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 have been additionally allowed to undergo border management.

“We felt handled like animals,” the 19-year-old stated 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.

“Once we left [Kyiv] we have been simply attempting to outlive,” she stated. “We by no means thought that they’d have handled us like that […] I believed we have been all equal, that we have been attempting to face collectively,” Gurure added.

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

For the reason that struggle began, no less than 677,000 refugees have fled from Ukraine to neighbouring nations, the United Nations stated. Half of these are at the moment in Poland. Queues alongside the border at the moment are 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 prepare at Lviv’s prepare station. The guard insisted that solely ladies might take the prepare. The officer seemed away, Moor stated, as she identified that she was, certainly, a girl. “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 assist organisation, Grupa Zagranica, who has been offering help on the Polish-Ukrainian border, stated 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 have been being organised primarily based on “racial profiling”.

“Ukrainians and Polish nationals are allowed to move by way of the a lot faster automobiles’ lane, whereas foreigners must undergo the pedestrian one, a three-stage course of that may final from 14 to 50 hours, Moss stated.

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 selection 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 underneath the hashtag #AfricansinUkraine have flooded social media, triggering quite a few crowdfunding initiatives on Telegram and Instagram to assist 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 can be shockingly racist and in breach of worldwide legislation,” it stated in a press release. A spokesperson from South Africa’s overseas ministry stated on Sunday {that a} group of its nationals and different Africans have been being “handled badly” on the Polish-Ukrainian border.

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

However some foreigners stated they acquired a heat welcome in neighbouring nations, equivalent to 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 tons of of 1000’s of individuals fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Tens of 1000’s 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 similar 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 also 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 pressured displacement,” stated the UN Excessive Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

Grandi stated on Twitter on Saturday that 150,000 Ukrainians had now fled the combating 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 might be at our borders”.

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

“We’re ready to handle them, and we’ll have the ability to rise to the problem shortly 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 have been 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 matches 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 matches completely right here.”

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Poland – which confronted fierce criticism from human rights teams for its therapy 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.

Quite a lot of reception centres have already been established within the nation.

Greece, an entry level for tons of of 1000’s 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 recommendations it might make commitments to host Ukrainian refugees, however an announcement issued on Friday stopped in need of this, providing as a substitute technical and humanitarian assist to Ukraine’s neighbouring nations.

“EU nations, together with Greece, stepping in to guard Ukrainian refugees reveals what we’ve lengthy urged for: secure entry to the EU for refugees is each mandatory and possible. And truthful 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 Help Aegean.

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

Totally 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 stunned 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 might 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 check of time to see what number of could be displaced from Ukraine and what the EU’s response could be shifting ahead … It’s laborious 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 warfare and crossing borders to the west in the hunt for security as Russia pounded their capital and different cities with air raids.

Vehicles 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 thus far fled Ukraine into neighbouring nations within the wake of the Russian invasion.

Some walked by way of the night time whereas others escaped the east of the nation by practice, automobile or bus. Many have been greeted by awaiting relations and buddies.

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

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

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