US makes Russian ‘kill list’ claim
Moscow has drawn up a list of Ukrainians to either assassinate or send to camps following a Russian invasion and military occupation, a senior US diplomat has told the United Nations.
In a letter to the international body, US Ambassador to the UN Bathsheba Crocker alleged that Russia has created a plan to either kill, inflict harm upon, or exile dissidents and minority groups living in Ukraine, in what she describes as a “human rights catastrophe.” The contents of the letter were first reported in the Washington Post on Sunday evening.
Addressed to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, the letter states that “disturbing information recently obtained by the US” reveals “human rights violations and abuses in the aftermath of a further invasion are being planned,” and stresses that the Ukrainian population could be subjected to “widespread human suffering” in the aftermath of a Russian offensive.
“Specifically, we have credible information that indicates Russian forces are creating lists of identified Ukrainians to be killed or sent to camps following a military occupation,” the letter claims.
The ambassador also details the alleged likely targets of crimes against humanity by Russia, suggesting that the most at risk are Russia and Belarusian political dissidents living in Ukraine, as well as vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities and LGBTQ persons.
Crocker also alleges that Russia has previously been involved in “targeted killings, kidnappings/forced disappearances, unjust detentions, and the use of torture.”
The intelligence received by Washington, the ambassador added, also suggested that Russian forces could implement “lethal measures” to crush peaceful protests or action by Ukrainian citizens in the wake of an occupation.
In response, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov vehemently denied the accusation.
“Do you understand that this is an absolute hoax, that this is a lie? This is absolute fiction. There is no such list. It is a fake,” Peskov said on Monday morning in response to a journalist’s question.
In the last few months, Western media outlets and politicians have accused Moscow of amassing more than 100,000 troops on the border with Ukraine, with some suggesting that an invasion is around the corner. On Friday, US President Joe Biden alleged that an attack would follow “in the coming days.” The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any intention to invade, and has described its troop movements as being part of military drills.