More African students decry racism at Ukrainian borders | Russia-Ukraine crisis News


Barlaney Mufaro Gurure, an area engineering pupil from Zimbabwe, had lastly reached the entrance of a nine-hour queue at Ukraine’s western border crossing of Krakovets after an exhausting four-day journey.

It was her flip to cross. However the border guard pushed her and 4 different African college students she was travelling with apart, giving precedence to Ukrainians. It took hours, and relentless calls for, earlier than they had been additionally allowed to undergo border management.

“We felt handled like animals,” the 19-year-old mentioned in a telephone interview from a Warsaw resort. Gurure, a freshman on the Nationwide Aviation College, fled Kyiv hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine on February 24.

“After we left [Kyiv] we had been simply making an attempt to outlive,” she mentioned. “We by no means thought that they might have handled us like that […] I believed we had been all equal, that we had been making an attempt to face collectively,” Gurure added.

Her story is just not remoted as scores of Africans have reported episodes of abuse and discrimination whereas making an attempt to cross into Ukraine’s neighbours.

For the reason that battle began, not less than 677,000 refugees have fled from Ukraine to neighbouring nations, the United Nations mentioned. Half of these are at the moment in Poland. Queues alongside the border are actually tens of kilometres lengthy with some African college students saying they’ve been ready for days to cross amid freezing temperatures and with no meals, blankets or shelters.

Ukraine refugees overview

Claire Moor, one other Black pupil, was pushed down as she tried to board a practice at Lviv’s practice station. The guard insisted that solely girls may take the practice. The officer regarded away, Moor mentioned, as she identified that she was, certainly, a lady. “I used to be shocked as a result of I didn’t know the extent of the racism,” she added.

Jan Moss, a volunteer with the Polish help organisation, Grupa Zagranica, who has been offering help on the Polish-Ukrainian border, mentioned whereas refugees have been welcomed at many crossings out of Ukraine with none type of discrimination, the reception close to Medyka has been extra problematic as refugees had been being organised primarily based on “racial profiling”.

“Ukrainians and Polish nationals are allowed to move via the a lot faster autos’ lane, whereas foreigners should undergo the pedestrian one, a three-stage course of that may final from 14 to 50 hours, Moss mentioned.

Al Jazeera contacted Ukraine’s Border Guard Service through e-mail over the allegations of segregation on the borders, however had not acquired a response earlier than publication of this report.

INTERACTIVE- Visa requirements for Ukrainians(Al Jazeera)

Within the final 20 years, Ukraine has emerged as a alternative vacation spot for African college students, particularly in medicine-related fields as it’s cheaper in contrast with universities in the USA and elsewhere in Europe.

Movies and tweets below the hashtag #AfricansinUkraine have flooded social media, triggering quite a few crowdfunding initiatives on Telegram and Instagram to help college students on the borders and put stress on respective governments.

The African Union reacted to the outcry on Monday: “Reviews that Africans are singled out for unacceptable dissimilar therapy could be shockingly racist and in breach of worldwide legislation,” it mentioned in a press release. A spokesperson from South Africa’s international ministry mentioned on Sunday {that a} group of its nationals and different Africans had been being “handled badly” on the Polish-Ukrainian border.

The Nigerian authorities additionally expressed considerations over studies of discriminatory behaviour, together with a video broadly shared on social media exhibiting a Nigerian girl along with her younger child being forcibly made to surrender her seat to a different particular person. It additionally mentioned {that a} group of Nigerians had been refused entry into Poland – an allegation dismissed by Poland’s ambassador to Nigeria.

However some foreigners mentioned they acquired a heat welcome in neighbouring nations, resembling Moldova and Romania, together with a comparatively easy transit.

European nations throw open borders to Ukrainian refugees | News


International locations throughout Jap Europe have introduced plans to host a whole bunch of hundreds of individuals fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Tens of hundreds of Ukrainians have been turning up on the nation’s border crossings with Poland, Romania and Moldova. Many of those nations, which have taken a hardline stance in direction of refugees arriving from nations comparable to Syria and Afghanistan in recent times have taken a decidedly totally different tone in pledging to host and assist their Ukranian neighbours.

A number of humanitarian businesses have issued statements expressing their dedication to displaced Ukrainians asking nations to maintain their borders open to refugees looking for shelter.

“UNHCR can be working with governments in neighbouring nations, calling on them to maintain borders open to these looking for security and safety. We stand able to assist efforts by all to reply to any scenario of compelled displacement,” stated the UN Excessive Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

Grandi stated on Twitter on Saturday that 150,000 Ukrainians had now fled the preventing of their nation.

Moldovan President Maia Sandu stated her nation’s borders had been open to Ukrainian residents and it might assist these arriving of their “humanitarian wants”.

Poland, which has taken a hardline stance towards migration in recent times, introduced its willingness to take “as many as there will probably be at our borders”.

Hungary, which has taken a equally hostile stance to refugees arriving from nations comparable to Syria in recent times, pledged to stay open for these fleeing from Ukraine.

“We’re ready to maintain them, and we’ll have the ability to rise to the problem rapidly and effectively,” stated Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has beforehand described migrants arriving in Europe as a “poison”.

‘Solely so many locations’

Hanne Beirens, director of Migration Coverage Institute Europe, stated there have been causes for the totally different attitudes taken by some nations which were notably hostile in recent times to refugees.

“Firstly, this can be a positioning from EU states inside a selected geopolitical battle. In that respect it suits inside a broader narrative of disapproving of Russian actions and the form of solidarity in numerous sorts of dimensions with the Ukraine, authorities and inhabitants with those that could also be displaced due to the battle,” she stated.

“There’s solely so many locations that people who find themselves displaced by the battle with Russia can go, and a few have already moved to Moldova. Others when crossing the border instantly land into EU territory, so there’s no different place for them to go and in order that form of precept of looking for safety in a secure haven within the first nation you cross suits completely right here.”

INTERACTIVE- Where are Ukrainians fleeing to poster

Poland – which confronted fierce criticism from human rights teams for its remedy of asylum seekers who had been pushed to the Belarusian border by Belarusian authorities, together with the legalisation of pushbacks final November – has taken a decidedly totally different stance in direction of the prospect of a giant arrival of Ukrainian refugees.

A variety of reception centres have already been established within the nation.

Greece, an entry level for a whole bunch of hundreds of individuals fleeing struggle and unrest from Syria and Afghanistan in recent times, additionally made pledges of assist for Ukrainian residents and people arriving in Ukraine’s neighbours.

Earlier within the week, there have been ideas it might make commitments to host Ukrainian refugees, however an announcement issued on Friday stopped wanting this, providing as an alternative technical and humanitarian assist to Ukraine’s neighbouring nations.

“EU nations, together with Greece, stepping in to guard Ukrainian refugees exhibits what we’ve lengthy urged for: secure entry to the EU for refugees is each mandatory and possible. And honest and humane asylum programs profit us all.”

Greece’s itemizing Ukraine as “a ‘secure nation of origin’ solely weeks in the past runs counter to these very rules”, stated Minos Mouzourakis, authorized officer at Refugee Assist Aegean.

Greece has confronted fierce criticism in recent times for closely documented pushbacks of asylum seekers from its land and sea borders.

Completely different responses

Dimitris Choulis, a lawyer working with refugees on the Greek island of Samos, one of many details of arrival for refugees in 2015-16, famous the totally different responses of many EU nations to the prospect of a large-scale displacement of Ukrainian refugees in Europe.

“I used to be shocked from Finland, for instance, within the announcement after the invasion how prepared they’re to obtain refugees whereas after years of bombing in Syria or Afghanistan they don’t do the identical,” he stated.

Choulis questioned how Ukrainians who select to hunt asylum exterior of their neighbouring nations will probably be handled. “Are we going to ask them why they didn’t go to a neighbouring nation and if they arrive right here [to Greece] are they not refugees anymore?” he requested.

Beirens stated there have been a number of totally different causes for this totally different response amongst some nations.

“It will be the take a look at of time to see what number of can be displaced from Ukraine and what the EU’s response can be shifting ahead … It’s onerous to evaluate how lengthy the battle will final, whether or not there’ll proceed to be assaults on a number of areas of Ukraine, which might, in and of itself, set off refugee actions to Europe,” stated Beirens.

If that’s the case it might result in related refugee numbers as in 2015.

“The bottom predictions when it comes to a full-scale invasion of Russia talks of 1 million displaced individuals, however there are so others who speak about as much as three million or extra,” she stated.

“The response could also be fairly totally different exactly due to the longstanding custom of Ukraine nationals coming into the EU to work and examine there.”



Photos: Ukrainians flee to borders en masse | Gallery News


Tens of hundreds of Ukrainians are fleeing from the battle and crossing borders to the west in the hunt for security as Russia pounded their capital and different cities with air raids.

Automobiles have been backed up for a number of kilometres at some border crossings as authorities in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova mobilised to obtain them, providing shelter, meals and authorized assist.

The UN refugee company has said about 150,000 folks have to this point fled Ukraine into neighbouring nations within the wake of the Russian invasion.

Some walked by the night time whereas others escaped the east of the nation by prepare, automobile or bus. Many have been greeted by awaiting kin and pals.

With the world revolted at Russia’s unprovoked assault on Ukraine, there was an enormous outpouring of assist for the fleeing Ukrainians.

The biggest numbers have been arriving in Poland – 115,000 – the place practically two million Ukrainians have already settled to work in recent times, pushed away by Russia’s first incursion when it annexed Crimea in 2014.

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