“We have here in the room today a Ukrainian-Canadian soldier and World War II veteran who fought for Ukraine’s independence against the Russians and continues to support the troops today, even at the age of 98,” Rutte said Friday. A round of applause and waves from Zelensky. “He’s a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero, and we thank him for all his service. Thank you.”
Jewish advocacy groups Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and B’nai B’rith Canada condemned his honor as troubling and “beyond outrageous” because he fought with the 1st Ukrainian Division – also known as the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division, which He served under command From the Nazis.
Jewish news site Forward newspaper reported. Written by Honka Blog posts He describes his time in the unit on a Ukrainian-language website run by an association of veterans of the unit, called “Fighters News.”
In a statement issued late Sunday afternoon, Rutte said he had recently become “aware of more information that made me regret my decision” to recognize Honka. He said he bears full responsibility for the earthquakes.
“I would like to clarify that no one, including my parliamentary colleagues and the Ukrainian delegation, knew about my intention or my statements before I made them,” he said. “This initiative was entirely my own, the person in question was one of my riders and it was brought to my attention.”
Conservative Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre called it a “horrible error in judgement” by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, because his office would have agreed to invite and honor Honka, and demanded that Trudeau apologize and refrain from “blaming others like he always does.”
A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said that it had not received any advance notice about the recognition or invitation from the Prime Minister’s Office, which operates independently of the Prime Minister.
Russian state-controlled media sites RT and Sputnik quickly picked up the story.
The Russian Embassy in Canada posted on social media that this was “an insult to the memory of Canada’s sons and daughters who fought Nazism in World War II.”
Asked by reporters at a news conference on Friday about declining support for Ukraine in Congress and elsewhere, Zelensky said he looked to Canada to help support a united front, because Ottawa has a “strong relationship with many countries in the world.”
This shocking news came on the same day the Prime Minister made a statement on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.
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