The Kremlin on Wednesday called for the trial of a former Ukrainian soldier who fought for the Nazis but was honored in the Canadian parliament last week, leading Poland to launch an investigation into possible extradition.
• Also read: Homage to a former Nazi fighter: Rota leaves, but the case is not closed, here as elsewhere
• Also read: Tribute to a former Nazi fighter: House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota announces his resignation
“The Canadian authorities have an obligation to bring this criminal to justice or hand him over to those who wish to see justice served. “It is clear that he is a Nazi,” said Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
During Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Ottawa last Friday, Canadian House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota applauded Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old Ukrainian accused of fighting in the SS during World War II.
On Tuesday, Mr. Rota announced his resignation amid outrage that the honor provoked, particularly among Jewish organizations.
On Tuesday evening, the Polish Minister of Education announced that, in view of his possible extradition, he had requested an investigation to verify that this Ukrainian veteran had not committed any crimes in Poland.
“The Speaker of the (Canadian) Parliament has resigned and taken on this responsibility. But what can we say about Parliament itself, which stood up and applauded this fascist? Reason demands a condemnation of National Socialism (…) Otherwise it is a parliament that is polluting itself,” denounced Mr. Peskov on Wednesday.
“We can only honor the memory of the Ukrainian veterans who fought against fascism, including (Volodymyr) Zelensky’s grandfather,” he added.
This scandal is widely commented on by Russian authorities and state media and portrays the offensive in Ukraine as a Western-backed fight against alleged neo-Nazis in power.