'Racist' Ukraine guards tell 'Indians, Africans and Middle Easterners' to go to ANOTHER border
Alexander Somto Orah, a student from Nigeria has revealed his 590-mile journey of escape from the war-hit Ukraine. The 25-year-old along with hundreds of others “Indians, Africans, and Middle Easterners” were singled out and refused to cross borders by some “racist” guards. Orah spent four days trying to escape from Kyiv, the Ukrainian city under attack.
Orah, who is a student at the Ukrainian capital's State University of Telecommunications packed his belongings and headed towards the borders when Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. His tale highlights the apparent “discrimination” at several instances while he and other foreign student groups made their way to the border of Poland.
Upon reaching near the Polish borders, he and hundreds of other students were stopped by guards who denied Indians, Africans, and Middle Easterners to make their way to the Polish border after making them wait out another night in freezing temperatures in the open. He, however, clarified that it wasn't the Polish guards who were behaving in this manner but some of the Ukrainian military and police.
A shocking video clip taken by Orah captures several Nigerian students arguing with the officials at the Polish-Ukrainian border who wouldn’t let them through. Officials in hi-vis vests are then seen in a shooting position, pointing large guns at students who can be heard shouting, “We've been here for three days, we're dying of cold.” At one point the clip cuts to show a white van reversing away from the crowds of refugees before driving towards them to shoo the crowd back. “We were shouting and we started moving forward. They called for backup, which is the police. When the police came, the police also stood in a shooting position, just like the other one, and he wanted to shoot us,” Orah said.
Watch how they are threatening to shoot us!— Alexander Somto (Nze) Orah (@nzekiev) February 27, 2022
We are currently at the Ukraine -Poland border.
Their Police and Army refused to let Africans cross they only allow Ukrainian.
Some have slept here for 2 days under this scorching cold weather, while many have gone back to Lviv. pic.twitter.com/47YG4gxFC4
“The war made me realize that if there are human beings, there are others that are regarded differently to others,' said Orah. “I have never experienced war. I have watched videos of war and I know how crazy it can be. I don't want to be collateral damage.”
Orah narrates his difficult escape on foot without enough supplies that spanned for four days before he could find refuge. “The degrees were like minus three, minus four, sometimes I felt so cold I couldn't do anything. And sometimes I would be very hungry. But I can't eat. I can't describe my feeling yet because it was somehow weird for me. Like, you are sleeping, from sleeping you are packing bags, from packing bags you are running. I started running from the 25th of last month.”
During the journey, Orah describes his heartbreaking exposure to racism starting right from the train station at Kyiv. “Crossing the Ukraine border to Poland was devastating because of the discrimination. The first discrimination was at Kyiv train station. They were allowing only women and children, I said "OK, that's fine", but I don't see you taking the other African women and the other Middle Eastern women, they are pregnant. And they were actually in the cold, some with their kids. We've been here for three days. We're dying of cold.”
“After some hours in the morning, that's around 9 to 11, then by 12, one man in black came and told us, "Indians, Africans and Middle Easterners should leave here and go to another border,", which is the Romanian border.
I am saddened and I can confirm that two people have died because of the cold trying to cross the border between last night and today.There are people stuck at the border who are freezing and they are stuck! Many of them are friends.This has to be a nightmare! This cannot be real pic.twitter.com/S2y0uRNFui— Vukile Dlamini (@vukiledlamini19) February 28, 2022
“We told him that we could not do this thing again. We have been on the road for three days, and we cannot go back. I felt like maybe someone might die here, because there are some people fainting, and there was no blanket so we were just covering ourselves with our clothes and anything we could find.” Orah explained.
Orah eventually made it through after four days from when he left Kyiv. The Ukrainian officials however have dismissed allegations of discrimination and said they are “stepping up support to foreign citizens” Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Ukraine responded on social media.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has requested the relevant agencies of Ukraine to step up support to foreign citizens, including students, wishing to return to their home countries or move to third countries due to the Russian military invasion. In particular, the Ukrainian government is doing its best to facilitate their passage at the state border which has become overwhelmed with the massive influx of people fleeing Russia's armed aggression.” he wrote.