Alberta journalist charged with mischief in vandalism of controversial statue
Edmonton police have charged the editor of a left-leaning Alberta media outlet with mischief after a controversial statue of a Ukrainian military commander was defaced last year.
Duncan Kinney, 39, has been charged with mischief under $5,000 “in connection with an August 2021 incident at a Ukrainian resort in the area of 96th Street and 153rd Avenue,” the door-keeper said. Edmonton Police Department spokesman Carolin Maran to CBC News on Tuesday evening.
Last August, the words “Actual Nazi” were written in red paint on the statue of Roman Shukhevych at the Ukrainian Youth Unity Complex.
During the same week, a memorial at St Michael’s Cemetery near 138th Avenue and 82nd Street was also defaced with the words “Nazi Monument 14th Waffen SS”.
Shukhevych’s role in the army fell under heightened surveillance for his actions leading the Ukrainian Insurgent Army during World War II and the deaths of tens of thousands of Belarusians, Jews, Poles and Ukrainians.
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies has called for the removal of memorials, stating that they honor “Nazi collaborators and war criminals”
Kinney is executive director of Progress Alberta and editor of The Progress Report.
The progress report is described on its website as “a media platform for reporting and analysis of Alberta politics, social movements and media.”
Kinney covered the incidents of vandalism in an article published on the progress report website.
“It is not known when this happened, but photos of the two defaced monuments were sent to the progress report on August 10, 2021,” says Kinney’s article, which attributes the graffiti to “a person or persons unknown persons”.
Kinney has yet to respond to a CBC News request for comment.
Kinney has been embroiled in an ongoing dispute with Edmonton police after his media accreditation was revoked in March 2022. In an article on the subjecthe wrote that EPS was trying to silence the progress report, which features reporting by Kinney that frequently criticizes the police.
In June he posted on Twitter saying he had learned that he was the subject of a criminal investigation by the Edmonton police, but did not know why.
In a public statement released on Monday, four Ukrainian organizations said they were grateful for the work of the police “investigating and making an arrest for the trespassing and defacing of our monument to Ukrainian military commander Roman Shukhevych.”
The League of Ukrainian Canadians, the League of Ukrainian Canadian Women, the Ukrainian Youth Association CYM and the Council of Ukrainian Youth Unity also stated: “we hope that the intrusion and damage to our property will lead to a conviction with a just sentence”.
Kinney is scheduled to appear in court on November 10.