Ukraine refugees ‘face racism’

Refugees fleeing conflict in neighboring Ukraine arrive to Przemysl, Poland, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

By Tamara Peredo

In several countries, like the US, UK, France, and Ukraine there has been an obvious racist reporting method to describe the horrors happening in Ukraine.

On Sunday the 27th February, the Ukrainian health ministry stated that since the 24th, when Russia began their invasion of Ukraine with airstrikes on their military-facilities, at least 352 civilians had been killed.

The horrifying situation in Ukraine has led to more than 360’000 Ukrainians fleeing the country, according to United Nations. And a majority of these refugees are crossing the border to their neighbour country Poland.

As these terrible events began unfolding in Ukraine several correspondents and news reporters were covering it. What several news reporting journalists did similarly when covering the refugee situation was describing it by commenting on the civilians appearances and ethnic heritage.

The UK news reporter Lucy Watson, from ITV News said live on TV from Kiev, while covering the refugee-situation, that because of the Russian invasion “the unthinkable has happened to them, and this is not a developing third world nation, this is Europe.” Making a comparison of how before, it was unthinkable for ‘ethnic European’ to become refugees. While saying that it is more probable to happen to civilians in developing third world countries.

The broadcast of Lucy Watson

The French journalist, Philippe Corbé, also made a similar statement on the news organisation BFM TV. He was comparing the refugees from Syria to the ones from Ukraine:

“We’re not talking here about Syrians feeling the bombing of the Syrian regime backed by Putin, we’re talking about Europeans leaving in cars that look like ours to save their lives.”

There’s been several other journalists that has covered the refugee situation in Poland making similar, racist comparisons. Comparisons between refugees from developing countries, or countries that has “seen conflict raging for decades”. Implying that there is a difference between the ethnic groups and their countries. Dehumanising non-white people and their suffering.