AFRICANGLOBE – The People of African Descent in Ukraine are passing through difficult times.
The ongoing political unrest has brought about unexpected economic and other crises among most people living in the country. However, the People of African Descent bear the most brunt for obvious reasons. Most Ukrainians know little about the People of African Descent except the negative and unpleasant news about their continent and countries that make the headlines, which are not necessarily their general life pattern nor the countries concerned. This contributes to making the struggles for basic human rights of the People of African Descent an uneasy task.
When the demonstrations started late last year, demanding the then President Victor Yarnukovych not to backtrack on its promise to sign the proposed closer cooperation agreement between Ukraine and the European Union, not many people thought that it could turn into a full-blown, protracted unrest of such a magnitude, affecting the political, cultural and even social fabrics of the society. But even before the situation would reach this level, most People of African Descent here had already started feeling the heat. The already hard-to-find jobs have dwindled and students are no more getting the scanty financial supplements they make from part-time jobs. On their part, the petty traders who survive with their families on daily sales from the markets complain that the markets are dry, virtually no sales. Adding to this is the security factor.
Behind the scenes, at a time that all attention is focused on the ongoing political unrest, some extremists and anti-Blacks see the situation as an opportunity to realize their attacks against the People of African Descent, the visible minorities. Groups of Ukrainian young adults, at times with masks in their faces, have on a number of occasions, ambushed and attacked the People of African Descent in and near the market places where they sell, and other places where they normally pass. (Following is a link to one of such attacks caught on security camera).