US tells UN Russia is preparing a list of Ukrainians to be arrested, killed after invasion — WP

21 February 2022, 05:47 PM

The United States has given the United Nations intelligence that Russia is reportedly compiling lists of Ukrainians "who are to be killed or sent to camps after military occupation," according to U.S. newspaper The Washington Post.

According to the Washington Post, this information comes from a leaked letter addressed to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet.

It alleges that Russia is planning to conduct torture campaigns, forced disappearances, and inflict "widespread human suffering" after the invasion.

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However, the letter does not indicate the nature of the intelligence this assessment is based on, the newspaper notes.

“These acts, which in past Russian operations have included targeted killings, kidnappings/forced disappearances, unjust detentions, and the use of torture, would likely target those who oppose Russian actions,” the publication says, citing an excerpt from the letter.

Possible victims are Russian and Belarusian dissidents who left for Ukraine, journalists and activists who are engaged in the fight against corruption, as well as "vulnerable populations, such as religious and ethnic minorities and LGBTQI+ persons.”

“Specifically, we have credible information that indicates Russian forces are likely to use lethal measures to subdue peaceful protests or other “peaceful exercises of perceived resistance from civilian populations,” U.S. Ambassador to the UN Bathsheba Nell Crocker said in the leaked letter.

The claims that Russia is preparing murders and arrests after the invasion of Ukraine was also reported on Feb. 18 by the Foreign Policy publication, citing its own sources.

Since the end of Oct. 2021, Russia has been massing troops to the Ukrainian borders. The U.S. ambassador to the OSCE, Michael Carpenter, said on Feb. 21 that Russia has arrayed between 169,000 and 190,000 troops on the Russian-Ukrainian and Belarusian-Ukrainian border, and in the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea and the Donbas.

During his Feb. 18 speech, U.S. President Joe Biden said the United States had reason to believe that Russia was planning and intending to attack in the coming days or week and would “target the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv.”

According to him, although Putin had decided on a new invasion of Ukraine, in his opinion, there was still a chance for diplomatic negotiations to succeed, until military action began.

Defense Minister Reznikov said that as of Sunday, Feb. 20, a strike group from Russia had not been formed in any place where its troops encircled Ukraine, and it would be untimely to talk about a possible invasion “tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.” At the same time, he stressed that this does not mean that there is no threat.

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