US says it has credible information about Russia’s “kill list” in possible invasion of Ukraine

“Disturbing information recently obtained by the United States indicates that human rights violations and abuses are being planned in the wake of another invasion,” Ambassador Bethsheba Neil Crocker, United States Representative to the United Nations Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva, in a letter to Michelle Bachelet, United Nations Commissioner High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“These actions, which in previous Russian operations have included targeted killings, kidnappings/enforced disappearances, unfair arrests, and the use of torture, are likely to target those who oppose Russian actions, including Russian and Belarusian dissidents in exile in Ukraine, journalists and dissidents. corruption, and vulnerable groups such as religious and ethnic minorities and LGBT people” Washington Post And it was obtained by CNN.

“Specifically, we have reliable information indicating that Russian forces are working to create lists of Ukrainians who have been identified for killing or sent to camps following the military occupation. We also have reliable information that Russian forces will likely use lethal measures to disperse peaceful protests or a peaceful response. .the perceived resistance exercises of the civilian population,” the letter stated.

The letter did not say how the United States obtained the information. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights confirmed that it had received the letter.

Crocker added that the purpose of sharing this information with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is to give “early warning that another Russian invasion of Ukraine could lead to a human rights disaster.” She said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken raised those concerns to the Security Council on February 17. “In particular, he stated that the United States had information indicating that Russia would target specific groups of Ukrainians,” Crocker added.

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The Kremlin on Monday denied the allegation about the killing list, calling it “absolute fiction.”

“This is an absolute hoax, this is a lie,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN. Urging him if he was aware of such a list, Peskov said: “I know this is an absolute fantasy, there is no such list, it’s fake news.”

CNN reported On Friday, several US and Western government officials confirmed to CNN that the US had intelligence that Russia had prepared lists of current political figures it would target to remove if it invaded Ukraine and overthrew the current government in Kiev.

Sources familiar with the intelligence said the targeted lists are part of Russian planning to replace the current administration in Kiev with a more Russia-friendly government, reinforcing the British government’s previous disclosure of pro-Moscow figures Russia said it plans to install.

These sources told CNN that the most likely outcome for those politicians and public figures whom Moscow targeted to overthrow in the event of Kiev’s fall, is imprisonment or assassination.

CNN has not seen the primary intelligence objections or documents identifying the names of the targets or alleged collaborators and their supposed positions in the pro-Russian administration.

Blinken said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” over the weekend that the United States would continue to support the Ukrainians in the event of an invasion and leave the Ukrainian insurgency to fight.

“(President Joe Biden) said that, in the event of an invasion, we would double our support for Ukraine, and that means in terms of security assistance, economic assistance, diplomatic assistance, political aid, humanitarian aid, you name it,” Blinken said.

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CNN’s Chandelles Duster, Zina Saifi, and Bear Hutchison contributed to this report.

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