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Support pours in for Ukrainian man stabbed at Edmonton bus stop: ‘It’s unbelievable’

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Support pours in for Ukrainian man stabbed at Edmonton bus stop
Support is pouring in for Ivan Pylypchuk, the Ukrainian man randomly stabbed at a bus stop in Mill Woods. Thousands have been raised to help the men and his family. But as Morgan Black reports, the newcomers’ difficult journey isn’t over yet. – Apr 14, 2023

The long-time friend of the man who was randomly stabbed at a south Edmonton bus stop Thursday is overwhelmed by the community response.

Leo Leshchinsky started a GoFundMe account for his friend Ivan Pylypchuk, who was attacked while waiting for a bus in Mill Woods.

As of Friday morning, more than $67,000 had been raised to support Pylypchuk, his wife Yulia and their daughter.

“It’s amazing how people stand up and help,” Leshchinsky said. “They don’t need to worry about finances for at least a year now and that’s amazing.”

Ivan Pylypchuk, his wife Yulia and their daughter. Ivan was randomly stabbed at an Edmonton bus stop on Thursday, April 13, 2023. Supplied: Leo Leshchinsky

Edmonton police responded to an assault call on 38 Avenue near Millbourne Road in the Michaels Park neighbourhood at around 6:15 a.m. April 13.

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Police were told that a 48-year-old man was sitting by himself at a bus stop, drinking his coffee, when someone came up from behind and stabbed him in the back. The victim was able to call 911 before collapsing, police said.

He was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Leshchinsky said his friend had only just arrived in Edmonton from Ukraine.

“He came last Friday night. Two weeks ago.”

And he’d just celebrated a birthday. Pylypchuk turned 48 on Wednesday, Leshchinsky said.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton police believe stabbing bus stop in Mill Woods was a random attack'
Edmonton police believe stabbing bus stop in Mill Woods was a random attack

The two have known each other for many years. They went to the same school and lived two houses away from each other in Ukraine.

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“When we knew he was coming to Canada, I helped him a little bit to fill the papers, advise him.”

Ivan Pylypchuk was randomly stabbed at an Edmonton bus stop on Thursday, April 13, 2023. Supplied: Leo Leshchinsky

Leshchinsky said he was shocked when he heard his friend had been randomly stabbed in Edmonton.

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“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “It’s unbelievable that somebody can randomly just cut somebody on the street without any reason. It’s just shocking.”

Click to play video: 'Transit safety concerns continue to plague Edmonton'
Transit safety concerns continue to plague Edmonton

Pylypchuk, who’s been working in construction since he arrived, had a rough night in hospital, according to Leshchinsky. He’s having trouble breathing and sleeping.

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“They want to put him on intubation and sedation just so he can sleep a little bit. He has a lot of pain.

“He really appreciates all the help of people, suggesting and helping and donating. It’s just unbelievable how good our country – not just our country; some people donated from abroad as well — how many people sent in messages saying they want to help.

“I really appreciate it. It’s unbelievable how good our community is.”

Loved ones aren’t sure when Pylypchuk will be released from hospital.

“Crossing fingers for him and knocking on wood,” Leshchinsky said.

As new arrivals to the city, the family has a hotel until April 20. Leshchinsky hopes the funds raised will help them find a more permanent home, ideally in an area with other Russian-Ukrainians who can offer language support and help, if needed.

Orysia Boychuk, president of the Alberta provincial council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, is helping the family find a place to live.

“We were discussing a more long-term solution for housing for them to gain a little bit more stability,” said Boychuk.

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Ivan Pylypchuk was randomly stabbed at an Edmonton bus stop on Thursday, April 13, 2023. Supplied: Leo Leshchinsky

He describes Pylypchuk as “a good friend.”

“He is brave. He is a big guy. We’re almost the same height I think. He’s pleasant and a very open communicator. He likes life. He likes people. He likes to be outside.”

Click to play video: 'Ukrainians helping other new Ukrainians find jobs in Alberta'
Ukrainians helping other new Ukrainians find jobs in Alberta

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