The US has learnt that the Kremlin has a “hit list” of Ukrainians to be killed, tortured or to be sent to camps and Vladimir Putin has ordered an attack in Ukraine.
A leaked letter seen by the Washington Post from the US ambassador to the United Nations warns that once Russia has invaded Ukraine there will be torture and “widespread human suffering.”
Intelligence suggests that people most likely to be targeted will be “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.”
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The leaked letter says that US officials have intelligence that Putin has given the order to attack Ukraine.
CBS News’ David Martin told Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan that “The intelligence says that Russian troops have actually received orders now to proceed with the invasion.
“So not only are they moving up closer and closer to the border and to these attack positions, but the commanders on the ground are making specific plans for how they would maneuver in their sector of the battlefield.
“They’re doing everything that American commanders would do once they got the order to proceed.”
US top Foreign Affairs officials warned that Putting is “serious” about invading Ukraine.
“He’s assembled the kinds of things that you would need to conduct a successful invasion,’ Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told ABC’s Martha Raddatz.
Raddatz asked Austin, “Are you absolutely confident in the intelligence you’re seeing now?’
“We have high confidence in the things that we’re looking at.
“Of course, in terms of being able to predict exactly what’s going to happen going forward, you never can,” he said.
He added, that the Pentagon is “looking at every possibility.”
Austin warned that it is “highly likely” that Russian troops will try and take the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
He said, “You could see a significant amount of combat power move very quickly to take Kyiv.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CNN’s State of the Union, “We believe President Putin has made the decision, but until the tanks are rolling, and the planes are in the air, we’re going to try everything we possibly can to get President Putin to reverse the decision we believe he’s made and to dissuade him.”