Justin Trudeau says it is “absolutely right” that people are describing Russia’s actions in Ukraine as genocide.
The prime minister says there are official, legal procedures for determining whether a genocide is occurring.
But he also says Russia has used sexual violence, mass killings and other war crimes and human rights violations to attack the Ukrainian population and undermine their culture and identity.
Trudeau made the comments during an event in Laval, Que., after U.S. President Joe Biden said Russia’s war in Ukraine amounts to genocide.
Biden said it would up to lawyers to decide if Russia’s conduct met the international standard for genocide, but that it appeared to his eyes to be a genocide.
World leaders have been hesitant to formally declare genocides as doing so triggers an obligation under international convention for countries to intervene.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 13, 2022.