Updated: May 14
The world’s most prominent “Nazi hunter” has condemned Justin Trudeau and the Canadian government supporting Nazism and training neo-Nazi fighters in Ukraine, declaring that governments and media across the West are misleading the public when they claim Ukraine is not overrun by Nazis.
Efraim Zuroff, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Israel, believes it is a lack of “due diligence” on the part of Trudeau and the Canadian government, rather than a conscious policy decision to support Nazis in Europe.
“The Canadian government didn’t do its due diligence,” Zuroff told the Ottawa Citizen on Wednesday.
“It’s the responsibility of the Canadian Defense Ministry to know exactly who they are training.
“There is no question that there are neo-Nazis in different forms in Ukraine, whether they are in the Azov regiment or other organizations,” he added.
Zuroff’s comments came after a Radio Canada report on Monday that, back in November 2020, Canadian troops were photographed training members of the “Azov” regiment including soldiers bearing the insignia of the SS division “Galizien,” a Ukrainian unit that fought with Hitler’s Nazis in World War 2.
The authenticity of the photo was acknowledged by the Canadian military, the Ottawa Citizen reported. But Canadian Forces (CAF) rejected the idea they have any obligation to ensure they foreign troops they are training are not Nazis or terrorists.
Captain Veronique Sabourin told the Ottawa Citizen that it is Ukraine’s responsibility to vet its own personnel. All Canadian military members training Ukrainian troops were briefed on how to recognize insignia “associated with right-wing extremism,” and if they suspected such ties or “racist views” the trainees would be removed.
However, “There is no burden of proof on the CAF to demonstrate this beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s regime has vocally supported Ukraine since February 24, when Russia sent troops into the neighboring country on a mission to “demilitarize and denazify” the government in Kiev.
Governments and media across the West have since also begun to insist that claims about “Azov” and other units of the Ukrainian military having Nazi sympathies was “Russian disinformation.”
“It’s not Russian propaganda, far from it,” Zuroff told the Citizen. “These people are neo-Nazis. There is an element of the ultra-right in Ukraine and it’s absurd to ignore it.”
Canada has spent nearly a billion dollars (US$794 million) on training Ukrainian troops since the 2014 coup in which Western-backed rebels overthrew the country’s democratically-elected government.
Neo-Nazi fighters were instrumental in the regime-change operation, and fascists in the Azov Battalion were used to suppress dissent afterward.
According to the Citizen, Canada’s Joint Task Force Ukraine actually produced a briefing in 2017 admitting that they had been training Nazis, writing “multiple members of Azov have described themselves as Nazis.”