Canadian Parliament Applauding Former Nazi soldier viral video and controversy depicting a tweet reacting to it.

Canadian Parliament Applauding Former Nazi

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Updated Sep 27, 2023 at 02:06PM EDT by Zach.

Added Sep 25, 2023 at 05:14PM EDT by Brandon.

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Overview

Canadian Parliament Applauding Former Nazi or Canada Applauds Nazi SS Soldier refers to the contentious event on September 22nd, 2023, in which Yaroslav Hunk, a 98-year-old man, was celebrated and given applause in a Canadian parliament session during a speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This action quickly became controversial online once it was noted that Yaroslav was a former SS Waffen soldier (the combat branch of the Nazi Party's paramilitary organization), subsequently resulting in widespread discourse, backlash and memes.

Background

On September 22nd, 2023, the Canadian Parliament and Justin Trudeau invited Ukrainian President Zelensky to speak. Also invited was the 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunk, who was praised for his work in Ukraine fighting against the Russians prior to his immigrating to Canada in later years. The moment in which he was congratulated by the surrounding members of parliament was captured and reuploaded to social media shortly after.

On September 24th, 2023, the X account @UnityNewsNet[1] uploaded the moment and added the key information about him previously fighting for the Waffen SS, as during that time period the Nazis in Ukraine were fighting back against the Russians who were allied forces (shown below).


Developments

In the following days, the Canadian government attempted damage control as the moment garnered controversy online, with Trudeau speaking out publicly against the backlash. On September 25th, 2023, X user @KanekoaTheGreat[2] uploaded footage of Trudeau saying to stay vigilant against Russian-sponsored propaganda and that the people of Canada support those in Ukraine, causing many to call him out for perceivably dodging the blame for the incident (shown below).


Online Reactions

Following clips of the Parliament session on September 22nd, 2023, numerous users online reacted to the controversial moment as it spread online.

For example, content creator and YouTuber Mutahar (Some Ordinary Gamers) was one of the most vocal online voices denouncing[3] the event, QRTing the initial video and adding on his own take in which he doubled down when receiving pushback for him saying that anyone who fought for the Nazis needs to be shot in the head (shown below).


Mutahar @OrdinaryGamers I'm ashamed to be a Canadian watching this. Subscribe I don't care how old you are or how long it's been, if you fought for the Nazis you need to get shot in the head. UNN UNN @UnityNewsNet - Sep 24 A 98-year old was given standing ovation by the Canadian parliament during Zelensky's speech. He was hailed as a hero for fighting against the Russians. Yaroslav Hunk fought for the 14th division of the Waffen SS.

The support shown to the Nazi by the Canadian Parliament also reignited the internet debate surrounding Nazis in Ukraine that have been shown fighting on the side of Ukraine against Russia — particularly the Azov Battalion, a former paramilitary neo-Nazi group that became a part of Ukraine's National Guard.

An ongoing issue present with the Ukraine Invasion, and often cited as one of the reasons Russia has given to justify its initial assault, images of Zelensky posing with different Ukrainian soldiers while having visible Nazi emblems and symbols started to get posted to social media again. For example, on September 24th, 2023, X user @wyattreed13[4] uploaded several of these photos purportedly showing Zelensky posing with and posting Nazis on his official Instagram (shown below).


Wyatt Reed @wyattreed13 "How could we possibly have known Ukraine was full of Nazis?" associate patun Quelle: Metin Altas/ANADOLU ADENCY Anadolu Agency AFP SHEE 1/10 BAG

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