Thursday, February 2, 2023

Ukraine: Racism reported as Ukrainians block black people from fleeing war zone

Scores of African migrants in Ukraine are being blocked from fleeing to safety as Russian attacks continue to devastate the country, those trying to make border crossings have told The Independent.

Black people living in the region say they have been left to languish, with some taking to Twitter in recent days to share accounts of abandonment.

Speaking to The Independent, Osarumen, a father-of-three, said he, his family members and other migrants were told to disembark a bus about to cross the border on Saturday and told, “No blacks”. Despite challenging the driver and military officers’ orders, they were ejected from the vehicle.

“Since then, I’ve been trying to get myself together and focus as normal but it’s been difficult,” he said.

“In all of my years as an activist, I have never seen anything like this. When I look into the eyes of those who are turning us away, I see bloodshot racism; they want to save themselves and they are losing their humanity in the process.

“I cannot imagine a scenario where white Ukrainians would ever be denied asylum so how they’re treating us is unwarranted. It’s baseless. We are all escaping so let’s push a common thread.”

Osarumen, a Nigerian national who has lived in Ukraine since 2009, said he was currently stranded at a train station in Kyiv, the capital city, along with thousands of others and unsure of his next move.

“This isn’t just happening to black people – even Indians, Arabs and Syrians,” he added, “and that shouldn’t be the case.”

Read More Here

By Nadine White | Independent

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