Africans face racial discrimination in Ukraine, allege that they are not being allowed to cross the borders2 min read
Africans in Ukraine alleged they are facing racial discrimination and Ukraine’s security agencies are not letting them cross border to Poland
Nigerian students trying to escape war-hit Ukraine have alleged that there is racial discrimination among evacuees trying to leave the country via neighbouring countries. Journalist Stephanie Hegarty of BBC published a series of tweets explaining the ordeal of the students.
She said that a Nigerian medical student told her that while she was waiting to cross the border, the Ukrainian soldiers did not allow black people to cross and sent them back. She said, “They have to let ‘Ukrainians’ through first”.
Poland border force spokesperson had said they were allowing anyone to enter Poland from Ukraine. A similar problem was faced by Indian students stranded at the Poland-Ukraine border. Reportedly, the Indian students have not been allowed the cross the border and were told, “When your govt has not cooperated with us, why should we cooperate with you?”
A Twitter user Damilare_arah shared a video that showed African people being stopped by Ukrainians from boarding a train. He said, “The official visuals of Ukrainians blocking Africans from getting on trains.”
He shared another tweet alleging Africans were at the border for two days, but the Ukraine Police and Army did not let them pass.
In another video, he said the Ukrainian security agencies threatened to shoot them. The Africans could be heard saying, “We do not have guns,” in the video.
Dr Ayoade Alakija, Special Envoy, ACT WHO, said in a tweet that the Black Africans were facing racism in Ukraine. She said, “Black Africans are being treated with racism and contempt in Ukraine & Poland. West cannot ask African nations to stand in solidarity with them if they cannot display basic respect for us even in a time of war. Ignored in a pandemic and left to die in war?!! UNACCEPTABLE.”
Another video shared showed a woman feeding her two-month-old child while waiting for a passage to Poland.
Another user Nzekiev said Africans were the last to be allowed to board any train. He said, “In the train stations here in Kyiv, children first, women second, white men third, then the remaining is occupied by Africans. This means that we have waited for many hours for trains here & couldn’t enter because of this. The majority of Africans are still waiting to get to Lviv.”
Russian attack on Ukraine
On February 24, Russia announcedmilitary action against Ukraine. Notably, Ukraine is one of the most famous destinations for students of developing nations, including Africa. There have been several social media posts suggesting Africans and people of other ethnicities are facing racial and political discrimination.
African Union calls for immediate ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine