A US official has warned the United Nations that Russia is planning to attack “vulnerable populations” in Ukraine, such as LGBTQ+ people. These minority groups will be targeted for criticising or refusing to live by Russian ideals and could allegedly end up murdered or sent to camps following an invasion.
The letter addressed to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, was sent by Ambassador Bathsheba Nell Crocker, the US representative to the Office of the United Nations and Other International Organisations in Geneva.
The document, which has been seen by the Washington Post, says: “I would like to bring to your attention disturbing information recently obtained by the United States that indicates that human rights violations and abuses in the aftermath of a further invasion are being planned.”
"We must complete our recovery from the embers of dead empires in a way that does not plunge us back into new forms of domination and oppression"
A remarkable speech on Ukraine by Kenya's Ambassador to the United Nations.pic.twitter.com/GOvjOjCZ5C
— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) February 22, 2022
It adds that, “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.”
Crocker suspects that Russia would “likely target those who oppose Russian actions, including Russian and Belarusian dissidents in exile in Ukraine, journalists and anti-corruption activists, and vulnerable populations such as religious and ethnic minorities and LGBTQI+ persons.”
The letter also warns of protestors being dealt with through “lethal measures”.
“Russian forces will likely use lethal measures to disperse peaceful protests or otherwise counter peaceful exercises of received resistance from civilian populations,” it reads.
In response to these claims, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “Do you realise that this is an absolute canard, a lie? It is absolute fiction. There is no such list. It’s a fake.”
Tensions continue to rise between Russia and Ukraine, and fears for the latter nation’s LGBTQ+ community are also surfacing. Today, February 22, multiple reports claim that the Russian invasion has been ordered to begin by Vladimir Putin, under the guise of a peacekeeping mission.
Ukraine has requested an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council due to Russia’s illegal actions. We have already sent the request to the Council.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 21, 2022
British cabinet minister Sajid Javid commented on the situation saying, “It’s clear from what we’ve already seen, the Russians, president Putin has decided to attack the sovereignty of Ukraine.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, told RTÉ this morning that “There’s no way the EU can ignore what is a blatant breach of international law and what is effectively Russia providing a staged justification for sending troops into Ukraine.”
He added that: “This idea that these are troops to be involved in peacekeeping functions really is nonsense, you don’t send peacekeepers in tanks and attack helicopters.”
Minister Coveney urged Irish citizens to stay away from Ukraine, and anyone residing there to leave. He also said that Europe, the US and the UK should respond “firmly and clearly in a united way” to the unrest, or else there won’t be a “deterrent for Russia to stop there.”
Ireland’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty & territorial integrity is unwavering.
The decision by Russia to recognise the areas of Donetsk & Luhansk contravenes international law.
Ireland supports a clear, united & strong EU response, including sanctions. pic.twitter.com/5QOy9d2kU5
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) February 21, 2022
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