Yaroslav Hunka, 98, was a Nazi collaborator during WW2, and his unit has been listed as a criminal organization at the Nuremberg Trials. Last Friday, Hunka was part of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy when he delivered an address to the Canadian parliament. After the speech, when members of the House of Commons rose in a standing ovation for Zelenskyy, Speaker Anthony Rota pointed to the very elderly Hunka, urging the House to give him, too, a standing ovation.
On Saturday, Speaker Rota issued a statement saying, “In my remarks following the address of the President of Ukraine, I recognized an individual in the gallery. I have subsequently become aware of more information which causes me to regret my decision to do so.”
Zelenskyy and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also stood up and applauded Hunka. Zelenskyy then raised his fist and Hunka saluted from the gallery.
Hunka served in the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, a.k.a. the 1st Galician which was made up predominantly of Ukrainian military volunteers. Its recruits were accused of committing atrocities against Jews and Communists.
The 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS is honored by many Ukrainian nationalists. Since 2010, every year on April 28, a march is held to celebrate its foundation. Several streets have been named after the division in Ukrainian cities.