Ukrainian security forces are denying entry into trains to Africans in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, as they try to escape to Poland, even as Russian forces close in on the capital with bombs and tanks.
In several testimonies and recorded videos received by Today News Africa in Washington DC, Africans told this medium that on several occasions, women, children and men of all ages were forced to wait for all Ukrainians to board first before they were given the chance to escape. Most of them contacted us from Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.
The Africans who contacted us were all Blacks and claimed they were being discriminated against because of the color of their skin.
They rejected claims that only African men were being barred from leaving the country to fight the Russians and said women and children were suffering the same fate in Kyiv as well.
Racism is high in Ukraine and Russia and Africans have been at the back of the line there for decades. The war in Ukraine only seems to exacerbate it all with mobile phones ready to broadcast it to the world.
Many Africans have also told this publication that they were shocked that the same western European countries that invaded and colonized them and sold them into slavery in the United States of America and elsewhere have suddenly become the moral compass of the world.
Why are Africans fleeing to Poland?
Africans are trying to escape to Poland to reach safety and also because the United States is providing humanitarian assistance there.
On Saturday, for instance, U.S. aid chief Samantha Power met with Witold Dzielski, Advisor to the President of Poland, “to discuss joint efforts to respond to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine.”
“Administrator Power emphasized the partnership between the United States and Poland in meeting the needs of the increasing flow of Ukrainians across the border. She thanked the Polish Government for its willingness to welcome Ukrainians displaced by the conflict, including the decisions to waive of COVID-19 restrictions, to allow fleeing Ukrainians to enter Poland without travel documents, and to provide free train travel across Poland to Ukrainians who arrive,” spokesperson Rebecca Chalif said in a statement.
Chalif added that “Administrator Power also met with USAID staff currently based in Poland, including staff with the Office of Transition Initiatives and members of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) leading the U.S. response to the escalating humanitarian crisis resulting from Russia’s aggression and brutality. The team relayed that USAID’s humanitarian partners were ramping up their assistance in very difficult security conditions. They also shared that even in the country’s east where fighting was especially intense, Ukrainian community volunteers were actively responding to needs, showcasing the resolve of the Ukrainian people. Administrator Power expressed her gratitude to the DART for the team’s tireless efforts to work with partners to respond to the increasing humanitarian needs following Russia’s invasion.”
“Finally, the Administrator met with staff from the Embassy and Mission in Kiev who have left Ukraine in recent weeks due to the fighting. She expressed her sincere thanks on behalf of the United States for their continued service to the people of Ukraine and emphasized that the United States would never give up on the vision of an independent, democratic, prosperous Ukraine,” she said.
U.S. provides additional assistance to Ukraine
The United States government on Sunday announced that it was providing $54 million in additional humanitarian assistance for Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion.
“This funding includes nearly $26 million from the Department of State and $28 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development,” United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said in a statement. “This additional assistance will enable international humanitarian organizations to further support the people of Ukraine, working closely with the Government of Ukraine and European allies and partners at the forefront of any response.”
Blinken added that the United States “is one of the largest humanitarian donors to Ukraine, and our humanitarian assistance now amounts to nearly $405 million to vulnerable communities since Russia invaded Ukraine eight years ago.”
He wrote, “Our partnership with the people of Ukraine is steadfast and enduring, and we are focused on Ukraine’s urgent humanitarian needs as an important part of our response to Russia’s premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack. It is with the welfare of ordinary Ukrainians in mind that we are announcing the provision of nearly $54 million in humanitarian assistance to those affected by Russia’s further invasion. This funding includes nearly $26 million from the Department of State and $28 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“The United States is one of the largest humanitarian donors to Ukraine, and our humanitarian assistance now amounts to nearly $405 million to vulnerable communities since Russia invaded Ukraine eight years ago. This latest tranche of humanitarian assistance will flow through independent humanitarian organizations that deliver needs-based assistance with impartiality, humanity, neutrality, and independence.
“This additional assistance will enable international humanitarian organizations to further support the people of Ukraine, working closely with the Government of Ukraine and European allies and partners at the forefront of any response. This includes the provision of food, safe drinking water, shelter, emergency health care, winterization, and protection. Our funding will also help humanitarian organizations maintain contact between family members who have been separated due to the conflict, hopefully leading to reunification in some cases.
“The United States commends the hospitality of the neighboring countries in the region hosting fleeing Ukrainians, and we are engaging diplomatically to support their efforts to keep their borders open and assist those seeking international protection. As with any refugee situation, we call on the international community to respond to the needs of those seeking protection in a way consistent with the principle of non-refoulement and our shared obligations under international law. We welcome the contributions of other donors toward this crisis response and urge still others to generously support the immediate humanitarian needs in Ukraine and the region.”