Pro-Ukraine demonstrators display placards and Ukrainian flags
Antony Blinken: Meeting With Russian Foreign Minister Now Off Photo by Michal Cizek/AFP via Getty Images

Credible information of Russian forces in possession of a Ukrainian kill list has been claimed by the United States. The alleged list is said to contain names of persons who would be sent to camps in the event of a Russian invasion. In an undated letter sent to the UN Human Rights Commission by US Representative to the Office of the UN Bathsheba Nell Crocker, it stated that the impending war brought on by Russia could create a human rights catastrophe in Eastern Europe.

According to the BBC, the Kremlin has denied having made such a list, although Western alliances said this could all just be speculative and may not even come to fruition. Crocker mentioned that such abuses have been documented at the time Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. She went on to say that targeted persons in the said list would include LGBTQ persons, other religious and ethnic minorities, and journalists who go against its rule.

The manner in which the kill list will be implemented, Crocker added, would be carried out through targeted killings, abduction and torture. The one-page letter addressed to UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet was meant to serve as an early warning as Russian forces have entered eastern Ukraine on the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Washington Post was the first to publish Crocker’s letter on Feb.21, despite continued denials from Putin that he had plans to pursue his war.

Among Crocker’s frantic warnings described how peaceful protests from civilian Ukrainians will be dealt with lethal force. At the same time, rights groups said that more than 200 people are being held captive in facilities across eastern Ukraine close to the Russian border, in relation to the conflict called the War on Donbas. This has been an ongoing crisis that started in 2014, which saw the split of the former Soviet state. The conflict has claimed the lives of more than 13,000 people with roughly 1.1 million residents fleeing their homes.

Crocker did not specify which part of Russia’s intelligence units will be involved in implementing the kill list, but speculations are rife on the trail of its Fifth Service and the Department of Operational Information which is known to run covert operations in neighboring states around Russia including a lead on Ukraine.

A spokesperson for the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov said the existence of a kill list is false propaganda and “absolute fiction”

Meanwhile, a senior FBI cyber official, David Ring has warned local governments and the US business sector of potential ransomware attacks, citing how Russia is seen as a permissive operating environment that is home to cybercriminals. In a call that took place minutes after US President Joe Biden announced the sanctions on Russian banks on Tuesday, Ring spoke of being prepared for ransomware attacks that would greatly disrupt critical services in the United States.

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin signs documents, including a decree recognising two Russian-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent, during a ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 21, 2022. - President Vladimir Putin said on February 21, 2022, he would make a decision "today" on recognising the independence of east Ukraine's rebel republics, after Russia's top officials made impassioned speeches in favour of the move. Photo by Alexey Nikolsky/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

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