‘Discrimination, hypothermia, trekking for hours’ — Nigerians fleeing Ukraine narrate ordeal


Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, foreigners have been making frantic efforts to flee the country, including Nigerians, who have faced immense difficulties and confronted alleged racial discrimination in their bid to return home.

With over 190 deaths and more than 1ooo injured persons, Nigerians who are residents in Ukraine have, over the past few days, been trying to cross the land borders to neighbouring countries.

Ukrainian soldiers and border guards have been accused of discriminating against Africans and other non-Whites.

A Nigerian student, @miss_debeham, said her friend developed hypothermia and fainted after waiting for six hours at the Medyka border to cross to Poland.

She said appeals to the Ukrainian border guards to let them through, on account of her friend’s ill health, fell on deaf ears — until they were eventually able to force their way through. She, however, claimed that an Ukrainian lady with a less severe health condition was promptly prioritised.

“The Racism today! My friend fainted from too much cold today and we had to wake her up with water while I kept her warm. I went to tell one of the officials at the gate and they said I should call an ambulance (knowing it meant us going back into Ukraine) or go somewhere warm or to get her coffee. We couldn’t risk that as we wanted to enter quick and leave Ukraine. My other friends and I kept her warm and told her to sit while we stayed by the gate. She was obviously weak throughout everything and everyone saw it,” @miss_debeham tweeted.

“I went to tell another official and she said the same thing. I didn’t say anything but try to keep her warm. We were close to the gate and this Ukrainian man gave her his box to sit on while we were waiting for them to let us in.

“…a Ukrainian babe called the attention of the same official to a Ukrainian girl not feeling well. She looked fine or at least better than my friend. She was only frowning. This woman fought for her to come out of the crowd and into the border.

“People behind me were appalled, I was more pissed because someone here is showing signs of hypothermia but because of our skin, we don’t deserve immediate attention? This is minus the way she shouted aggressively and pushed us but had a normal voice with Ukrainians.

“She started letting the next set of people pass and the man had to tell my friend to push her way out. This old woman blocked the way with her hands and it was so difficult telling her someone was literally sick. She didn’t want to hear it

“I finally pushed my friend out without her luggage and I told them I was her sister as I couldn’t let her walk alone because she was obviously SICK! it was a struggle for me to get out. We were in the cold for 6 hours straight and it could have been worse.”

@Damilare_arah, another Twitter user, shared a video of a large gathering of black people, including a woman and her two-month-old baby, left unattended in the cold while waiting to cross a border.

“They are not allowing any black people in, only Ukrainians. We’re all here,” a voice said in the background.

Source: (The Cable)


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