Leader of ‘Norman Brigade’ mercenary group killed in Ukraine – media  — RT World News

Leader of ‘Norman Brigade’ mercenary group killed in Ukraine – media  — RT World News

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A French-Canadian mercenary fighting for Kiev and alleged leader of the so-called ‘Norman Brigade’ private military group has been killed, Canadian broadcaster CTV News reported on Tuesday.

Reports about the death of the mercenary, identified as 36-year-old Jean-Francois Ratelle from Quebec, first circulated through social media, the outlet said. According to media reports, Ratelle, an ideological Nazi whose call sign was ‘Hrulf’, was reportedly the commander of the Norman Brigade private foreign unit in Ukraine’s Foreign Legion.

He was reportedly struck by a Russian drone along with others from his unit, which allegedly comprises mercenaries from the US, UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Poland, Australia, and New Zealand.

Global Affairs Canada, the department in charge of foreign policy, said it was aware that a Canadian had died in Ukraine but would not provide his name or cause of death, CTV News said.

“Our hearts go out to his family and loved ones at this very difficult time,” the outlet quoted spokesperson Grantly Franklin as saying. “Consular officials are in contact with local authorities for further information and are providing consular assistance to the family.”

The name of Ratelle’s group alludes to the fact many Quebecers are descendants of settlers from France’s Normandy region. The group consists almost entirely of military veterans, according to the National Post.

In 2022, the Norman Brigade reportedly took part in battles near Kiev before being transferred to Donbass, where it suffered heavy losses. It was also reported that Ratelle had embezzled funds intended for the unit.

Canada has been among the strongest supporters of Kiev during the conflict. According to the latest estimates released by Russia’s Defense Ministry, last week. Of the more than 1,000 Canadians who went to fight for Ukraine, at least 491 have died. Canada has a large Ukrainian community, mostly originating from the post-WWII era, when Ukrainian Nazi collaborators fled to the country en masse to escape retribution by the Soviet Union.

Last September, the Canadian Parliament honored 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka, a former Ukrainian Waffen-SS soldier, with a standing ovation. The veteran was celebrated at the House of Commons in Ottawa in the presence of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

Hunka has publicly admitted to volunteering to join the Waffen-SS Galicia Division during the Second World War.

The incident was condemned by Russia, Poland, and the UN, while the Canadian opposition accused Trudeau of lying about his role in the affair. House Speaker Anthony Rota took the blame for the incident and resigned.

In October 2023, Russia charged Hunka with genocide and issued a warrant for his arrest. Russian diplomats have pointed to the incident as proof of Nazi influence in Canada.

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