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Barriers to BioweaponsThe Challenges of Expertise and Organization for Weapons Development$
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Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452888

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452888.001.0001

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The Soviet Bioweapons Program

The Soviet Bioweapons Program

Failed Integration

(p.91) Chapter 5 The Soviet Bioweapons Program
Barriers to Bioweapons

Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley

Cornell University Press

This chapter describes the Soviet's anthrax production plant in Stepnogorsk, Kazakhstan. Spanning two square kilometers, the plant was composed of more than fifty buildings. It also has a line of bunkers hidden under a hill, sporting thick metal doors and two-meter-thick walls, which were used to fill and store bombs with the deadly agent. Stepnogorsk came to symbolize the mammoth proportions of the Soviet bioweapons program. However, despite its magnitude, the program failed due to the combination of endogenous and exogenous negative variables: the program's structural fragmentation and compartmentalization, together with its rigid autocratic management style.

Keywords:   Stepnogorsk, anthrax production, Soviet bioweapons program, autocratic management, structural fragmentation

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