The U.S. has alerted the United Nations that Russia plans human-rights abuses if it invades Ukraine, including killing and imprisoning civilians and possibly using lethal force against protesters, the Washington Post reported Sunday night.
In a letter obtained by the Post and posted online, Bathsheba Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., told Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, that the U.S. has obtained information that a Russian invasion of Ukraine “would produce widespread human suffering.”
“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 said. “We also have credible information that Russian forces will likely use lethal measures to disperse peaceful protests or otherwise counter peaceful exercises of perceived resistance from civilian populations.”
The letter said Russia would likely specifically target Russian and Belorusian dissidents in Ukraine, journalists, anti-corruption activists, religious and ethnic minorities, and LGBTQI+ people.
The letter did not say how the U.S. obtained the information.
On Sunday, U.S. officials warned that Russian leader Vladimir Putin has decided to go ahead with an invasion and that front-line units have been given orders to begin final preparations before attacking.
Hopes of a diplomatic breakthrough were raised Sunday night, though, after the White House said President Joe Biden has agreed “in principle” to a summit with Putin, on the condition that Russia not invade Ukraine.