OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
In a letter to the UN Human Rights Commission, Russia threatens to commit a series of human rights abuses against ethnic minorities, gays, and journalists after it invades Ukraine.
In an early warning to UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet, US Ambassador to the UN Bathsheba Nell Crocker penned a one-page letter threatening “a human rights catastrophe” in Eastern Europe.
‘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 further invasion are being plotted,’ Rocker wrote in an undated letter cited by the Washington Post.
The Crimea region, which was invaded and annexed by Russia in 2014, and other parts of the country controlled by Russia have already been subject to abuse.
‘[We] have every reason to believe those concerns will multiply following a new military offensive,’ she stated.
U.S. intelligence agencies have indicated that President Vladimir Putin plans on invading the U.S. border with Russia.
According to Crocker, Russia plans to target anyone opposed to its military intervention.
‘These acts, which in past Russian operations have included targeted killings, kidnappings/forced disappearances, unjust detentions, and the use of torture, would likely target those who oppose Russian actions, including Russian and Belarussian dissidents in exile in Ukraine, journalists, and anti-corruption activists, and vulnerable populations such as religious and ethnic minorities and LGBTQI+ persons,’ Croker stressed.
Russian operatives were preparing lists of names of Ukrainians to be killed or sent to concentration camps, she revealed.
Letters from the military state that protests from civilians will be met with lethal force.
— Ukraine Conflict 🇺🇦 (@UkraineNews0) February 21, 2022
The facilities are located close to the Russian border in eastern Ukraine and are host to more than 200 people, rights groups report.
Over 13,000 people have died and roughly 1.1 million people have fled their homes since 2014 due to what is known as the War in Donbas.
Various civil rights groups claim that former nuclear bunkers in Ukraine have been used to torture by Putin-supported mercenaries.
Prisoners are reported to be subjected to electric shocks, hammer blows, and surgical tools.
One of the dungeons is used as a torture playground by a vicious torturer, known as ‘the Maniac’, according to Justice for Peace in Donbas, an association of 17 human rights organizations and local media.
In addition to using surgeons’ tools on the captives, the Maniac is said to wield a plastic pipe and a hammer to inflict cruel beatings. His real name is believed to be Serhiy Konoplytsky.
According to the Kyiv-based Centre for Civil Liberties (CCL), in these dungeons, there are 267 people who are without charge. Of those, 226 are civilians.
Russian military buildup along the Ukrainian border has escalated tensions in the last week.
30,000 Russian forces will remain in Belarus after Russian and Belarusian Presidents Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenka extended military maneuvers that were supposed to end on Sunday.
The West is being urged by Ukraine to act now and impose sanctions against Russia to counter the sustained shelling of eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian separatists.
Of course, President Joe Biden’s family has experience in dealing with Ukraine.
According to a confidential email kept from public view for more than five years, a top official with the State Department in Kyiv claimed that Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine undermined U.S. efforts to combat corruption there.
The email was written by former U.S. embassy official George Kent, one of the key witnesses in the Democrats’ first effort to impeach President Donald Trump.
The document, it was classified as “confidential,” the lowest level of secrecy, by the then United States ambassador to Kyiv, who was another witness for the Democrats at the impeachment hearings.
The document was not presented to House lawmakers for consideration during the impeachment hearings.
In violation of federal law, the Department of State has failed to acknowledge the existence of the document to the court or to reporters, who have filed multiple Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against the State Department seeking documents about Joe Biden and Hunter’s activities in Ukraine.
However, the email’s stark message directly contradicts the narrative the media, Democratic congressmen, and State Department witnesses gave the public two years ago when they said Hunter Biden’s employment with the allegedly corrupt Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings, though it created an appearance of a conflict of interest, did not adversely affect U.S. efforts to fight corruption there.
“The real issue to my mind was that someone in Washington needed to engage VP Biden quietly and say that his son Hunter’s presence on the Burisma board undercut the anti-corruption message the VP and we were advancing in Ukraine,” wrote Kent to several high-ranking officials at the State Department.
In the email was Jorgan K. Andrews, then-Assistant Secretary of State and deputy assistant director of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
According to Kent’s email, the Ukrainian government prosecutors were under intense pressure to drop their criminal investigation of Burisma after a campaign of intense pressure by defenders of the Ukrainian company and former U.S. ambassadors.
Kent told higher-ups he had confirmed with Ukrainian prosecutors that Burisma officials had paid 7 million dollars as “bribe” in order to cure one of the cases against the company.
During the time when Hunter Biden served on the Burisma board, his firm received over $3 million from the Ukrainian energy company when the bribe was paid.
The association between Hunter Biden and the company was detrimental to U.S. efforts to fight Ukrainian corruption, Kent explained to the officials in Washington due to Burisma’s longstanding reputation for alleged corruption and anecdotes like the bribe.