May 24, 2024

Black Ukrainians Facing Racism

About two million Ukrainians have fled their country due to the ongoing conflict with Russia, but not everyone is allowed to leave. Black Ukrainians are forced to be last on busses out of now dangerous cities, and last in line at the border, if they are let through at all. Women and children first, but why not the ones who are black?

Ukraine is bordered by seven countries, each has taken some amount of refugees. From least to greatest:

  • Belarus, to the North, at 765 refugees
  • Moldova, to the West, at 82,762 refugees
  • Romania, also to the West, at 84,671 refugees
  • Russia, to the East, at 97,098 refugees
  • Slovakia, directly to the West, at 165,199 refugees
  • Hungary, right below Slovakia, at 214,160 refugees
  • Poland, to the Northwest, at 1,412,502
  • Additionally, about 255,000 refugees have fled to other countries in Europe

By far, most people go to Poland, however, Polish borders are tightened to those of black ancestry. Ukrainian officers have a similar temperament. For instance, a group of black Ukrainian women in Kyiv, some of whom were pregnant, begged officers to board the busses out of the city. The officers, for no apparent reason, denied them. In Lviv, only Ukrainian nationalists were allowed on busses. But, only white people boarded, and once confronted, the officers didn’t explain how they knew they were the only nationalists whilst not asking for anyone’s passports.