The Russian-Ukrainian conflict came to a head last week after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a “special military operation” against Ukraine. As a result, the attack left dozens dead, and it appears that a “Ukrainians first” policy prohibits thousands of Africans from seeking refuge outside the country through the Polish-Ukrainian border. Young Thug caught wind of what is making national headlines and is trying to offer help to Africans in need and victims of unfair treatment.
On Sunday, February 27, Thugger posted on his social media that he was trying to mobilize with his rap peers to help Africans who are trapped in Ukraine because natives of the country are given priority to leave and seek refuge elsewhere. Africans are not allowed to board trains or buses to the border, and some would not be allowed to enter other countries.
“If some of my rap brothers are there, I’m ready to help Africans get out of Ukraine, but I can feel [sic] they won’t let us through,” he wrote. “Who has the information on these movements, please contact me as soon as possible, I’m ready.”
Gunna, a signatory of Young Stoner Life, also promotes peace amid tensions in Ukraine caused by Russia.
“We push 🅿️ peace #prayforUkraine,” he tweeted.
Countless videos are circulating on the Internet of Africans struggling to get on buses to leave Lviv, Ukraine, located about 80 km from the Polish border.
One person tweeted: “Look how they are threatening to shoot us! We are currently on the border between Ukraine and Poland. Their police and army refused to let Africans through, they only allow Ukrainians. Some slept here for 2 days in this scorching cold, while many returned to Lviv.”
Another person wrote: “A Nigerian medical student at the Polish-Ukrainian border (Medyka-Shehyni) told me she was waiting 7am to cross. She says border guards stop black people and send them to the back of the queue, saying they let the ‘Ukrainians’ go first.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a response to Russian demands to end NATO’s (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) eastward expansion, resulted in more than 500,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine to neighboring countries.
According to Reuters today (28 February), at least 102 Ukrainian civilians have been killed since the Russian attack last Thursday (24 February), and 304 people have been injured. However, it is feared that the actual death toll could be much higher.
CNN reports that a meeting between Russia and Ukraine will take place today at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River.
A ceasefire has not yet been declared.
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