Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has welcomed US President Joe Biden’s remarks accusing Russia of committing “genocide” in Ukraine.
“I think, as President Biden pointed out, there are formal processes around genocide determinations, but I think it’s only fair that more and more people are talking about and using the word genocide in terms of what Russia is doing, what Vladimir Putin has done,” Trudeau told reporters on Wednesday.
“The way they attack Ukrainian identity and culture, these are all things that are war crimes for which Putin is responsible. These are all things that are crimes against humanity,” he added.
Trudeau’s statement came a day after the US president stepped up his rhetoric against Russia and accused Moscow of committing genocide in Ukraine for the first time.
“Your family budget, your ability to fill your tank, none of that should depend on a dictator declaring war and committing genocide on the other side of the world,” he said during a speech in Iowa.
“Yes, I called it genocide,” he added. “It has become increasingly clear that Putin is simply trying to eliminate the very idea of being Ukrainian.”
His words were much stronger than previous descriptions of the situation in Ukraine by US officials, who have so far accused Mr Putin and the Russian military of committing ‘war crimes’, but refrained to acknowledge Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelesnky’s allegation of genocide. collected.
Genocide is considered the ultimate war crime and has a legal definition. However, it has rarely been proven in court since it was added to humanitarian law after World War II.
“We’ll let the lawyers decide internationally whether it qualifies or not, but that sure seems to me,” Biden had said.
As the war in Ukraine continues into its eighth week, Russian forces have withdrawn from areas around kyiv in recent days after their failure to capture the capital.
Most pundits and military observers have suggested that Moscow is now focused on seizing areas in southern and southeastern Ukraine, including key civilian centers like Mariupol and Kherson, as it seeks to dominate the black Sea.
Russia has described its actions in Ukraine as a “special military operation” to denazify and demilitarize the country.
On Wednesday, the Kremlin accused the United States of hypocrisy and said it disagreed with Mr Biden’s use of the term genocide.
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