Havana syndrome

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April 6, 2024

Havana syndrome

Why in News? According to a joint media intelligence, members of a Russian military intelligence unit could have targeted the brains of US officials by using “directed energy” weapons.
• The Kremlin has recently dismissed a joint media investigation which found evidence that a Russian military intelligence unit might be responsible for the mysterious health condition known as ‘Havana syndrome’ that affected US diplomats and spies across the world.
What did the investigation find?
• The investigation claims that members of a Russian military intelligence unit, called 29155, could have targeted the brains of US officials by using “directed energy” weapons.
• The 29155 unit, which has been operational for more than a decade, has been previously accused of carrying out foreign assassination, and sabotage.
• According to US media reports, in the past few years, its officials have reported more than 130 such experiences across the world including at Moscow in Russia, Poland, Georgia, Taiwan, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Austria, among others.
• It adds that the first incident probably took place in Germany two years before the cases reported in Havana in 2016.
• Since the Cuban incident, American intelligence and foreign affairs officials posted in various countries have reported symptoms of the syndrome.

What is Havana syndrome?
• Havana syndrome refers to a set of mental health symptoms that are said to be experienced by United States intelligence and embassy officials in various countries. Generally, the word ‘syndrome’ simply means a set of symptoms.
• It does not mean a unique medical condition, but rather a set of symptoms that are usually experienced together whose origins may be difficult to confirm.
• Havana syndrome typically involves symptoms such as hearing certain sounds without any outside noise, nausea, vertigo and headaches, memory loss, and balance issues.

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