The World’s Response on the Invasion of Ukraine

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has been the major piece of news taking up our screens–that and the rise of gas prices all over the world. From memes of a potential draft to worldwide support, the world seems to be reacting quite differently than many may have anticipated.

Courtesy of The Guardian

Since the announcement of Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine made its way through the news, nations worldwide rose in unity to support the civilians in Ukraine. Many neighboring countries opened up their borders, allowing Ukrainian refugees to enter when they were able. Some neighboring European countries were generous enough to give refugees three-year-long work visas, benefits, and accommodations.

While many support the efforts to accommodate and help Ukrainian refugees, a question arises on whether or not some privilege is at play. Many believe that Syrian, Middle Eastern, and North African refugees are being mistreated for a reason not clearly stated by all. However, the prime minister of Bulgaria stated his reasoning behind accommodating Ukrainian refugees. According to the Associated Press, he said, “Europe welcomes Ukrainian refugees – others less so … These are not the refugees we are used to… these people are Europeans. These people are intelligent, they are educated, people….” Although it’s great to see Ukraine’s neighbors welcoming them with open arms, it’s worth talking about why refugees from Africa and the Middle East haven’t received the same treatment.

Examples of actions European countries took to ensure Syrian, Middle Eastern, and North African refugees did not enter their countries are as follows: The EU paid Turkey to keep Syrians from getting to Greece (September 2021);
the Polish leader said they would not accept migrants from the Middle East and North Africa (November 2015);
and Hungary put up a 13-foot fence of barbed wire with a sign stating,  “Please don’t come” (August 2015).

While these discussions continue, many black people in Ukraine broke their silence about the nightmare and racism they faced when trying to leave Ukraine. In a video that surfaced online, African and Caribbean people were not allowed to board the trains to leave the country, and one man was interviewed after he made it out. “They told us ‘We are going to give you guns and you are going to fight for Ukraine’ I said ‘What? We are going to fight for Ukraine? We are not Ukrainian… so how can we fight for Ukraine?'” He told an ABC reporter.

On the other side of the globe, many organizations have put together fundraisers to help support Ukraine. Gaming companies like Fortnite and non-gaming companies like Wells Fargo, Paypal, Starbucks, Amazon, FedEx, Airbnb, Apple, Etsy, etc. Have all pledged a certain amount of funds to help Ukrainian refugees.

Other associations are removing Russian presence from their sphere. For example, the Cat Association has banned Russian cats from competing in their competitions, and Electronic Arts, more commonly known as, EA has released the Russian team from their Fifa games. However, at the beginning of the invasion, many Russian citizens took to the streets to protest against the invasion and for Putin to stop what he was doing. They risked being arrested and worse.

Though every country has seemed to cut off all ties to Russia at the moment, Putin has not budged. With this tragic situation still undergoing, the world is watching carefully.