While the hearts of million around the world went out to the Ukrainian people as Russia invades their country, the hearts of many Blackfolk fell into our collective stomachs as we saw and read reports of our African sisters and brother in the Ukraine, being pushed to the back of the line as people sought to flee the war zone.
Videos surfaced recently of hundreds of Africans being blocked by police and others as they tried to board trains taking white Ukrainian women and children to neighboring countries. On the flip side, there have been reports that countries actively receiving and welcoming Ukrainian refugees are blocking the Africans who somehow made it out of the Ukraine.
Adding to their precarious situation is the fact that the African nations of origin of many of these Blackfolk residing in the Ukraine have come upon countless barriers to being able to get their people to safety.
For many, it was news that there were even any Black people at all in the Ukraine. However, the fact is, Ukrainian cities are home to tens of thousands of African students studying medicine, engineering and military affairs. The African nations with the most number of its citizens in the Ukraine are Morocco, Nigeria and Egypt. Several other African nations have sizeable amounts of students there, as well.
According to the Ukrainian education ministry, there are over 16,000 students from African nations pursuing higher education there, many of whom chose the Ukraine as their educational home because it is a less expensive option than going to college in the U.S. or Western Europe.