Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadians should not be fooled by President Vladimir Putin’s propaganda after the Russian president appeared in an interview with U.S. media personality Tucker Carlson.
Putin used the interview to mock Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Canadian officials who praised Yaroslav Hunka during Zelensky’s visit to parliament in September.
Hunka was introduced to the House of Commons as a Ukrainian-Canadian veteran of World War II who fought against the Soviet Union. It was later revealed that Hunka was part of a unit of Ukrainian volunteers under Nazi command.
Trudeau was asked at a press conference Friday about Putin’s use of diplomatic embarrassment to mock Canada and its allies.
”[Putin] “Of course we will do all the propaganda, but I can say that Canadians will not be fooled,” the prime minister said.
President Putin has repeatedly claimed that he is waging war on Ukraine in order to “denazify” it, and has used the Hunka incident to justify past actions.
In an interview with Karlsson posted on social media platform X, Putin cited the Hunka incident to support his claims.
“The president of Ukraine stood up with the entire Canadian parliament and praised this man. How can you imagine this?” Putin said through an interpreter.
Western allies, including Canada, have pushed back against these claims, calling Russia’s full-scale invasion a blatant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.
Prime Minister Trudeau said Putin’s comments about the Hunka incident were an attempt to “distract” from the real motive for launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
“President Putin has chosen to invade a neighboring sovereign state, violating the rights, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and underwriting the rules that support the safety and security of all of us living in free democracies around the world. “It was a breach of order.” He said.