Russia charges Canadian parliament WWII SS Nazi with genocide
Russia’s Investigative Committee (SK) has charged in absentia Canadian-Ukrainian Nazi veteran Yaroslav Hunka with the genocide of civilians on the territory of the USSR during World War II.
The 98-year-old served as a volunteer in the 14th Waffen SS Grenadier Division, which was responsible for numerous atrocities during the 1940s.
Last month, Hunka became the center of an international political scandal after he was celebrated with a standing ovation in the Canadian parliament as a “hero” who had fought for “Ukrainian independence.”
In a press release on Friday, the SK’s Main Investigation Department announced that it had found documentary evidence in Russia’s State Archives and the Central Archive of the Ministry of Defense of the SS Galicia division’s exact places of deployment and conduct during WWII.
Between February 23 and February 28 in 1944, Hunka and other members of the SS Galicia are believed to have killed at least 500 citizens of the USSR, including Jews and Poles, in Guta Penyatskaya – a former village on the territory of the Brodsky district of the Lviv region. Investigators also pointed out that these victims were shot and burned alive in residential buildings, as well as churches.
“Representatives of the SS ‘Galicia’, including Hunka, pursuing the basic idea of Nazism – the creation of a racially pure state (Aryan race) – with the goal of completely destroying the ethnic group of Slavs, including other nationalities living in the territory of the occupied Lviv Region of the Ukrainian SSR, committed murder and caused serious harm to their health and created living conditions designed for their physical elimination,” the Russian investigators concluded.
Currently, Russia’s SK is still deciding on whether or not to place Hunka on the international wanted list and arrest him in absentia.
Earlier this week Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu insisted that Russia and Belarus should join forces to pursue the extradition of the Nazi veteran and put him on public trial for his direct involvement in “brutalities targeting a peaceful Soviet population in the Lviv Region.”
Polish officials have also suggested that Warsaw should seek Hunka’s extradition for a trial.
Ottawa, meanwhile, has apologized for honoring the Ukrainian Nazi after Hunka’s past allegiance was highlighted to the public by Jewish organizations. Anthony Rota, who’d arranged the appearance and called Hunka a “Canadian hero” who’d “fought the Russians” during World War II, stepped down as speaker of the House of Commons, after accepting full responsibility for the move.