African, Asian, Arab refugees fleeing Russia's assault on Ukraine attacked by Polish nationalists

African, Asian, Arab refugees fleeing Russia's assault on Ukraine attacked by Polish nationalists
3 min read
03 March, 2022
Europe's racism problem has once more come to the fore with African, South Asian and Middle Eastern refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine attacked by white nationalists in Poland.
Stories of attacks on refugees of colour have been shared on social media [Getty]

African, South Asian and Middle Eastern refugees were assaulted by groups of white nationalists in Poland, as they fled neighbouring Ukraine to escape Russia's devastating invasion.

There are multiple reports of men dressed in black seeking out non-white refugees, most of them students, as they got off trains from Ukraine that led them to Przemyśl train station in Poland.

According to local police, three Indians were beaten by a group of five men on 1 March, leaving one of them in hospital.

Police - also accused of racism against refugees - intervened after groups of men arrived at the scene chanting "Przemyśl always Polish", reported The Guardian.

Similar attacks are being reported on social media, all targeting non-white individuals.

One user from the city tweeted that white nationalists were "coordinating attacks on non-white refugees, in particular Africans, after they cross the border to "safety."

African and Europeans fleeing the war were divided into separate groups where the Europeans could get on a bus every 15 minutes but Africans had to wait four hours in the freezing cold, as was reported by The New Arab.

Earlier this week, videos emerged of Indian students being beaten by Ukrainian border guards as they tried to leave the country.

CNN producer Bijan Hosseini posted a tweet thread about his sister fleeing from Ukraine, elaborating on her experience fleeing Ukraine. According to one tweet, refugees at the border were being formed into two lines – “one for white people, the other for everyone else.”

Europe, particularly Eastern Europe, has long struggled with racism, often violent, against refugees.

Nyasha Bhobo, a contributor at The New Arab wrote on Tuesday that she was not surprised at hearing these stories of racism and discrimination.

"[E]ven in the grimmest of times, Europe always switches to default mode: racism," Bhobo wrote.