Speaker of Canada’s House of Commons apologised for applauding Yaroslav Hunka, who fought for a Nazi military unit during World War II. (AP)


Poland is exploring legal and diplomatic options to seek the extradition of Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old Nazi war veteran, who was honoured in the Canadian Parliament last week, as per a statement issued by Polish minister Przemysław Czarnek.

“In view of the scandalous events in the Canadian Parliament, which involved honouring, in the presence of President Zelenskyy, a member of the criminal Nazi SS Galizien formation, I have taken steps towards the possible extradition of this man to Poland,” Czarnek stated in a post on social media platform X.

Hunka, a Ukrainian-Canadian, was invited to the Canadian House of Commons on September 22, in the presence of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and given a standing ovation. The Speaker of the House, Anthony Rota, went on to describe him as a “war hero”.

After it was pointed out by critics that Hunka was a member of Waffen-SS Galicia Division, which comprised of Ukrainian Vounteers who fought for Nazi Germany’s armed forces against Soviet Union in World War-II, the Canadian government switched into damage control mode.

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Rota issued an apology on September 25, saying that he was not aware about Hunka’s associated with the Nazi forces.  “I have subsequently become aware of more information which causes me to regret my decision to do so.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also expressed regret, noting that “this is something that is deeply embarrassing to the Parliament of Canada and by extension to all Canadians.”

“It’s extremely upsetting that this happened. The Speaker has acknowledged his mistake and has apologised,” Trudeau added. His office also denied the reports which claimed that a private meeting took place between him and Hunka.

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Updated: 26 Sep 2023, 10:30 PM IST



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