8 months ago
According to CBS News, a newly revealed incident reported by a USAID officer based in the American embassy in Uzbekistan is raising suspicions that Russia may have been involved and could have had a hand in attacks that targeted U.S. diplomats in Cuba.
Back in September, the officer and his wife reported at least one acoustic attack similar to the attacks experienced by diplomats in Havana, according to one source familiar with the incident and reported by CBS News.
The attacks in Cuba started in Nov. 2016, and the last report of one was in August 2017. Victims describe hearing a loud, high-pitched sound, similar to the hiss of cicadas or crickets, in unusual places in their homes, reports CBS News. The victims were diagnosed with hearing loss, brain injuries, cognitive issues and other conditions.
The State Department would not give full details about the incident in Tashkent. But the sources say the two suffered similar effects and were flown out of Tashkent by the State Department.
”We take seriously the health concerns of USG personnel anywhere in the world,” the State Department spokesperson told CBS News. “We ensure our personnel are examined and receive appropriate treatment.”
But the State Department did say no one on the U.S. staff in Tashkent has suffered similar health issues to those experienced by victims of the Cuba attacks, reports CBS News.
Uzbekistan used to be part of the USSR, but declared independence in 1991. It still has strong ties with Russia and is considering rejoining the Russian-led military bloc Collective Security Treaty Organization. The incident in Tashkent raises concerns that Russia may be involved or have had a hand in the attacks targeting U.S. government personnel in Cuba because Russia has also demonstrated a growing influence in the country.
Russia has denied having any role in the attacks.