(RepublicanJournal.org) – Canada’s parliament has gotten itself into an embarrassing mess. Legislators gave a standing ovation to an elderly man introduced as “a Ukrainian veteran” who fought against Russia. Unfortunately, someone forgot to do their research — and they also forgot that not everyone who fights against Russia is one of the good guys.
On September 22, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Canada. As part of the event, 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka was introduced as a “Ukrainian hero” who fought to liberate his country from Russian oppression. Later, the Canadian media reported Hunka’s appearance, with one newspaper calling him a veteran of “the First Ukrainian Division.” There was just one slight problem.
The “1st Ukrainian Division” Hunka belonged to turned out to be the 1st Galician Division, which was renamed as the 1st Division of the Ukrainian National Army at the end of WWII but was better known as the 14th Waffen Grenadier-Division der SS. It was a Waffen-SS unit recruited from Ukrainian volunteers, and it fought the Russians on behalf of Nazi Germany.
Hours after the event, people started to realize the truth about Hunka’s background — and, predictably, there was outrage. The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, which supports the research center set up by Holocaust survivor and Nazi-hunter Wiesenthal, said it was “shocking” that a Nazi veteran had been invited to parliament, and “incredibly disturbing” that MPs had applauded him. Journalist Joe Warmington demanded an apology from parliament.
At least the Canadian government seems to have realized its mistake. On September 24, Speaker Anthony Rota apologized for praising Hunka as a hero, accepted full responsibility, and said what he’d since learned made him regret the decision. Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hasn’t directly apologized, but his office issued a statement saying Rota’s apology was “the right thing to do.” Unlike, for example, inviting former Nazis into parliament.
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