Russia rips Canada over adulation of Nazi soldier

98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka, a former member of the notorious Nazi Waffen SS unit, was honored by the Canadian parliament following President Zelensky’s speech last week.

By World Israel News

Russia berated Canada’s parliament for honoring a former Nazi SS member after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech at the lower house of commons last week.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that, “Such sloppiness of memory is outrageous. Many Western countries, including Canada, have raised a young generation that does not know who fought whom or what happened during the Second World War. And they know nothing about the threat of fascism.”

Following Zelensky’s address in the House of Commons on Friday, Canadian lawmakers gave 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka a standing ovation when Speaker Anthony Rota drew attention to him. Rota introduced Hunka as a war hero who fought for the First Ukrainian Division.

Members of Parliament from all parties rose to applaud Hunka. A spokesperson for the Conservative party said the party was not aware of his history at the time.

“In my remarks following the address of the President of Ukraine, I recognized an individual in the gallery. I have subsequently become aware of more information which causes me to regret my decision to do so,” Rota said in a statement, adding that his fellow Parliament members and the Ukraine delegation were not aware of his plan to recognize Hunka.

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He also noted that Hunka is from his district.

“I particularly want to extend my deepest apologies to Jewish communities in Canada and around the world. I accept full responsibility for my action,” Rota said.

The First Ukrainian Division was also known as the Waffen-SS Galicia Division or the SS 14th Waffen Division, a voluntary unit that was under the command of the Nazis.

The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies issued a statement Sunday saying the division “was responsible for the mass murder of innocent civilians with a level of brutality and malice that is unimaginable.”

“An apology is owed to every Holocaust survivor and veteran of the Second World War who fought the Nazis, and an explanation must be provided as to how this individual entered the hallowed halls of Canadian Parliament and received recognition from the Speaker of the House and a standing ovation,” the statement said.

Opposition leaders have also called on Rota to step down due to the outcry caused by the incident.

“We understand an apology is forthcoming. We expect a meaningful apology. Parliament owes an apology to all Canadians for this outrage, and a detailed explanation as to how this could possibly have taken place at the center of Canadian democracy,” Mostyn said before Rota issued his statement.

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“We find the reports of this individual’s history very troubling,” said Sebastian Skamski, adding that Trudeau’s Liberal party would have to explain why he was invited.