Racial Profiling Is Taking Place at the Ukrainian Border as Folks Try to Flee the War

An African immigrant at the Ukraine-Poland border. Image: WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images.

African students are reportedly forced to stay in Ukraine because of the country’s “Ukrainians First” policy, the Insider reports.

Black people are allegedly being prevented from boarding trains and buses in their attempt to cross Ukraine’s borders.

According to the reports, thousands of African students live in Ukraine studying medicine and other technical fields because of the country’s affordable cost of education

Korrine Sky, a student in Ukraine, who helped coordinate alternative routes for hundreds of African students trapped in the country, spoke about the struggles of planning the evacuations.

“Some people have gone to get buses, but they’re not allowing Black people basically onto the buses,” Sky said. “They’re prioritizing Ukrainians. That’s what they say.”

One African student took to Twitter to share his experience as he reached the Ukraine-Poland border. He claimed that the Ukrainian police and military forces would not allow Africans to cross. Also, he posted a video that showed Ukrainian authorities “threatening to shoot” them.

“Watch how they are threatening to shoot us!” his caption read. “We are currently at the Ukraine-Poland border. Their Police and Army refused to let Africans cross they only allow Ukrainian. Some have slept here for 2 days under this scorching cold weather, while many have gone back to Lviv.”

In a previous post, he also noted that he and other Africans were removed from a train while trying to reach the border.

“Train to Poland got here, I and other two Africans entered first, few mins later, the police came in and dragged us down from our cabin,” his post read. “Only Ukrainians are allowed. I don’t blame them, though. I blame African leaders.”

Footage from the Ukraine-Polish border appears to show a large group of Black people, including a baby, at the border fence in the bitter cold.

Along with Black people, Indian students in Ukraine are facing similar issues at the border according to reports.

“We have been standing here in the open since midnight,” one Indian student said. “It’s 8.30 now, the temp has dropped to -5° C at the Ukrainian check post is not letting us through, other foreigners are allowed to leave.”

Since Russia first invaded Ukraine on Thursday, hundreds of thousands of people have been trying to flee the country to other nations in Europe. 

According to estimations by the US government, the crisis could cause up to five million people to be displaced. Poland, a bordering country to Ukraine, is preparing to take in up to one million people.

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