THE MOMENT: Here, 90-year-old Yaroslav Hunka (not pictured) is honored by the Canadian Parliament – with Volodymyr Zelenskyj (tv) and Justin Trudeau (th) present. Photo: Patrick Doyle / Pa Photos / NTB
The Canadian Parliament is sorry after a “Ukrainian hero”, who was in the Nazi SS during the Second World War, was honored in the presence of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi last week.
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The Canadian Parliament apologizes after honoring Yaroslav Hunka (98), who served in the SS during the Second World War. Ukrainian President Zelenskyj and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau were present. The leader of the Canadian Parliament, Anthony Rota, has admitted the mistake and has apologized to the Jewish community in Canada and around the world. Russian authorities and media exploit the error for all it’s worth and claim that Russia is fighting Nazism in Ukraine. Show more
The Kremlin and the Russian media use the episode for all it’s worth in their coverage. Vladimir Putin’s spokesman claims that Russia is fighting Nazism in Ukraine.
Volodymyr Zelenskyj visited Canada last week. There, Yaroslav Hunka (98) was hailed as a “Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero” in parliament. Zelenskyj and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau both applauded him – and the Ukrainian president waved to his compatriot.
Hunka served during World War II for the Waffen-SSWaffen-SSWaffen-SS was the military branch of the German National Socialist organization Schutzstaffel (SS). In this way, the Waffen-SS was both a political-ideological tool and a military branch of arms. (Wikipedia)., according to the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights group that has demanded an apology. According to the centre, Hunka’s ties to the Nazi war machine during the Second World War are well known, reports Reuters.
EKS-SS: Yaroslav Hunka in the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa last week. Photo: Patrick Doyle / AP / NTB
The Speaker of the Canadian Parliament, Anthony Rota, now apologizes and admits it was his mistake, reports Radio-Canada:
Yaroslav Hunka sat in the gallery and was hailed with a standing ovation for “having fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians”.
Canadian opposition leader Pierre Poilievre says the Ukrainian delegation was not warned in advance and demands an apology from Prime Minister Trudeau as well. The Prime Minister’s office says it did not know that Hunka was to be honoured.
Russian media and authorities exploit the incuria for all it is worth.
– Such a sloppy attitude to the past is outrageous, according to Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov Gazeta.ru.
Peskov says there is a new generation that is not aware of the threat from Nazism and “does not know who fought with whom”.
Unsuspecting, Zelenskyj greets the 98-year-old veteran of the Canadian Parliament. It turns out that the veteran served for the German SS during the Second World War. Photo: SEAN KILPATRICK / AFP / NTB
– There is a risk that fascism will manifest itself here and there, Peskov continues and added that Russia is fighting against fascism, “which is trying to get back on its feet in Ukraine”.
The Russian Embassy in Canada writes on social media that it was an “insult to the memory of Canada’s sons and daughters who fought against Nazism during the Second World War”.
Exported writes that the Russian ambassador to Canada, Oleg Stepanov, will send protests to both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister in connection with the honoring of the former SS soldier.
– We will of course demand clarification from the Canadian government, says the ambassador.
Published: 25/09/23 at 17:36
Updated: 25/09/23 at 18:23
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