Posted: 09.02.2024 11:18:00

Russia sent request to Canada for extradition of former SS trooper Hunka (Gunko)

Moscow has handed over a request to the Canadian authorities for extradition of a former SS soldier, Yaroslav Hunka (Gunko), who spoke at a meeting of Canadian Parliament, RIA Novosti reports


The Russian Ambassador in Ottawa, Oleg Stepanov, informed, “A request for extradition of the Nazi henchman has been submitted to the competent authorities of Canada.” According to the diplomat, the request includes a large package of documents.

In turn, the Canadian authorities have pledged to consider the possibility of extradition of Hunka (Gunko) to Russia, but – as noted by Mr. Stepanov – ‘there has been no response from the Ministry of Justice and other departments yet’, despite the promises made.

In December 2023, a source in the Russian Prosecutor General's Office confirmed that Moscow had demanded that Canada extradite Hunka. Before that, the Investigative Committee of Russia had charged him in absentia with genocide of the USSR civilians during the Great Patriotic War.

The documentary evidence of the locations and conduct of military operations by the Waffen SS Division Galicia, where Hunka (Gunko) served has been found in the State Archive and the Central Archive of Russia’s Defence Ministry. It is known that the decree on Hunka’s prosecution as the accused party reads that he ‘committed a crime against the peace and security of mankind’, and this is qualified as a particularly grave act by Russian legislation.

According to the document, Yaroslav Hunka (Gunko), a native of the Ukrainian city of Uman, and fellow soldiers executed criminal orders of their commanders from February 23rd to 28th, 1944 – killing at least 500 Soviet citizens in the village of Guta Penyatskaya, located on the territory of the Brodsky District of the Lvov Region of the Ukrainian SSR. Jews and Poles were among those killed. People were shot or burned alive in their homes and a church.

On September 22nd, 2023, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy attended a meeting of the Parliament of Canada. Among those invited to that event was 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka, who was introduced as ‘a Ukrainian-Canadian veteran of World War II who fought for Ukrainian independence against Russians’. Those present greeted him with an ovation. A scandal broke out when it became known that Hunka (Gunko) fought as part of the Waffen SS Division Galicia.

The man’s celebration caused outrage in Russia, Belarus, Poland and other countries. Anthony Rota, Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, assumed responsibility for inviting the SS soldier to the Canadian Parliament and later resigned. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologised for the ‘terrible mistake’.