Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has weighed in on growing calls to declare Russia’s actions in Ukraine as genocide, saying it is “absolutely right” that the term is being used given rampant allegations of war crimes and other human rights violations.
Trudeau made the comments during a news conference on Wednesday, a day after U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters that Russia’s conduct in Ukraine appeared to his eyes to be a genocide.
While both North American leaders noted that it will be up to lawyers to determine whether Russia’s actions meet the international standard for genocide, they were nonetheless united in welcoming the use of the term.
“It’s absolutely right that more and more people be talking and using the word ‘genocide’ in terms of what Russia is doing,” Trudeau said.
The prime minister went on to list a series of war crimes and human rights violations allegedly perpetrated by Russian forces under the direction of President Vladimir Putin, including deliberate attacks on civilians and the use of sexual violence. Trudeau said they’re attacking “Ukrainian identity and culture.”
Canada has dispatched police investigators to help the International Criminal Court collect evidence to ultimately hold Putin and other Russian leaders to account.