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News > Russia

Tribute to Nazi Veteran in Canada Is Outrageous -Kremlin

  • The Kremlin called the ovation received by a Nazi veteran in the Canadian Parliament

    The Kremlin called the ovation received by a Nazi veteran in the Canadian Parliament "outrageous." Sep 25, 2023. | Photo: X/@ChiongJali90155

Published 25 September 2023

"This can cause fascism to appear here or there. And now we are seeing it practically trying to gain a foothold in the center of Europe, in Ukraine," Dmitry Peskov said. 

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov condemned on Monday the appearance of a Ukrainian Nazi who served in the SS division "Galicia" in the Canadian Parliament last week.

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Peskov called the standing ovation that a Nazi veteran received in the local parliament "outrageous." He said it was a "negligent attitude toward the memory" of Nazi crimes in Canada. "These crimes have no expiration date and no statute of limitations. This kind of neglect of memory is outrageous," the spokesman said.

Peskov warned on a risk of fascism making a comeback in the world, noting that a generation has grown up in the West that has forgotten the lessons of WWII. 

"They know nothing of the threat of fascism. This can cause fascism to appear here or there. And now we are practically seeing it trying to get a foothold in the center of Europe, in Ukraine. This is what we are fighting against," the Kremlin spokesman told the press.

Last week, Associated Press published photos showing that during Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky's speech in Canada's Parliament on Sept. 22, attendees saluted the 98-year-old Ukrainian nationalist Yaroslav Hunka.

Zelenski raised his fist alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau amid applause from hundreds of Canadian parliamentarians for the World War II veteran, who served in the 1st Ukrainian Division, also known as the SS "Galicia" division. 

Known as the 14th Waffen-SS Grenadier Division or Galizien Division, the group was made up mostly of Ukrainian volunteers from the Galitzia region and known for committing war crimes against thousands of Polish civilians during World War II and for conscripting Slav soldiers into the ranks of the Third Reich.

Widespread criticism

The Russian ambassador in Ottawa Oleg Stepanov, said this Monday that Russia will send a note to the Canadian Foreign Ministry and the office of the country's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau demanding explanations for the incident.

"The SS is recognized as a criminal organization by the decisions of the Nuremberg Tribunal, which are an integral part of international law. By honoring a member of this criminal community, the Canadian cabinet and members of parliament violated not only moral, but also legal norms," Stepanov said. 

The United Nations (UN) also expressed its rejection on the recent Nazi veteran celebration. "We, of course, stand against any honoring of people, who actively took part in Nazi activities during the Second World War," said spokesman for the UN Secretary General António Guterres, Stephane Dujarric said in statements to the press. 

From Poland Witold Dzielski, Warsaw’s ambassador to Ottawa, said that the SS unit Hunka was serving with was "responsible for murdering thousands of Poles & Jews." He said that his nation would never agree to "whitewashing such villains."

Several Jewish organizations have also denounced the event. "An apology is owed to every Holocaust survivor and veteran of the Second World War who fought the Nazis," said the Jewish community Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC). 


Dmitry Peskov
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