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Putin considers recognizing independence of Ukraine's separatist regions |  world and science

Putin considers recognizing independence of Ukraine’s separatist regions | world and science

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday he will decide whether Russia recognizes the independence of the two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, a decision that will end the peace process in the conflict.

“I heard your views. The decision will be taken today,” Putin told members of the Security Council at the end of a meeting broadcast on Russian television.

On Monday, the US government said Russia had prepared a list of Ukrainians who would be killed or captured in the event of an invasion of Ukraine. The statement came after a letter was sent to the United Nations.

The letter noted that Washington was “extremely concerned” and warned of a potential “human rights catastrophe”.

The letter said that the US government has “credible information indicating that Russian forces are preparing lists of Ukrainians to be killed or sent to camps after a military occupation.”

“We also have reliable information that Russian forces will use lethal measures to disperse peaceful protests or in some way counteract the peaceful exercise of resistance by the civilian population,” adds the letter sent to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Chilean Michelle Bachelet.

The memo, signed by the US ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Bathsheba Neil Crocker, warns that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would lead to abuses such as kidnapping or torture, and could target political and religious opponents and ethnic minorities.

And the United Nations Human Rights Office confirmed, in an email sent to Agence France-Presse, on Monday, that it had received this morning a message from the US permanent mission in Geneva. “We are assessing” the letter, spokeswoman Elizabeth Throssell wrote.

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Russia has sent more than 150,000 soldiers to the border with Ukraine in recent weeks. Moscow denies plans to attack the neighboring country, but is seeking assurances that Ukraine will not join NATO and that NATO will remove its forces from eastern Europe, a proposal rejected by Western countries.