Thousands of African students are trying to flee Ukraine under attack by Russian forces, Reuters reported.
Some were banned from taking trains west of Kiev; others reacted to racism on the border with Poland.
“They stopped us at the border and told us that blacks were not allowed,” said a Guinean student who had fled his university in Kharkov. “But we could see white people passing.”
After walking for hours in the bitter cold, he was also brought back from the village of Medica on the Polish border.
Using a hashtag #AfricaUkraineAfrican students took to Twitter to document their treatment, posting photos and videos showing whites having preferential treatment at train stations and border crossings.
In a live broadcast on Instagram over the weekend, a medical student said there was “a lot of segregation and racism.” Newsweek reported.
“Apparently, there is a hierarchy of Ukrainians first, Indians second, and Africans second,” he said.
Ukraine attracts tens of thousands of African students who want to study medicine, engineering and other fields at a lower cost than in the US or Western Europe. After the flights were suspended, African governments, wary of the Russian invasion, did little to help evacuate their citizens from Ukraine.
“In this situation, you are alone,” one Ghanaian engineering student told Reuters. “You have to find the best way to find shelter for yourself.”