Russia plotting to kill LGBT+ Ukrainians after invasion, US whistleblower claims

A US official has warned that Russia may target prominent political opponents, anti-corruption activists, and “vulnerable populations” like LGBT+ people in the event of an invasion of Ukraine.

The official, who spoke to Foreign Policy anonymously, explained that Russia is “likely” to target anyone who opposes the country’s actions.

He said: “As we’ve seen in the past, we expect Russia will try to force cooperation through intimidation and repression.”

In past Russian operations, he said, this has manifested through “targeted killings, kidnappings/forced disappearances, detentions, and the use of torture”.

Among Russia’s list of likely targets, he said, are “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 White House is said to be “startled by how formalised the lists are”.

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