Canada recognizes Russian invasion of Ukraine as ‘genocide’

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Canadian lawmakers voted unanimously Wednesday to label Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “genocide (and) crimes against humanity.”

The members of parliament agreed President Vladimir Putin’s military has committed atrocities in Ukraine against the general population, including the removal of children by force, and that such actions have resulted in “grave suffering.”

The genocide term was applied due to the “willful killing of Ukrainian civilians (and also the) forcible transfer of Ukrainian children to the Russian territory.”

There are 338 elected MPs in the Canadian House of Commons. The motion to call Russian actions genocide was brought forth by Heather McPherson, a New Democrat Party member of parliament.

McPherson’s motion called for the members to “recognize that the Russian Federation is committing acts of genocide against the Ukrainian people.”

The motion is not binding on the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – in other words, it has not officially been adopted – but his party has 159 members in the House and all those present voted for it. The House has 119 Conservatives, 32 Bloc Quebecois, 25 New Democrats, two Green Party members and one Independent.

Earlier this month, Trudeau said he believed it is “absolutely right” for people to label Russia’s actions as “genocide.” That could lead to official recognition by the Trudeau government.

The penalties that come with the genocide label under international law are not applicable because the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) have not recognized Russia’s actions as such.

But investigations into the brutality of Moscow’s military are ongoing and there is a worldwide hue and cry over the treatment of Ukrainians.

In addition to the indiscriminate killing and forcible removal of children, the Russian military has been accused of conducting torture, rape and mental and physical harm.


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