Bio-weapons testing in Kazakhstan
The military-industrial complex of the former Soviet Union used the territory of Kazakhstan as a testing ground for various types of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons at Semipalatinsk. Soviet officials perpetuated the myth that the test sites were harmless and categorically denied any adverse effects on the Kazakhstani people, whose deteriorating health they sought to explain as a consequence of natural factors.
In fact, the grave environmental and health effects of nuclear weapons testing at Semipalatinsk are now clear. Less well known are the consequences of biological weapons testing on the territory of Kazakhstan. From 1936 to 1992 , Vozrozhdeniye Island, an island in the western part of the Aral Sea whose territory is divided between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, was the major proving ground in the Soviet Union for the open-air testing of biological warfare (BW) agents.