Thousands of African students found themselves trapped in the Russia-Ukraine War have been left fearing for their safety. Many complain about instances of racism at the Polish border.
Ukraine is home to thousands of African students who go to the country to study because of the affordable cost of tuition compared to other countries in Europe and the United states.
Business Insider wrote that Morocco, Nigeria, and Egypt are in the top 10 countries with students in Ukraine, in total sending over 16,000 students to the country, according to the education ministry.
African students escaping the scene said that they had to travel in buses with flags so that Russians would not mistake their movements at night as a threat. Many of them are feeling desperate and abandoned.
African embassies have urged their citizens to try and keep safe in Ukraine but have provided no plans to evacuate them advising them to ‘save themselves’.
The attacks have led to a new found unity among African students who are now coming together and creating Whatsapp and Telegram groups where they post helplines and spread communication channels where Africans students can get shelter, relief and safety.
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Ukraine have grounded flights hence the only way students can leave is through the Polish and Romanian border.
Some African students have had to travel by bus but most are not allowing Black people onto the buses as they prioritise Ukrainians and even build human chains that hinder African people from entering them.
What led to the Russia-Ukraine war?
Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered what he said was a ‘special military operation’ against Ukraine on Thursday which was followed by a full-scale invasion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declaring martial law, saying his country would defend itself – Aljazeera.
On Saturday, fighting reached the streets of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv as Russian troops pressed ahead.