Conservatives call on the Trudeau government to list the Wagner Group as a terrorist entity and to lead an effort to establish a special tribunal on war crimes

JANUARY 29, 2023

Ottawa, ON – The Hon. Michael Chong, Conservative Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, and James Bezan, Conservative Shadow Minister for National Defence, issued the following statement as the Russian Federation, assisted by the Wagner Group, a private mercenary company, continues to commit war crimes in Ukraine.

“Evidence gathered by Ukrainian prosecutors and German intelligence demonstrate that the Wagner Group has committed numerous war crimes in Ukraine, including the rape, torture and murder of civilians in Ukraine.

“Evidence gathered by the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine and UN experts also clearly demonstrate that war crimes have been committed in Ukraine by Russian forces, which are often indistinguishable from the Wagner Group.

“In addition, the US military, the French government and others have documented numerous war crimes and other human rights abuses committed by the Wagner Group in Syria and African countries.

“The Wagner Group has engaged in a pattern of grave, systemic war crimes and human rights abuses over several years in countries from Ukraine to Syria, from the Central African Republic to Mali. This pattern continues unabated and unpunished.

“The Wagner Group, owned by Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin, is committing these crimes and abuses with impunity. It’s time for that to end.

“That is why Conservatives are calling on the Trudeau government to list the Wagner Group as a terrorist entity. Listing this mercenary group will cut off its sources of funding, restrict its ability to travel and make it illegal to assist the group.

“Additionally, Conservatives are calling on the government to take the lead at the G7 for the establishment of a special tribunal on war crimes committed by the military and mercenaries deployed by the Russian Federation in Ukraine. International law must be enforced, and Russia is not exempt from the consequences of its war crimes in Ukraine.”