Russian propaganda isn’t known for either its subtlety or basis in reality. That said, when the latest excuse for Moscow’s poor performance in Ukraine reads like the origin story from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” things definitely aren’t going swell. On Tuesday, The Daily Beast reported the latest Kremlin excuse for the prolonged conflict in Ukraine is that the Ukrainians are creating mutant soldiers derived from “secret experiments” in American-run biolabs. These experiments, Russian propaganda rag Kommersant first reported, have led to Ukrainian troops becoming “the most cruel monsters.” (Here at The Western Journal, we strive to keep you appraised of all the latest news and analysis from the war in Ukraine — including oddities like this one. If you support our coverage, please consider subscribing.) According to a computer translation of the Kommersant piece, the menace of these “mutant soldiers” was aired before a parliamentary commission of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s legislature. Even the title of the piece should warn readers they’re about to consume some peak propaganda: “Look into the eyes of monsters: Russian parliamentarians spoke about secret experiments on the Ukrainian military.” Good grief. The co-chairs of the commission, Federation Council members Konstantin Kosachev and Irina Yarovaya, claimed blood tests of captured Ukrainian troops proved the “mutant soldier” theory. Kosachev said that the analysis showed that “for a number of diseases, including those atypical for the territory of Ukraine, the content of the corresponding substances exceeds the permissible norms by several times.” Thus, he concluded, “experiments were made on them and experiments were carried out on the territory of Ukraine on extremely dangerous diseases, which under certain circumstances could be distributed for military purposes.” Among the diseases that supposedly turned Ukrainian troops into super-soldiers? Um, hepatitis A, which she said they were given “for military purposes.” “And we see that the cruelty and atrocities with which the military personnel of Ukraine behave, the crimes that they commit against the civilian population, those monstrous crimes that they commit against prisoners of war, confirm that this system for the control and creation of a cruel murder machine was implemented under the management of the United States,” Yarovaya said. “And those performance enhancing drugs that they are still given in order to completely neutralize the last traces of human consciousness and turn them into the most cruel and deadly monsters also confirm this.” The proof for this cockamamie theory seemed to consist of the fact a former Ukrainian health minister, a dual citizen of Ukraine and America, had made efforts to import drugs to treat hepatitis. “It is quite possible that this was about testing these drugs on military personnel,” Yarovaya said. Never mind that it’s also quite possible that hepatitis drugs could be used to treat, say, hepatitis. But then, this was hardly about evidence. As the war has dragged on far longer than Moscow expected, the messaging has shifted. No longer is this an operation to “de-Nazify” Ukraine, a country where the head of state is Jewish. Rather, Russia’s Defense Ministry is now banging the “biolabs” drum — a conspiracy theory that American-linked biological labs in Ukraine were the real reason why Russia invaded. Not only does it give Putin a new casus belli, it also explains why an invasion that was supposed to be wrapped up in two weeks is now in its fifth month. Never mind that Russia’s military strategy seems to be straight out of the 1970s, of course. Also forget that its equipment clearly isn’t as formidable as Westerners estimated. And, don’t pay attention to the fact that — as The Daily Beast noted — Russian troops are so unprepared and unwilling to fight in Ukraine some of them are injuring themselves to take themselves out of the conflict. In a call intercepted by the Ukraine Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate, one soldier explained to his mother how the process was playing out and why he wanted to go home. “Why would they [the Ukrainians] surrender? We’re on their land,” the soldier told his mother during the call, released in May. “This won’t end anytime soon. What the hell do I need this for? At 20 years old … I’m not at all interested in Ukraine. I need to come back and resign.” His mother asked if there were Russian troops willing to fight in the name of “patriotism.” Spoiler alert: Apparently not. “I had a commander … who shot himself in the leg just to get out of here. And that was in the very beginning! What is there to talk about? He served in Chechnya,” the soldier said. He added that only 50 percent of his brigade was left. “Our people are just disappearing on their own. Some of them vanished without a trace, some were taken prisoner, some are hiding, some are already in Russia,” he said. In another call, the wife of a Russian soldier advised him to “fall off a tank” or do something similar to get shipped out of Ukraine. “You just don’t need to shoot yourself in the leg, because who the f*** knows how that would end. Or let someone whack you on your side,” she said, implying that would lead to kidney injury. “I don’t f****** know! Because you’d be able to go home straight from the hospital.” Disinformation from Kyiv? Perhaps. But it’s a significantly more likely explanation for why the Russian invasion is stalled than because of the barbarism of Teenage Mutant Ninja Ukrainians all hopped up on hepatitis A. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.