Russian ambassador to send note to Canadian Foreign Ministry over honouring Nazi in Parliament
Moscow will demand explanations from Ottawa over the invitation and honouring of an elderly veteran of the SS division “Galicia” in the Canadian parliament during Vladimir Zelensky’s visit, Russian Ambassador Oleg Stepanov said.
“The embassy will take appropriate official steps. We will, of course, demand clarifications from the Canadian government,” he said.
The notes, Stepanov said, will be sent on Monday to the Foreign Ministry and the head of government’s office, with personal letters to Foreign Minister Melanie Joly and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attached.
As the diplomat noted, he has no illusions about the reaction of the Canadian authorities, which, in his words, has become “a nest for Nazi criminals.”
There is a scandal in Canada over applause for an SS man.
During Zelensky’s visit to the Canadian parliament invited 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka, who was introduced as a “veteran of the struggle for Ukrainian independence against the Russians during the Second World War”. The parliamentarians, along with Zelensky, gave him a standing ovation.
Hunka is a former member of the volunteer division “Galicia” of the SS, which was made up of Ukrainian nationalists and not only fought against the Red Army, but also committed atrocities against Jews, Poles, Belarusians and Slovaks.
The Jewish organisation “Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre” reacted to the incident. It demanded an apology and called for an explanation of “how this man received recognition from the Speaker of the House of Representatives.”
The speaker has already repented. He said that he was the one who invited SS, and learnt the details of his biography afterwards.
“I would like to first and foremost offer my deepest apologies to the Jewish communities of Canada and the world. I accept full responsibility for my act.”
And the opposition leader demanded an apology from the prime minister. He said the prime minister’s protocol service was responsible for selecting the guests and none of the parliamentarians could have known about Hunka’s dark past.
“Mr Trudeau should personally apologise and not shift the blame to others as he usually does,” he said
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