The US has alleged Russian forces are plotting to target opponents in Ukraine in the aftermath of an invasion, with grave fears for vulnerable minorities including the country’s LGBTIQ population.
The world is watching as the situation between the two countries escalates. Russia has amassed almost 200,000 troops along the Ukraine border.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has angered the world by sending troops into two areas of eastern Ukraine he’s formally declared independent to “maintain peace”.
But the US ambassador to the UN has given a warning in a letter to the UN’s human rights chief.
Ambassador Bathsheba Nell Crocker warns the US has “disturbing information” that Russia is plotting human rights violations in Ukraine “in the aftermath of a further invasion”.
She wrote the “credible” intelligence “indicates Russian forces are creating lists of identified Ukrainians to be killed or sent to camps following a military occupation.”
“We are deeply concerned about Russia’s continuing human rights abuses in the parts of Ukraine it already occupies,” she wrote.
“[We] have every reason to believe those concerns will multiply following a new military offensive.
“The United States is gravely concerned that a further Russian invasion of Ukraine would produce widespread human suffering.”
She wrote “in the past Russian operations have included targeted killings, kidnappings/forced disappearances, unjust detentions, and the use of torture.”
Should Russia invade Ukraine, Crocker said, Kremlin forces “would likely target those who oppose Russian actions”.
These would “likely” include “Russian and Belarusian dissidents in exile in Ukraine, journalists and anti-corruption activists, and vulnerable populations such as religious and ethnic minorities and LGBTQI+ persons,” she wrote.
The ambassador also added there is “credible” information the Russians “will likely use lethal measures to disperse peaceful protests or otherwise counter peaceful exercises of perceived resistance from civilian populations”.
Russia denies ‘kill list’ for Ukraine
A spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed claims of a Ukraine “kill list”.
“That is a lie. This is absolute fiction, there is no such list, it is fake,” Dmitry Peskov said.
The spokesperson also hit out at Western governments for giving “daily predictions” about when an invasion would occur.
“In general, such statements are clearly of a provocative nature,” he said.
But Russia’s recent provocative move to send troops into areas of eastern Ukraine drew condemnation from around the world.
Countries, including Australia, the US and parts of Europe, have vowed to slap Russia with sanctions as a result.
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