On January 25, the Ukrainian Students Association at the University of Victoria issued a public statement about harassment and hate speech by Ukrainian students on campus.
It alleged that members of the University Young Communist League had posted USS materials online without their consent, along with allegations of USS members’ political leanings.
It insisted that it was for the safety of USS members and called on the university to look into the matter.
Members of Carleton University’s Ukrainian Student Club also posted an open letter on their social media pages, claiming that anti-Ukrainian harassment, including verbal harassment and graffiti using pro-Russian symbols, also occurs on their campus.
They posted pictures of the symbols next to the Russian flag displayed in the window of the hostel.
She also condemned the Ottawa Peace Council for holding a panel discussion at the university called “War in Ukraine: What’s the Path to Peace?”. because of the claims, the council takes pro-Russian positions and promotes Russian propaganda. Similarly, there were reports of online criticism leveled at the Vancouver Island Peace Council for its anti-war stance.
In a public statement of solidarity, the Ukrainian Students’ Club at the University of Ottawa said: “Pro-Russian rhetoric often uses colorful terms such as ‘anti-war’ and ‘peace.’ Despite sounding positive, they mask Russian support for the war.”
“Peace in Ukraine will only be achieved through the complete liberation of Russian-occupied territories and a call for the restoration of the country’s 1991 borders,” it continued.
Tyan Cherepuschak, a student of Ukrainian-Canadian history and former vice-president of the University of Victoria’s USS, wrote an op-ed in the Times Colonist this month outlining the history of the left-wing Association of United Ukrainian Canadians and the right-wing Ukrainian Canadian Congress. in the country.
“Ukrainian-Canadians are diverse in their political beliefs, and a look back in history shows that conflict between rival factions of the Ukrainian-Canadian community is nothing new,” Cherepuschak wrote.
The universities involved in the recent incidents, along with local law enforcement, have investigated the allegations — Carleton also said that events were planned to “facilitate discussion.”
“Ukrainian-Canadians differ in political beliefs”
Ukrainian Ambassador Yuliya Kovaliv addressed campus stakeholders in January after being invited by Carleton’s Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies.
EURAS researchers have launched a new web portal called the War in Ukraine Observatory, which provides accurate information about the conflict and resources for refugees from Ukraine seeking safety in Canada — but UUSC members say the university has not done enough to stop hate speech and protect students.
UCC’s chief policy advisor, Orest Zakydalsky, said universities are responsible for providing a safe environment for students.
He added that the rise in anti-Ukrainian sentiment is not limited to universities in Canada, as incidents of harassment and hate speech are on the rise across the country ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion.