Russia Mulling Extradition of Nazi SS Veteran Honoured by Canadian Parliament

Moscow is contemplating the possibility of seeking the extradition of Yaroslav Hunka, the 98-year-old Ukrainian-Canadian and a former member of the Waffen SS, revealed Oleg Stepanov, Russia’s envoy to Ottawa.

“Russia is reviewing the Hunka story. May open a criminal case and subsequent extradition request,” stated Stepanov as cited by Russian news agency TASS.

Hunka, having served in the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS during World War II— a division notorious for its atrocities against Jews and Poles— was paradoxically acknowledged as a Ukrainian “hero” in the Canadian parliament. This recognition, attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, has fueled significant political tumult in Canada, with repercussions echoing in several other nations.

Trudeau has apologized for the debacle, but has pointedly shifted the blame to the now-former speaker Anthony Rota for extending the invitation to Hunka. Russia’s potential extradition move comes on the heels of a similar request in the works by Poland, which, too, wants to investigate Hunka for war crimes against Polish nationals and people of Jewish origin.

Despite issuing its own slew of unreserved apologies over the embarrassing incident, the Liberal government has thus far stopped short of opening its own investigation into the thousands of Nazi members that sought refuge in Canada following the Second World War.

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