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Foreign residents c Ukraine who have successfully evacuated the country amid ongoing Russian attacks on Ukraine, are asking for help from embassies while they help others ex-pats with their own escapes from the war-torn country.
Nearly 80,000 third-country nationals from 138 countries have fled, the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Friday.
However, resilience is taking place amid reports of racism and discrimination reported by some evacuees from Africa, Asia and Latin America, according to the Associated Press. This situation, which has provoked criticism from international organizations, also reports the Associated Press.
UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) officials said in a statement that “credible allegations of discrimination, violence and xenophobia against third-country nationals have been verified.”
Some of the reported incidents were documented on social media under popular hashtags such as #AfricansInUkraine, #AsiansInUkraine, #LatinosInUkraine and #POCinUkraine, where foreign evacuees conveyed both positive and negative moments of Ukraine.
Videos of foreign evacuees blocking access to trains and buses have attracted public attention.
“Discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnicity, nationality or migration status is unacceptable,” the IOM wrote on Thursday. “Protection and assistance should be provided in a non-discriminatory and cultural manner to all people affected by the conflict.”
Foreigners who have successfully crossed Ukrainian borders neighboring countries It is reported that they volunteered to help emigrants in evacuation from Ukraine at border checkpoints and in group chats, according to the Associated Press.
Alexander Somta Walnut, 25, a Nigerian student who studied in Ukraine, told the Associated Press that Ukrainian border guards separated African and Indian evacuees from a larger group and tried to redirect them to the Romanian border, where they needed to travel a few. hundreds of miles in the cold.
“I grouped the students together and the boys left first to give feedback to the rest of the students on whether it was safe.”
“They told us that if we tried to break through, they would shoot us,” Ora told the Associated Press. “We raised our hands and told them we were students and just wanted to go home.”
It is reported that now Ora has settled in the Polish capital Warsaw; he returns to the Polish-Ukrainian border to help other foreigners leave Ukraine.
Similarly, a woman named Faith Chemara helps foreign evacuees from a distance by coordinating bus trips from Ukraine to Poland, according to the Associated Press.
“I grouped the students together, and the boys were the first to leave to give feedback to the other students on whether it was safe,” she told the news outlet.
Elksan Salmanov Ilham, a 28-year-old Azerbaijani student, told the Associated Press that he had received help from Azerbaijani citizens in Odessa who helped him “get to the Moldovan border” after he fled Kharkiv.
Foreign embassies constantly advise international evacuees to seek help from the nearest relevant embassy, regardless of whether they have left Ukraine or not.
Thousands of foreigners are still stuck in Ukraine Russia continues shelling Ukrainian cities.
Last Friday, about 700 Indian students were trapped in Sumy, a city in northeastern Ukraine, according to Reuters.
Makhtab Raza, one of the students stuck in Sumy, shared a video on social media in which he appealed to the Indian government for help; his group had neither food nor water in the dormitory where they found refuge. Raza said shelling, frosty temperatures and snipers on surrounding rooftops thwarted evacuation attempts, according to Reuters.
21-year-old Nigerian medical student Ojonugwa Zakari, who is also stuck in Sumy, told the Associated Press that foreigners and locals are receiving war alerts and evacuation instructions on their mobile phones.
“It’s not where people come from,” she told the news agency. “People are just trying to make sure that if you’re a foreigner in Ukraine, you’ve got to safety.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has launched an emergency hotline to assist foreigners in evacuating the country.
On Wednesday, March 2, the Minister of the Ministry Dmitry Kuleba published a tweet stating that the ministry “is working intensively to ensure their security and speed up their passage.”
In the attached video, the ministry said that the checkpoints on the western borders are open 24 hours a day and will work on the principle of “first come, first served”, which applies to all nationalities.
“All people who are at the border are asked to obey law and order and act responsibly,” the video continues. “It will allow [us] to speed up the border crossing process. We ask those who cross to show mutual respect and understanding to everyone at the border at this extremely difficult time. “
Resources on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine were unavailable on Sunday afternoon, as it did not seem to be working.
According to the Vatican Diocese, 285,000 foreigners out of a population of about 42 million (before the war) lived in Ukraine to promote integrated human development.
The IOM reports that more than a million people have fled Ukraine, and expects more to leave as the war progresses.
The total number of victims in the Russian-Ukrainian war is still unknown.
One death of a foreign student was confirmed.
On Tuesday, March 1, in Kharkov, a shooting killed 21-year-old Navin Sheharappa Gyanagudar, an Indian medical student, according to the India Times.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.