Vladimir Putin
Vladimir PutinReuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called Canada's former parliament speaker an "idiot" after the legislature celebrated a Ukrainian World War II veteran who had fought alongside the Nazis, AFP reported.

"If the speaker of the Canadian parliament says that during World War II this Canadian-Ukrainian or Ukrainian-Canadian Nazi fought against the Russians, he cannot help but understand that he fought on the side of Hitler," Putin said.

"Let's assume he doesn't know this," the Russian leader added.

"But if he doesn't know that Hitler and his minions fought against Russia during the war, then he's an idiot. It means he just didn't go to school," continued Putin, who then said that if the parliament speaker knew the Ukrainian veteran had fought alongside the Nazi "then he is a wretch. Either this or that."

"It looked absolutely disgusting that everyone applauded this Nazi, especially the president of Ukraine, who has Jewish blood in his veins," stated Putin.

Putin was referring to an embarrassing incident in which Canada’s Parliament praised Yaroslav Hunka, a former Nazi soldier, during a visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

House Speaker Anthony Rota hailed the man as a veteran soldier for Ukraine and a hero who had emigrated to Canada, without knowing his identity.

Rota, a member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party, resigned last week after the incident. Jewish groups had demanded an apology over the incident and while Rota did apologize, that was not enough to quiet down the calls on him to step down.

After Rota resigned, Trudeau formally apologized and said, "For all of us who were present to have unknowingly recognized this individual was a terrible mistake and a violation of the memory of those who suffered grievously at the hands of the Nazi regime."

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Simchat Torah and Shmini Atzeret in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)