Putin uses Tucker Carlson interview to fire on Zelensky over Honka issue

Russian President Vladimir Putin used an interview with American media personality Tucker Carlson to call out Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for joining in a standing ovation for a World War II Nazi unit veteran during his visit to Canada.

Zelensky addressed parliament during his visit in September. Before that, it was introduced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and then-Speaker of the House Anthony Rota.

During his introduction, Rutta recognized one of his riders, Jaroslav Hunka, and praised the Ukrainian-Canadian for fighting the Russians during World War II. Zelensky, Trudeau and the rest of the House of Representatives rose to applaud Hanka.

An elderly man sits in the gallery in the Canadian House of Commons.
Jaroslav Hunka, right, waits for the arrival of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the House of Commons in Ottawa on September 22, 2023. (Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press)

Media reports later revealed that Honka fought with the SS Waffen Division Galicia, also known as the 14th SS Waffen Division, and sometimes the 1st Ukrainian Division. The unit was made up of Ukrainian volunteers from Galicia and was under Nazi command.

“The President of Ukraine stood with the entire Canadian Parliament and praised this man. How is that possible?” Putin told Carlson through an interpreter. Carlson posted the interview on X, formerly Twitter.

While historians say the men joined the unit for A A variety of reasons — including a desire to fight for Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union — the incident was a major diplomatic embarrassment for Canada.

Putin has repeatedly claimed that he is waging war on Ukraine in order to “denazify” the country, and he has done so. Hop on Honka’s case To justify his argument in the past.

Western allies, including Canada, have been pushing back against these allegations, calling the large-scale Russian invasion a blatant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.

During the interview, Putin noted that the Honka case “is being silenced in Western countries,” despite widespread media coverage of the incident last fall.

The Russian president has significantly limited his contacts with international media since launching a full-scale war in Ukraine in February 2022.

Tucker Carlson was seen appearing at an event in Las Vegas in November 2023.
A Putin spokesman said Tucker Carlson was chosen for the interview because his “position is different” from other English-language media outlets. (Ian Mulley/Getty Images)

Western journalists were invited to Putin’s annual press conference in December – his first since the war began – but only two had the opportunity to ask a question.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, told reporters that Carlson was chosen for the interview because his “position is different” from other English-language media outlets.

Before his exit from Fox, Carlson repeatedly questioned the validity of US support for Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion and speculated about why Americans hate Putin so much. His comments were often reported in Russian state-run media.

Carlson’s trip comes as he joins former US President Donald Trump in light of the growing division in the Republican Party over Putin and the war in Ukraine. Trump has sought to cut off aid to Ukraine, and the Republican Party majority that controls the House of Representatives has so far complied.

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