Bishop Talbert Swan, a prominent US activist and leader of the Springfield chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)NAACP and other activists have accused Ukrainian authorities of preventing the escape of black people stuck in the conflict-riven country.
This comes after unverified videos showing crowds of black people physically blocked from boarding trains and held at gunpoint by guards in Ukraine were shared on social media. Swan tweeted on Sunday:
White folks in Ukraine are: blocking Black people from getting on trains, dragging Black people off buses, denying shelter to Black people in freezing temperatures, and holding Black students at gunpoint.
The videos show what appeared to be Ukrainian law enforcement or military members linking arms to prevent black people from boarding a train, leaving them waiting outside, and in one scene apparently pointing weapons at them as they raise their hands. Watch videos below for more:
Nigerian activist and World Health Organization envoy Dr. Ayoade Alakija claimed that she contacted her country’s foreign minister, who in turn contacted Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. According to Alakija, the Ukrainian government then “directed their border guards that ALL foreigners should be allowed to leave.”
Pro-Ukrainian accounts on social media have claimed that videos of the alleged abuse were fabricated by Moscow. Swan refuted those claims, stating:
Black people don’t need Russian disinformation campaigns to convince us of the reality of white supremacy, racism, and anti-Black bigotry around the globe.