parliament hill in ottawa canada
Photo by Deneen LT on

The Speaker of the House of Commons apologized Sunday after he singled out a Ukrainian veteran alleged to have fought for the Nazis during World War II for a standing ovation during a visit by Ukraine's leader.

The applause came as President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the Canadian parliament on Friday, as House Speaker Anthony Rota paid homage to Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old Ukrainian immigrant.

Rota hailed Hunka as "a Ukrainian Canadian war veteran from the Second World War who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians" and "a Ukrainian hero and a Canadian hero."

The remarks ignore "the horrific fact that Hunka served in the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, a Nazi military unit whose crimes against humanity during the Holocaust are well-documented," the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) said Sunday.

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