On Friday, during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address to Canada’s House of Commons, Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old veteran, received a standing ovation from the parliamentarians after being introduced by House Speaker Anthony Rota. Rota presented Hunka as a Canadian-Ukrainian war hero from his own political district.
“We have here in the chamber today a Ukrainian-Canadian veteran from the Second World War who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians and continues to support the troops today, even at his age of 98,” Rota said Friday, followed by a lengthy round of applause and a wave by Zelenskyy. “He’s a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero, and we thank him for all his service. Thank you.”
One problem: Hunka was shown to have fought on the side of the Nazis.
The Associated Press identified the man as Yaroslav Hunka, who “fought with the First Ukrainian Division” before immigrating to Canada.
The First Ukrainian Division, however, was previously known as the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the Nazi Party’s Schutzstaffel (SS) military branch, according to The Forward, a New York-based newspaper geared toward Jewish readers.
“Formed in 1943, SS Galichina was composed of recruits from the Galicia region in western Ukraine. The unit was armed and trained