The Canadian speaker of the lower house of parliament announced his retirement on Tuesday, two days after publicly honoring a former Nazi soldier in Parliament. This incident was cited by Russia as providing legitimacy for its involvement in the crisis in Ukraine.
Anthony Rota expressed his remorse to the members of parliament that he had invited Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old former soldier, to attend the event on Friday, which was held in honor of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Hunka received acclaim in the public eye from Rota, who hailed him as a hero.
Following the disclosure that Hunka, who had received two standing ovations from lawmakers, had served in one of Adolf Hitler’s Waffen SS units during World War II, the speaker’s post swiftly became untenable and could no longer be maintained. The Russian government was appalled by the entire situation.
This public admission has harmed the feelings of a great number of individuals, most notably members of the Jewish community in Canada and elsewhere in the globe. In his capacity as a member of the party that is now in power, Rota declared, “I accept full responsibility for my actions” and then announced his intention to step down effective Wednesday. In the interim, one of the deputy speakers will serve in the role of speaker.
Even if Kiev and its Western allies refute the assertion, the episode lends validity to Putin’s account that he deployed soldiers into Ukraine last year in order to “demilitarize and denazify” the nation. Putin claims that he did this in order to prevent the spread of Russian influence in the country.
The scandal cast a shadow on Zelenskiy’s journey to Canada, where he had intended to show thanks for the one billion Canadian dollars in supplies and weaponry that had been supplied by the country since the Russian invasion in February 2022. Zelenskiy’s trip was derailed as a result of the controversy.
It has already been suggested by Melanie Joly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister, that Rota should step down from his position.
Despite the fact that the opposition parties claimed that Trudeau’s Liberal administration was at blame for all that took place, Rota asserted that he was accountable for everything that occurred. Rota counts Hunka as one of his constituents in the legislative body.