The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, has stated that it is “deeply embarrassing” members of his parliament gave two standing ovations to a man that fought for the Nazis during the Second World War.
98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka was recognized in the House of Commons lower chamber during a visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently.
Hunka was invited by Speaker Anthony Rota, who introduced him as a war hero that fought for the First Ukrainian Division.
Meanwhile, that division used to be called Waffen-SS Galicia Division, a voluntary unit that was under Nazis’ command.
The Kremlin disclosed recently that it is “outrageous” Hunka was introduced to Canada’s parliament as a hero.
Rota has resisted calls to resign and has apologized for inviting the war veteran and introducing him as a “Ukrainian hero”, saying he later became aware of “more information which causes me to regret my decision to do so”.
He stated further that he wanted to extend his deepest apologies to Jewish communities in Canada and all over the world.
Trudeau has said the speaker’s apology was the “right thing to do” and “no advance notice” of the move was provided to the Prime Minister’s Office or the Ukrainian delegation.
Trudeau said: “The speaker has acknowledged his mistake and has apologized, but this is something that is deeply embarrassing to the parliament of Canada and by extension, to all Canadians, I think particularly of Jewish MPs and all members of the Jewish community across the country who are celebrating, commemorating Yom Kippur today.
“I think it’s going to be really important that all of us push back against Russian propaganda, Russian disinformation, and continue our steadfast and unequivocal support for Ukraine as we did last week with announcing further measures to stand with Ukraine in Russia’s illegal war against it.”
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