In the wake of Russia’s attacks against Ukraine, 500,000 people have fled the country, causing an influx of refugees in surrounding countries, and a scramble at Ukrainian borders.
Over the weekend, reports erupted of African immigrants living in Ukraine, particularly the thousands of students at the Ukraine-Poland border being denied passage by Ukrainian police under a “Ukranian’s first” policy.
A Nigerian medical student at Poland/Ukraine border (Medyka-Shehyni) told me she has been waiting 7hrs to cross, she says border guards are stopping black people and sending them to the back of the queue, saying they have to let 'Ukrainians' through first.— Stephanie Hegarty (@stephhegarty) February 26, 2022
Across social media, asylum-seekers shared their stories; Black individuals were not alone in the discrimination they faced, with Indian students reporting similar issues at the Poland border.
here's the link.\n"We have been standing here in the open since midnight, it's 8.30 now, the temp has dropped to -5\u00b0 C n the Ukrainian checkpost is not letting us through, other foreigners are allowed to leave.\nthere's no holdup frm the Polish side"https://youtu.be/JUT7O9PbbKg— Mocking Monk \ud83c\uddee\ud83c\uddf3 (@Mocking Monk \ud83c\uddee\ud83c\uddf3) 1645915058
On social media, civilians and celebrities scrambled to find ways to help those stopped in their tracks. Young Thug discussed his thoughts on the current events in an Instagram story, saying: “If some of my rap brothers are in I’m willing to help Africans get out of Ukraine however I can since they not letting us pass."
“Whoever holds the info for these movements," he continued, "please contact me ASAP I’m ready.” Russia began an invasion of Ukraine last week, facing international condemnation and acts of protest ranging from marches, to music-tour cancellations, and the occasional slam poem.
While activists and NGOs likely flood Young Thug’s DMs, the Nigerian Embassy has sent busses to Ukrainian borders to arrange transportation, and organizations like @nigeransleavingukraine are leading the movement.
According to CNN, Ukrainian and Russian diplomats will meet Monday at the Ukraine-Belarus border, with international hopes for peace, or at the very least, cease-fire.
Photo via Getty/ Suzi Pratt/ WireImage