Nonwhite Ukrainian Refugees Complain of Unequal Treatment at Borders
Countries across Europe had taken in roughly 600,000 Ukrainian refugees as of March 1 following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ordered invasion of Ukraine. However, nonwhite people fleeing Ukraine claim that ethnic Ukrainians are receiving priority over people of African and Asian descent who were working and living in Ukraine when Russia invaded.
Rachel Onyegbule, a Nigerian student studying in Ukraine, told CNN that she and other non-Ukrainians were forced off a bus at the Polish border and made to wait while their seats were given to ethnic Ukrainians. “More than 10 buses came and we were watching everyone leave. We thought after they took all the Ukrainians they would take us, but they told us we had to walk, that there were no more buses and told us to walk,” Onyegbule told CNN.
An Indian medical student who had nearly finished medical school in Ukraine when Russia invaded told CNN, “They allow 30 Indians only after 500 Ukrainians get in. To get to this border you need to walk 4 to 5 kilometers from the first checkpoint to the second one. Ukrainians are given taxis and buses to travel, all other nationalities have to walk.”
ABC News reported Wednesday that third-country nationals who have made it from Ukraine into Poland have been physically harassed by ethno-nationalists.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees posted a statement on Twitter calling for equal treatment of all refugees regardless of ethnicity. “As numbers of refugees fleeing Ukraine increase by the hour, it is crucial that receiving countries continue to welcome all those fleeing conflict and insecurity – irrespective of nationality and race – and that they receive adequate international support to carry out this task,” the statement reads.
The recent history of immigration through Eastern Europe is rife with ethnic discrimination. Hungarian President Viktor Orbán has used anti-immigrant sentiment to consolidate political power, and Poland has accused Belarus of using migrants from the Middle E
Article from Reason.com