Ukrainians Fleeing War Share Stories of Survival and Racial Discrimination

Tags: Currents Media, Ukraine, US. Politics, World News

Currents News Staff

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians already crossed the border into Poland. But while some are sharing stories of survival, others are not.

Olga fled the country with her nine-year-old daughter Angelina. Olga had to leave her husband behind so he could fight with whatever he could find.

“It’s so difficult that I, I cannot tell you how difficult,” Olga said.

She is still shell-shocked, but she has friends to take her in.

“We heard the bombs. It’s like explosion,” Olga said. 

As night falls in the bitter cold, more heartbreak. But the Polish people are offering refugees a warm welcome, warm clothes, a warm place to stay, a warm meal, even diapers and toys for children. It’s a grassroots effort smack in the middle of a supermarket parking lot, just a few kilometers from the border.

At the nearest Polish train station, refugees stuff themselves inside looking for help and many get just that. But not everyone is treated equally. One Cameroonian woman doesn’t want any more trouble, so she hides her face. She says that in Ukraine, she was shoved from the free train while trying to escape with her child while white Ukrainians were helped up and black men, she says, were treated worse.

“All the black guys, no, no,” the Cameroonian refugee said. “There was one inside the chamber that went inside the train. And [someone] show him [a] gun and [he had to] walk out. And he walked out… it was terrible.”

She says discrimination was rearing its ugly head at the most terrifying moment.

“The free train, they help their people,” she said, “but do not want to help blacks.”