The Russian Congress of Canada would like to express its greatest discontent in connection with the act of vandalism that took place in Montreal. On May 12, 2015, following a celebration of victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War, an individual or group of individuals had set fire to a car decorated with the Russian national flag.
Over the past few months the Russian Congress of Canada repeatedly urged the media to stop Russophobic campaign triggered by the nationalist part of the Ukrainian community in Canada, who, sadly enough, have been supported by a number of members of the Canadian Parliament.
Provocations and political missteps, including unsubstantiated allegations against Russia and its involvement in the civil war in Ukraine, unfounded insinuations on the so called “Russian aggression”, and the Canadian government blatantly ignoring war crimes (including genocide) committed by the Ukrainian nationalists in Eastern Ukraine as confirmed by multiple international organizations, are pulling apart and dividing Canadians of Russian and Ukrainian decent further and further.
At the incident in Montreal an unidentified person or group of persons have set fire to a car decorated with the Russian flag and a St. George ribbon, a symbol of remembrance of the WWII victims. This action demonstrates how far the Russophobic rhetoric has gone. After doing so, the ultranationalists went even further and ensured to leave a swastika symbol on the door of the car. Fortunately, this time there were no victims.
The Russian Congress of Canada, once again, strongly alerts Canadian public that the nationalist agenda of certain Ukrainian organizations in Canada with the implicit consent of some high-ranking politicians might certainly lead to more disastrous consequences.
Not everyone in Canada forgot that people from the former USSR republics alongside with their allies such as Britain, USA, and Canada, fought against Nazis in Europe. Twenty seven million Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Jews, Poles and other ethnicities, including civilians, were killed by Nazis and their collaborators. In Canada, there are still living WWII veterans, both Canadian and Russian, from Eastern and Western Europe, who remember all too well the consequences of flirting with nationalists of any kind.
The ill-intended policy of hatred, whether deliberate or not, is unacceptable in Canada. No cause, political or economical, can justify the anti-Russian propaganda.
The crime in Montreal shows contempt to Canada’s democratic institutions and it instills serious concern in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of Canadians of Russian descent.
The fact that Canada remains unresponsive to the numerous requests made by a number of public organizations, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, is not undertaking efforts to investigate the war crimes committed by Vladimir Katryuk, who also illegally emigrated to Canada, is of no consolation either. Katryuk is currently on the list of most wanted war criminals and, according to the Russian authorities, who recently demanded his extradition, participated in mass executions of civilians on the territory of the USSR during the WWII.
The Russian Congress of Canada expects the police to conduct a thorough investigation and hold the offenders accountable for this crime committed on the basis of hate of national or ethnic origin, in accordance with the law.
The RCC also appeals to the media that it would stop a misleading anti-Russian campaign and inform the public with the utmost responsibility by carefully verifying the facts when it comes to the Ukrainian conflict, always keeping in mind that a careless word can lead to a serious ethnic conflict in Canada, where there are over 2 million people of Russian and Ukrainian origin.