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“Only Ukrainians, that’s all”: Nigerians detail their racist experience as they tried to flee the war in Ukraine

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Russia is currently fighting a power grabbing war in Ukraine, resulting in many people fleeing the country to safety.

Black people treated unfairly in Ukrainian war that has seen over three million (as at March 16 2022).

It is estimated that as many as three million have fled the country so far, some of these people are Indians, Asians, Middle Eastern and Africans.

Nigerians fleeing the war spoke out of their unjust treatment of ‘non-white’ as they attempted to escape out of the country like Ukrainians.

Read More: Why (for goodness sake) is Russia invading Ukraine?

Jessica said to BBC Africa: “I’m currently in Debrecen, Hungary. I got in like…10am today. Today is 28th of February, it wasn’t easy.

“On Friday at 8am, I was on my way to Poland. I took a commercial taxi and the taxi couldn’t stay on the line of cars…and where we were dropped, as at on the Google Maps it was saying a one hour walk…I walked for 12 good hours.

“The traffic warden saw me and said I should go to shelter to sleep, and I slept and he said the next day that there is bus going from that shelter straight to the Polish border.

“And when it was time to get on this bus, the Ukrainians said ‘just Ukrainians’. Literally as a black person, I even lied that I was pregnant, they didn’t care.

“I was begging. The official literally looked me in my eye and said, in his language: ‘Only Ukrainians, that’s all’, that if you are black, you should walk.”

A student who was studying in the country, Queen Alita Peter spoke to Brut saying; “When we heard about the attack, the bombs, and everything, we knew that OK this is real and it is time to leave.

“While in the train, a lady just saw me and told me to get out of the train for no reason.

“And I asked her why do I have to leave the train, she said they only let children and women into the train. And I asked her am I a man? I am also a woman. She said, oh, but I am not a Ukrainian so I should leave.

Another lady also speaking to Brut said: “we walked for eight good hours to get to the border. When we got to border, they just packed blacks, like, they packed us at one place. For more than three hours we are just standing there.

“They left us outside, people were crying begging them, they don’t even open the door for anybody.”

Speaking to Okay Africa, Augustin said at the border crossing he first went to, there was a policy of large groups of black people being separated from Ukrainians.

He said: “We saw that we were in a queue, at first…we were all moving together. It got to a time, blacks were somewhere else, and other let me say white colour skin were somewhere else.

“They were actually moving a little bit faster, the black weren’t going at all.”

It is estimated that there were over 8,000 Nigerians in Ukraine, including popular comedian Emmanuel Ogbonna Iwueke aka Craze Clown, his wife and child.

Around 500 has been evacuated so far, while Ghana has flown some 17 out of 500 of its citizens home.

Read more
France24: More than 400 Nigerians who fled Ukraine return home
Channels TV: Over 450 Nigerians In Ukraine Arrive Abuja
Premium Times: Buhari approves $8.5m to evacuate 5,000 Nigerians from Ukraine

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