What is Havana Syndrome? Report Suggests Russia Behind Anomalous Health Incidents

A yearlong investigative report has revealed that Havana Syndrome, a series of unexplained health incidents on US officials in Vietnam, may have been caused by Russia's GRU.
What is Havana Syndrome? Report Suggests Russia Behind Anomalous Health Incidents

What is Havana Syndrome? Report Suggests Russia Behind Anomalous Health Incidents

Photo : iStock
Washington DC: A yearlong investigative report has revealed that Havana Syndrome, a series of unexplained health incidents on US officials in Vietnam, may have been caused by Russia's GRU.
In 2021, the US Embassy in Hanoi announced a series of "anomalous health incidents" just before Vice President Kamala Harris' visit to the southeast Asian country. A new report by The Insider, 60 Minutes and Der Speigel has revealed a Russian link to the AHI attacks on US officials and their family members.
In 2021, as per 60 Minutes, around 11 people were reportedly struck in separate incidents before Harris' arrival in Hanoi. The people who were struck by the anomalous health incidents were officials from the US Embassy in Hanoi and members of the defence department advance team preparing for the Vice President's visit.

What Is Havana Syndrome?

First reported in 2016, Havana syndrome is defined as a "cluster of idiopathic symptoms" reported by U.S. and Canadian government officials and military personnel in overseas locations. It originated in 2016 after US and Canadian officials reported anomalous health incidents while working in Havana, Cuba.
By 2017, US officials across the globe reported similar symptoms from China, India, Europe and even Washington DC. Some of the major symptoms of Havana Syndrome include nausea, dizziness, migraines, and problems with vision and hearing that can persist over a long period.

What Does The Investigative Report Say?

The investigative report by 60 Minutes, The Insider and Der Spiegel link Russia's GRU's assassination of Unit 29155 to the anomalous health incidents towards US Officials at home and abroad.
While the exact cause of Havana Syndrome is yet to be confirmed, as per experts, considering the 2021 attacks, the syndrome occurred after targetted sonic or microwave attacks.
As far as the 2021 Hanoi incidents are concerned, it is believed that the Vietnamese themselves had been given some technology for the Havana syndrome attacks. However, the research has indicated that there was someone who told the Vietnamese when to use the technology, and it is most likely the Russians.
As per The Insider, five months before Kamala Harris' visit to Hanoi, an email was sent to the Security Council of Russia, the body of top Russian officials heading the country's defence and security agencies.
As per this email, Russian intelligence lobbied for and received permission from Putin to share exclusive technology to Vietnamese security services. These devices included "LRAD acoustic emitters" and "short-wave equipment for scanning the human body."
LRAD, short for long-range acoustic device, is a military grade sonic weapon that discharges a targetted beam of sound at an extremely high volume. This device has been used to thwart pirate attacks by the US military and send warnings in the field. When left at the highest volume, LRAD devices can produce a sound of 162 decibels and the human pain threshold is around 130 decibels.
While Russia has been linked to the attacks, the US Government still needs a high threshold of evidence and proof before it can acknowledge Russia's role in these attacks against US Officials.
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