Two Refugees From Ukraine Were Stabbed & Pepper-Sprayed In Winnipeg On Canada Day

They had only been in Canada for two weeks when they were attacked.

Winnipeg city centre. Right: A Winnipeg Police badge.
Senior Editor

Winnipeg city centre. Right: A Winnipeg Police badge.

The two victims of a violent attack in Winnipeg on Canada Day recently arrived in the country as refugees from Ukraine, according to new reports.

On July 1, one man was stabbed and another was pepper-sprayed in an incident that took place at The Forks as Canada Day celebrations were drawing to a close.

It's the latest in a series of violent incidents at the historic site over the last week or so.

Police told CBC News that the attack happened at around 10:30 p.m. on Friday. The victims were taken to hospital for treatment.

There were no fatalities and police say no arrests have been announced.

A couple who came to the victims' aid told CBC News and CTV News that the two young men who were attacked recently moved to Canada as refugees from Ukraine.

They say the men were 22 and 23 years old, and said they had been crossing the street when they brushed shoulders with a group of three men.

When the Ukrainian men attempted to say sorry, they were attacked, according to the couple's understanding of the incident.

They said the victims did not speak much English as they had only been in Canada for two weeks. On July 1, hours before the attack, they had moved into their downtown Winnipeg apartment.

Jorge Torres and Julya Zan — the couple who helped the victims — say they were able to communicate with the men, as Zan came to Canada from Ukraine in 2010.

Police are yet to confirm the identities of those involved and have not shared any additional details about what happened. The major crimes unit continues to investigate.

Days earlier, on Monday, a father and daughter were assaulted and robbed in a parking lot at around 8 p.m. in the same area.

Two days later, two men were stabbed near The Forks Market and were hospitalized in a critical condition.

The Forks is a 22-hectare site located in downtown Winnipeg at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers. It's a popular meeting spot for locals in the city and is a common destination for tourists, too.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Helena Hanson
Senior Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Travel and Money teams. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.