There are reports of racism on Ukrainian Western borders. I would like to share the information I’ve received from my friends and family that are or were fleeing Russian invasion.
There is no discrimination on race, ethnicity, and citizenship on the way to the borders. The priority is for women and children to board the transportation that is headed to the borders. Every man no matter their roots do not have the priority.
Ukrainian government, specifically ministry of foreign affairs, worked hard with EU partners to establish the simplified protocols for border crossing for Ukrainians. There’s plenty of information in social media and official news channels around. These agreements are exclusive for Ukrainians that want to flee. Please, apply pressure to consulates and foreign governments so that they acted on arranging the evacuation plans for their citizens that are located in Ukraine. This is the most effective way to help foreign students, businessmen, and tourists to get home safely.
The EU customs and border service have different arrangements with other countries about the entry of their citizen into the EU. It takes significantly longer period of time for foreign citizens to pass the border than for Ukrainian citizens. That’s why both Ukraine and EU border services cannot process these people right away. To solve this, please call foreign consulates to make diplomatic arrangements for safe border crossing for their citizens.
Ukraine welcomed a lot of foreigners during the peaceful times. My country learned about discrimination a long time ago, when Russian oppressors were presenting us as “lesser” Russians. Their propaganda about the war is currently based on the statement that they want their territory back. Their president says that our country, our beautiful Ukraine, is “artificially created” by Russians, and they want it back. This is utter nonsense.
In the early days of 2000s a lot of students from Africa, Middle East, and Asia came to Ukraine to study in the universities. There were established the entire faculties at universities that provided English-based curriculum to accommodate the needs of the these students. There were thousands of foreign students in Medical University in Ternopil, Ukraine, my hometown. In the early days of their tenure, there were conflicts with locals who did not understand why this students came and were suspicious of their activities. After couple months these conflicts were resolved, people learned about the other countries and cultures and started peaceful living. Many students decided to stay and live in Ukraine after they finished their studies. They started businesses, work hard hand-to-hand with Ukrainians to build a better future for all.
Ukraine does not have policies or laws that discriminate people on race, ethnicity, gender. We welcome all, we support all, who is not carrying guns to kill us.