in the field of biotechnology... military biotechnology. There were modern buildings equipped with modern scientific and technical engineering systems. Special principles of human and environmental biological anti-pathogen protection systems were incorporated.
Which is to say, that there were things to be learned there and you could gain new knowledge and basically, disseminate that knowledge... and disseminate that knowledge later on.