A USAID worker stationed in Uzbekistan and his spouse experienced an acoustic attack similar to those that afflicted tens of U.S. diplomats stationed in Cuba over a period of nearly a year, CBS News reports.
U.S. Department of State Spokeswoman Heather Nauert, however, vigorously denied the report saying:
We can confirm that there was no incident in Uzbekistan and that no personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan have been diagnosed with the conditions that have been observed in Cuba.
— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) November 28, 2017
U.S. security personnel conversly elaborated to CBS that the Russian government could be behind the attacks. Russia maintains a robust security infrastructure in Uzbekistan, a former republic of the USSR, and has deep ties with the Cuban security services.
More than 20 U.S. and Canadian diplomats were targeted by acoustic attacks over a period of a year in Cuba, causing symptoms including hearing loss and blinding headaches. Two Cuban diplomats were expelled from the U.S. in retaliation for the attacks due to the government’s inability to assure U.S. personnel’s safety. The U.S. has consistently been careful to note it does ascribe blame for the attacks themselves on the Cuban government.
Russia denied any responsibility for the attacks in late August, calling any suggestion to that effect as “absurd.”
The Russian government has been involved in a number of high-profile incidents with U.S. diplomats in recent years. During former President Barack Obama’s first term, Russian spies broke into the United States defense attache’s home and assassinated his dog, The Washington Post reported based on memos. In another stunning instance, a Russian spy broke into one U.S. diplomat’s house and defecated in the middle of his living room carpet.
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