UN meets on Ukraine, investigates Russian ‘kill list’

Russia At War

(NewsNation Now) — The White House sent a letter to the human rights chief Tuesday claiming Moscow has compiled a list of Ukrainians to be killed or sent to detention camps after an invasion.

The U.N. Human Rights Office in Geneva is looking into that so-called kill list, which is said to include journalists, activists and ethnic and racial minorities. The White House alleges this is a very serious sign of potential human rights abuses in Ukraine.

The Kremlin says that list simply does not exist, calling it a work of fiction.

This happened as the U.N. Security Council held a rare emergency overnight session.

For those who’ve been paying attention to the Kremlin over the last 20 years, Putin creating a kill list is not a new part of the playbook, but it allegedly usually targets fellow Russians. But, according to U.S. Intelligence, what’s new is this alleged list now targeting Ukrainians and is essentially an act of war and a follow-up to invasion.

“Russia has been assassinating opponents for the last decades; there is nothing new about this hitlist,” said Rep. John Garamendi, who sits on the armed services committee. “They’ve wiped out, killed, and otherwise jailed any opposition.”

There is a widely accepted list of Putin critics and political opponents who’ve ended up dead. The alleged targets killed include:

  1. Yuri Shchekochikhin — Poisoned 2003
  2. Alexander Litvinenko — Poisoned 2006
  3. Anna Politkovskaya — Shot 2006
  4. Stanislav Markelov — Shot 2009
  5. Anastasia Baburova — Shot 2009
  6. Natalia Estemirova — Shot 2009
  7. Sergei Magnitsky — Beaten in jail 2009
  8. Boris Berezovsky — Suspicious suicide 2013
  9. Boris Nemtsov — Shot 2015
  10. Denis Voronenkov — Shot 2017

Putin has been directly asked, “Are you a killer?” multiple times and has deflected or denied in interviews and press conferences.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary, has also denied the existence of a kill list targeting Ukrainians in the event of a full invasion, saying, “That’s a lie, this is absolute fiction, there is no such list, it is fake.”

Ukraine called for the rare evening session along with the U.S., five European countries and Mexico. The nations condemned Putin’s actions earlier Monday to recognize the independence of the separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, scenes of an eight-year war, and order his military to “maintain peace” there.

Ukraine U.N. Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya said the U.N. has been infected by a virus being spread by the Kremlin.

“One goal is peace: peace in Ukraine, peace in Europe, global peace,” Kyslytsya said.

So far, Russia is getting no support from the Security Council, not even from China. The country holds one of five veto seats at the United Nations, so no sanctions or any resolution is expected.

Russia also happens to hold the Security Council’s rotating presidency this month.

“The risks of major conflict (are) real and needs to be prevented at all costs,” said Rosemary DiCarlo, the United Nations undersecretary-general for political and peace-building affairs.

“The secretary-general considers the decision of the Russian Federation to be a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and inconsistent with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations,” said Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesperson for the U.N. leader.

Moscow is blaming the U.S. and the West for moving offensive weapons into the region, as Ukraine promises to stand its ground.

“We are on our land,” Kyslytsya said. “We are not afraid of anything or anyone. We owe nothing to anyone. And we will not give away anything to anyone.”

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