During the Sept. 22 session of Canada’s Parliament, Speaker of the House Andrew Rota mistakenly introduced Yaroslav Hunka as a war hero who fought for the First Ukrainian Division in World War II. This resulted in a standing ovation from legislators for the 98-year-old. While this may have seemed a bittersweet moment, keen observers were quick to note that the First Ukrainian Division, also known as the Waffen-SS Galicia Division, was a volunteer unit under Nazi Command.
Since hearing about the blunder, Rota has released an apology statement, and resigned from his position. “I reiterate my profound regret for my error in recognizing an individual in the House during the joint address to Parliament by President Zelenskyy.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also addressed the situation, making an apology statement. “All of us who were in this House on Friday regret deeply having stood and clapped even though we did so unaware of the context,” Trudeau said. “It was a horrendous violation of the memory of the millions of people who died in the Holocaust.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has also involved himself in the conversation, referencing the presence of Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at this meeting of Canada’s Parliament. “He essentially lumped together Nazi collaborators, SS troops and the Ukrainian military of today who are fighting against Russia,” Putin told an audience at the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi. “He lumped them together. This only confirms our thesis that one of our goals in Ukraine is denazification.”