International Students Leaving Ukraine Say They Are Experiencing Racism by Border Officials

Russia Ukraine Europe International Studies by Erudera News Mar 02, 2022

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International students who are trying to leave Ukraine amid the Russian-Ukraine crisis have reported racist treatment by the security forces and border officials as the latter are prioritizing Ukrainian nationals.

Students said that together with other foreigners, they were required to leave the public transit bus at a checkpoint between Ukraine and Poland border, reports.

The Nigerian first-year medical student in Lviv, Rachel Onyegbule, who was stuck at the border town of Shehyni, 16 kilometers away from Przemysi, the town of Poland, told CNN said that over ten buses left with many Ukrainian nationals while students were told they had to walk as there were no more buses.   

Onyegbule said that the Ukrainian citizens had been a priority compared to Africans at every border point.

“My body was numb from the cold and we haven’t slept in about 4 days now. Ukrainians have been prioritized over Africans — men and women — at every point. There’s no need for us to ask why. We know why. I just want to get home,” Onyegbule told CNN.

Similarly, a 22-year-old medical student from India, Saakshi Ijantkar, also told CNN that there are many people stranded at the border, adding that border officials do not allow Indian students to go through checkpoints.

“They allow 30 Indians only after 500 Ukrainians get in. To get to this border you need to walk 4 to 5 kilometers from the first checkpoint to the second one. Ukrainians are given taxis and buses to travel, all other nationalities have to walk. They were very racist to Indians and other nationalities,” Ijantkar added.

Following the developments in the Russia-Ukraine war, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge has announced it is cutting ties with the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) in Russia.

In a statement published on the program’s website, the institute said that MIT President L. Rafael Reif, in consultation with senior leaders, has decided to end the relationship of MIT with Skoltech as a rejection of the Russian actions on Ukraine.

The conflict has also pushed leading universities in Australia to react and offer counseling and other services to international students who have been affected by the crisis.

German Universities Stand in Solidarity With Ukrainian Universities, Condemn Russian Attack

Go8 Chief Executive Vicki Thomson noted that Go8 universities have acted quickly to identify contact students from Ukraine and Russia to check on their well-being and offer support.

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