Mykhaylo (Misha) Bazelevskyy, a Ukrainian citizen who had been attending university in Edmonton, Alta., was killed in last week’s terrorist attack in Nice, France.
The Embassy of Ukraine in Ottawa confirmed Monday morning that a citizen who had been attending school in Alberta was dead, and late Tuesday night MacEwan University received confirmation from French authorities and the family that it was Bazelevskyy.
Mayor Don Iveson said he was deeply saddened to hear of the tragic death. “On behalf of my Council colleagues and all Edmontonians, I extend my heartfelt condolences to Mykhaylo’s family and to the MacEwan University community of which he was very much a part,” said a statement from the mayor.
Misha Bazelevskyy, a fourth-year commerce student, was participating in an innovation academy in Nice, France. He was one of five students and one faculty member from the School of Business enrolled in the European Innovation Academy, an experimental summer training program, in Nice.
Four of the students — Derek Anderson, Alanna Brokop, Ismail Khalil and Rebecca Smillie — and faculty member Launa Linaker, were confirmed to be safe after the attack, but Bazelevskyy did not survive.
“Few, if any of us, can comprehend the senselessness of what occurred in Nice,” MacEwan University president David Atkinson said in a statement.
“There is no greater loss to a university than a student who has so much life and promise ahead of him.”
In a statement, Premier Rachel Notley expressed her deepest condolences to Bazelevskyy’s family and friends.
“This young man had every right to believe that he was safe. He was in a democratic country that is committed to peace,” said part of the statement.
“Like so many others, he was attending a celebration of freedom. Tragically, that feeling of safety was shattered for this innocent student, and for everyone in Nice, and in France.”
Bazelevskyy first came to MacEwan University as an international student, and had a brother and sister-in-law in Edmonton. He was originally from Ukraine — where his parents still live — but had permanent resident status in Canada.
MacEwan said Bazelevskyy was very active in student life on campus. He was a resident adviser, a member of the university’s men’s cross-country team and also acted as a game day assistant in athletics.
The Bastille Day truck attack on the Mediterranean city of Nice killed at least 84 people. Hundreds were injured in the Thursday night attack, and about 85 people remained hospitalized Sunday, French Health Minister Marisol Touraine said on a visit to the southern French city. Of those, 18 are in life-threatening condition — including one child, she said.
Investigators are hunting for possible accomplices to truck driver Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian who had lived in Nice for years. He was killed by police after ramming his truck through crowds on Nice’s famed seafront after a holiday fireworks display.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it’s unclear whether Bouhlel had concrete links to the group.
— With files from Emily Mertz, Global News, and The Associated Press