Russian ambassador to Canada urges prime minister to offer direct apology to Russian people for honoring Nazi

In response to the apology issued by the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, following the incident related to the presence of a Ukrainian Nazi veteran in Parliament, the Russian ambassador in Ottawa, Oleg Stepanov declared that the current apologies «are not enough» and called on the Canadian leader to «have the courage» to offer direct apologies to the Russian people.

Stepanov dismissed Trudeau’s apology as insufficient and expressed displeasure with the words used by the prime minister in the House of Commons.

«My country was the main force that defeated Nazi Germany in Europe in World War II and paid a terrible price for it. 11 million soldiers died on the battlefield, 16 million civilians were victims of ethnic cleansing carried out during the Nazi occupation at the hands of the SS, including the infamous 14th SS Galizien Division, the death squads (Einsatzgruppen) and Hitler’s complicit collaborators,» the Russian diplomat noted.

The ambassador stressed that more than 200,000 people with Russian roots reside in Canada, all of whom are «good citizens, honest voters and taxpayers.» In addition, he recalled that many Russian families, including Canadian ones, lost loved ones in the fight against Nazism.

Likewise, Stepanov urged the Government and Parliament of Canada to offer a formal apology to all Russians and the Russian community in Canada for the «shameful» incident that occurred on September 22. Despite the geopolitical differences, the ambassador highlighted the importance of rectification in this matter.

The incident in the Canadian Parliament

The incident in question involved the presence of Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old veteran, in the Canadian Parliament during the visit of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on September 22.

Hunka was presented as a «hero» who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians during World War II, but it was later revealed that he served in the 14th Waffen-SS Grenadier Division, known for committing war crimes against Polish civilians and recruit Slavic soldiers into the ranks of the Third Reich.

After that, Trudeau issued an official apology on behalf of his government for what happened, without making direct reference to the Russians. «All of us present in the House this Friday, deeply regret having stood up and applauded, even without knowing the context. It was a terrible violation of the memory of the millions of people who lost their lives in the Holocaust,» stressed the prime minister.

The recognition of Hunka in particular was described by the Canadian leader as a serious mistake and an affront to the memory of those who suffered under the Nazi regime.

Zelensky’s visit has sparked a scandal that resulted in the resignation of the speaker of parliament on September 26. Trudeau’s government is under intense pressure, being described by Conservative opposition leader Pierre Poilievre as «the biggest diplomatic embarrassment in Canada’s history.»

You can read: Nicaragua demands that the UN make the US comply with the ruling of the International Court of Justice

Likewise, Trudeau expressed: «I want to reaffirm Canada’s deep apology for the situation in which President Zelensky and the Ukrainian delegation were involved.» In addition, he indicated that Ottawa had already contacted Kiev and Zelensky to apologize.

You may be interested in: Russia demands investigation into the attack on the Cuban embassy in the US

«It is very disturbing to think that Russia and its followers are politicizing this serious error to spread false propaganda about the cause for which Ukraine is fighting,» said the Canadian prime minister, trying to minimize Moscow’s position.