Trudeau said he wanted to “unreservedly apologize” for what happened on behalf of everyone present last Friday, Trudeau said on Wednesday (local time) in Parliament in Ottawa. Trudeau said he apologized to Zelensky for the situation the incident had put him and his delegation in. The tribute to 98-year-old veteran Jaroslaw Hunka was a “terrible mistake and a violation of the memory of those who suffered greatly under the Nazi regime.”
During Zelensky’s visit to parliament on Friday, Parliament President Antony Rota praised Hunka as a “hero” who fought “for the independence of Ukraine against the Russians” in World War II. Those present then honored Hunka with a standing ovation. Later, a Canadian historian pointed out that Hunka had been a member of the Waffen-SS during World War II.
The incident sparked massive criticism from Jewish organizations and the Canadian conservative opposition. Parliament President Rota resigned on Wednesday because of this; according to his office, Trudeau himself was not informed of Hunka’s invitation. Zelensky’s Ukrainian delegation was also not aware of this. Zelenskyj traveled to Canada last week after a visit to the USA. In the Canadian Parliament he called for further support for his country against the Russian war of aggression.