The Ukrainian Parliament of Canada (UCC) is calling on police to investigate the vandalism of Ukraine’s National Federation Hall (UNF) in Edmonton which may have been a hate crime.
On Friday, people involved with the UNF found a spray-painted swastika on the building itself as well as on a “Stop Putin, Stop War” banner hanging right next to the building.
Marco Levytsky, a spokesman for the UNF in Edmonton, said someone had taken a picture of the suspect vandalizing the building, but the vandal was wearing a hood. He said the picture shows it happened around 3am
“It’s disgusting,” he said. “This is a symbol of hatred.
“We’ll just have to clean it up.”
Levytsky said the UNF has “taken the lead and processed and organized the committee to welcome Ukrainian refugees to Edmonton,” and hundreds of people have come to the city since the military invasion began.
“We won’t be stopped,” he said, adding that he believes the vandals aim to intimidate the organization. “(Ukrainians who came to Edmonton) had heard that the Nazis lied constantly, so they wouldn’t be surprised.”
“This is clearly an act to intimidate the Ukrainian Canadian community, who have stood shoulder to shoulder with Ukrainians in defending against Russia’s act of genocide.
war,” the UCC said in a statement released Friday.
A spokesman for the Edmonton Police Department told Global News that it received a report of vandalism seen at the downtown Edmonton building and is looking into it.
It said because it was still “very early in the investigation”, they were unable to comment further.
In a statement released Friday, the UCC said that since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began nearly three months ago, “harassment, violence and intimidation against Ukrainian Canadians across the country has increased.” strong increase”.
“This latest vandalism follows the April 20 arson attack on a Ukrainian Catholic priest and his family in Victoria,” said the statement signed by the president of the UCC Alberta Provincial Council, president of the Edmonton branch of UCC and president of the National Federation of Ukraine. “These incidents have occurred across the country targeting Ukrainian church and community facilities as well as private property.
“In view of the increasing violence, we call on law enforcement agencies to work closely with the Ukrainian community to ensure the continued safety of people and property and to prosecute perpetrators. to the fullest extent of the law.”
Levytsky said while he doesn’t know who might be behind the vandalism, he believes it was the work of “someone who was clearly influenced by Russian propaganda.”
“(I believe) Russian propaganda is behind this,” he said, noting that the Ukrainian president is Jewish and won a landslide election victory by Ukrainians.
Levytsky added that with Russia’s ongoing actions in Ukraine resulting in a high number of civilian deaths, he was alarmed to see that people helping Ukrainians fleeing the war were being targeted by terrorists. destroyer.
George Yopyk is treasurer of the Edmonton branch of the UNF and its former president.
“It was unbelievable,” he said. “It is very serious.
“I don’t understand why people do things like this.”
He noted that he doesn’t believe vandalism reflects badly on the city because Edmontonians in general have come together to help Ukrainians flee the violence.
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