The United States has told the United Nations it has “credible information” about alleged plans by Russia to target specific Ukrainians to kill or to send to camps should it decide to invade the country, according to a letter seen by multiple news agencies.
Bathsheba Nell Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to the UN in Geneva, on February 20 outlined in a letter to the UN high commissioner for human rights the details of “disturbing information” that U.S. intelligence had gathered.
The letter was seen by AFP, Reuters, and dpa news agencies.
“We are deeply concerned about Russia’s continuing human rights abuses in the parts of Ukraine it already occupies and have every reason to believe those concerns will multiply following a new military offensive,” the letter said.
Crocker alleged in the letter that the Kremlin is planning targeted killings, kidnappings, detentions, and torture against those who oppose Russian actions in Ukraine.
Also targeted, according to the letter, would be Russian and Belarusian dissidents in exile in Ukraine, journalists, and other activists.
“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 alleged.
Crocker also said the United States has information that the Russian military would likely use lethal methods to break up protests or to crack down on “peaceful exercises of perceived resistance from civilian populations.”
The U.S. letter did not disclose the sources of the information.
In response, the Kremlin on February 21 called the reports “an absolute lie.”
U.S. and other Western officials have accused Russia of planning to invade Ukraine. Moscow denies any such plans despite the massing of some 150,000 troops near the border.
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