The Violent Attacks Against Ukrainians, Likely Motivated by Hate, That Have Happened in Europe

The Violent Attacks Against Ukrainians, Likely Motivated by Hate, That Have Happened in Europe

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has caused not only death and destruction within its borders but has also led to a wave of Ukrainian refugees seeking safety in EU countries. But a number of them have faced violent attacks over the past two years.

As the full-scale war enters its third year, the international community is faced with the reality of murders and assaults—often said to be motivated by hate, nationality, or political views—targeting Ukrainians. Most recently, news emerged about the stabbing of a Ukrainian teenager in Germany on May 19th. But there have been many others, too. Here are some of the attacks against Ukrainians that have happened in Europe over the past two years.

Edinburgh, Scotland: Assault on Ukrainian teenagers

Three Ukrainian teenagers, aged 13 and 15, were victims of a suspected hate-motivated attack in Edinburgh on September 5, 2023. The teenagers were stabbed, cut, and punched on Niddrie Mains Road, requiring hospital treatment for their injuries. Police Scotland initiated an investigation into this disturbing incident, arresting a 12-year-old boy in connection with the attack.

Dusseldorf, Germany: Fatal knife attack on Ukrainian basketball player

The Kyiv Basketball Federation (FBK) announced the tragic death of 17-year-old basketball player Volodymyr Yermakov on February 11, 2024. Yermakov and his teammate, Artem Kozachenko, were injured in a knife attack on the street in Dusseldorf the evening before a scheduled game. Yermakov succumbed to his injuries in the hospital, prompting the FBK to suggest that the crime was motivated by their nationality. The entire youth team rallied around their injured and fallen teammates, demonstrating solidarity in the face of this senseless violence.

Rhine-Neckar, Germany: Murder of Ukrainian woman and kidnapping of her child

In Germany’s Rhine-Neckar district, a couple was arrested on suspicion of murdering a 27-year-old Ukrainian woman and kidnapping her five-week-old daughter. The couple, a 43-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman (initially misidentified as two men), appeared in court before being remanded to custody. One of the detainees was identified as Russian. The infant received medical attention and was placed under the care of Child Protective Services.

Murnau, Germany: Fatal stabbing of Ukrainian soldiers

Two Ukrainian soldiers, aged 23 and 36, were killed in a stabbing attack in Murnau, Bavaria, on April 27, 2024. Police discovered the men with severe wounds outside a shopping center. The younger soldier died in the hospital, while the older soldier tragically died at the scene. A 57-year-old Russian suspect was arrested at his home shortly after the incident. Investigators suggested a prior connection between the three men. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba expressed gratitude to German authorities for their swift action and instructed the Ukrainian consulate in Munich to closely monitor the case.

While many cases of violence against Ukrainians in Europe remain unsolved, European police forces deserve recognition for their dedication and active involvement in investigating these crimes. However, the alarming frequency of these incidents underscores the urgent need for continued vigilance, enhanced protection for Ukrainian refugees, and a firm commitment to justice for the victims and their families.

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