SHEGYNI (AFP) – Jean-Jacques Kabeya is enraged because, like other international students in Ukraine from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, he claims that border guards have prevented him from leaving the country.
In interviews with AFP, he and numerous other foreigners said that both border guards and ordinary Ukrainians were racist.
Kabeya arrived at the gate at Shegyni, near the Polish border, on Sunday evening, two days after fleeing the bombings in the eastern city of Kharkiv.
The military and security officers there, however, sent him away, according to the 30-year-old pharmacy student.
“They informed me. You’re staying here, you’re escaping the war, you’re staying here; you’re fighting with us — you’re not leaving, especially you blacks “he stated
He was back at the train station in the western city of Lviv after 36 hours of waiting in vain to get through.
There, he met three Congolese countrymen who took him under their wing.
“It’s a disaster!” Kabeya said, adding that he was still looking for a way out.
Ukraine is a popular study location for international students, with tens of thousands flocking there each year.
The African Union released a statement on Monday, expressing alarm at what looked to be “shockingly racist” treatment of international students.
However, several nations reported that a few dozen of their individuals were able to flee the country.