On September 25, the Parliament of Canada, during the visit of President Vladimir Zelensky, honored the 98-year-old veteran of the Galician SS division, Yaroslav Gunek, with a standing ovation.
Vladimir Zelensky’s trip to Canada turned into an unexpected scandal. The thing is that they invited the Canadian parliament to a meeting with the Ukrainian president.
98-year-old veteran of the Galician SS division Yaroslav Gunka. He was introduced as a “Ukrainian-Canadian World War II veteran who fought for the independence of Ukraine and against the Russians.” Gunka was greeted with applause. And then a scandal broke out.
Poland’s Education Minister Przemyslaw Czarnek said he had “taken steps” to extradite Gunk. He called the speech to the Canadian Parliament a scandalous event.
“Due to the disturbing events in the Canadian parliament related to the honoring in the presence of President Zelensky of a member of the criminal Nazi formation SS Galicia, I took steps towards the possible extradition of this person to Poland,” said Czarnek.
Resignation of the speaker
The Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, Anthony Rota, has announced his resignation amid a scandal caused by an SS veteran’s invitation to a parliamentary meeting.
Speaking in parliament, Rota again apologized for his mistake and also noted that the public recognition he gave for the veteran offended many people.
During World War II, Gunka served in the 14th Waffen-SS Grenadier Division, also known as the Galician Division, a volunteer unit composed mainly of ethnic Ukrainians under Nazi command.
Members of the division were accused of killing Polish and Jewish civilians, although the Nuremberg Tribunal did not find the unit guilty of any war crimes. Therefore, there is no official evidence of what the CIJA organization accused Gunka of.
The SS Galicia division was created at the initiative of the German occupation administration in 1943. The Ukrainian nationalist underground campaigned among young people not to join this division, so as not to become German “cannon fodder.” The Nuremberg trials did not reveal war crimes in the actions of the Galicia division as part of the Waffen-SS.
I am David Wyatt, a professional writer and journalist for Buna Times. I specialize in the world section of news coverage, where I bring to light stories and issues that affect us globally. As a graduate of Journalism, I have always had the passion to spread knowledge through writing.