How Nigerians Survived Russian Bombs and Racism in Ukraine


Following the Federal Government’s promise to evacuate Nigerians stranded due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, about 775 Nigerians were flown back to the country. The first batch of 415 Nigerians flew in from Romania while the second batch, made up of about 180 Nigerians, arrived from Poland at evening time. The third batch of 180 people arrived shortly after.

Further batches are expected from Poland, Hungary, and countries bordering Ukraine.

Culled from Premium Times Nigeria

At the onset of the Russian aggression in Ukraine, Aljazeera ran a report on stranded Nigerian students in Ukraine, estimated to be about five thousand strong. Initial reports suggested that Nigerian students had sought refuge at a safe bunker (at the time) in the northeastern city of Sumy.

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Since the time of Aljazeera’s report, Sumy has become a war zone harboring over 150 trapped Nigerians who have reportedly been denied access to Russia for safety despite frantic calls made to the Russian government by the Nigerian Government.

Students who were able to flee the city of Kyiv reported that while heading to the border to cross into Poland they were reportedly faced with food shortage, harsh weather conditions, or racism from some Ukrainian citizens.

The reports of some of the returnees to Nigeria matched the description given in the Aljazeera report. Speaking to Punch Nigeria, returnees gave details on starvation suffered due to the closure of stores. They further stated that they had to trek long distances to safety, due to the inactivity of taxi cabs.

Confirming allegations of racial preference, the returnees reported on the shabby treatment and the extended delays they suffered at the borders due to their skin color. These allegations are not isolated, all through the week clips of black and African migrants being given secondhand treatment were circulated all over social media.

In its bid to facilitate the return of stranded Nigerians, a delegation of Nigerian lawmakers from the House of Representatives led by House Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa arrived Romania on Thursday.

Culled from Twitter

The returnees expressed mixed reactions when asked if they would return to Ukraine at the end of the conflict.  While some indicated their preference to continue their education in Nigeria or some other country, others expressed that they would like to return to Ukraine when hostilities cease.

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