Three sitting Democrat lawmakers are being criticized on social media for posting “horrific” remarks about escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia, some of whom questioned Canada’s support for Ukraine in the face of Moscow’s aggression. .
Winnipeg Center MP Leah Gazan has since apologized for sharing an article on Twitter criticizing Canada’s “aggressive” stance on the crisis, accusing the federal government of being “an anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi (sic) and anti-Semitic”. accused of supporting the “fascist militia”.
“As a descendant of a Holocaust (sic) survivor,” Gazan wrote, such support was “terrible” for him.
Gazan said in a later statement that she was referring to members of the far-right militias and Ukrainian military who have fought Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine since 2014, when Moscow annexed Crimea.
“I did not compare the situation in Ukraine to the Holocaust and I do not believe that the vast majority of the Ukrainian people or its democratically elected leaders share the beliefs supported by far-right militias,” Gazan said.
“I’m sincerely sorry that my tweet didn’t include this important context and could have caused damage.”
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Orest Zakidalsky, senior policy adviser to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, told Global News on Tuesday that Gazan’s remarks were “ignorant, inaccurate and hurtful”.
“The UCC has called upon NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to reject these comments,” he said in a statement.
Gazan’s tweet was also criticized by Israel and the Center for Jewish Affairs, which accused Gazan of being oblivious.
Comparing the Holocaust with the situation between Ukraine and Russia suggests ignorance of both. Said on Twitter.
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Moscow has denied that it is planning an attack, but it has gathered an estimated 100,000 troops near Ukraine in recent weeks and has been conducting military exercises in several places in Russia. This has prompted the United States and its NATO allies – including Canada – to prepare for potential war.
Canada has given Ukraine a loan of $ 120 million to help strengthen the country’s economy in the face of Russia’s threat. Government sources have also told Global News that the Liberal cabinet is currently discussing sending small arms and ammunition to the country during its three-day cabinet retreat.
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The NDP’s official position on what it calls a “crisis crisis”, states that it supports the people of Ukraine and is concerned about Russia’s growing hostility, but says that non-lethal aid to Canada and a diplomatic solution will be discussed. Attention should be given.
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According to a recent report by George Washington University, the party also expresses concern towards far-right elements within the Ukrainian military, some of whom claim to be trained by Canada and other NATO allies.
While extremist groups have long targeted military members in countries around the world – including Canada – Russia has been accused of weaponizing allegations of Nazism in Ukraine’s military and government for political gain.
In September 2021, Ukraine passed a law that defines and prohibits anti-Semitism, including harboring anti-Semitic sentiments in the country – although it does not set any penalties for breaking the law. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and former Prime Minister Volodymyr Grossman are Jewish, making Ukraine the only country other than Israel to have two Jewish heads of state.
In an email to Global News on Tuesday, an NDP spokesperson pointed to the party’s official position when asked about Gajan and the other MP’s recent comments, and did not say whether Singh would address the tweets.
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Criticism of other tweets
Jackiedlsky also criticized fellow Manitoba MP Nicky Ashton for promoting similar views. Ashton on Tuesday retweeted a link to a podcast episode that questioned Canada’s “march to war” with Russia and suggested that Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland’s “Nazi past” was Canada’s support for Ukraine. was contributing to.
Freeland’s maternal maternal grandfather was the editor of a newspaper that published Nazi propaganda during World War II, a fact that first surfaced in 2017. Freeland has accused Russian propaganda agents of using the story to sow division in the West, and has not addressed it directly. Grandfather’s History.
Yet podcast hosts openly asked whether Canada’s support for Ukraine was based on democratic values or “returning to the glory of Freeland’s grandfather.”
He also addresses far-right elements in the Ukrainian military and criticizes Canada’s support.
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The Liberal Party did not directly address the allegations in a podcast episode retweeted by Ashton.
The podcast hosts also ask whether Canada is seeking to justify building an ammunition factory in Ukraine only – a project Kiev has been lobbying Canada to help with construction since 2017 and this month by Ottawa Citizen was confirmed.
Meanwhile, Vancouver Kingsway MP Don Davis tweeted a link on Sunday to an article that openly questions whether Russia will ever invade Ukraine, calling it a “very useful discussion”.
“I am convinced that the vast majority of the membership of the New Democratic Party and the NDP members of parliament support the defense of the independence and territorial integrity of the Ukrainian people, despite the views of Ms. Gazan, Mr. Davies and Ms. Ashton,” Zakidalsky UCC said in his said in the statement.
“UCC calls on Mr Singh to reject his horrific comments.”
-With files from Mercedes Stephenson, Amanda Connolly and The Associated Press
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