A refugee from Congo named Pyra Diantouadi says he was asked to fight against Russia for Ukraine and he refused. Diantouadi, during an on-camera interview with ABC News Live, said that it all started when he was attempting to escape Ukraine by train. He was told that he cannot go forward because the train is for women and children. Diantouadi says he was then told that he would need to take up arms and fight for the country if he wanted to stay on the train. He refused and got off. Later in the interview, he said that the train did allow some men to board, but they were white.
Pyra Diantouadi’s reason for refusing to fight was simple enough. He is clearly not a Ukrainian because he is black. Despite living in the country for nine years, he is easily identifiable as a foreigner. Therefore, he could be mistaken as part of NATO forces or a mercenary who was paid to come into the country from France or UK in an attempt to bolster Ukraine’s troops. Russian troops could easily identify people like Diantouadi and kill them first. And since he fled Congo because of political strife, why would he stay in Ukraine when they are facing the same problems? Simply remaining in Congo would yield the same results.
Diantaoudi’s story comes directly on the heels of reports of mistreatment from Ukrainians toward African students. People who look more “Ukrainian” are allegedly being given better treatment. This news is being conflated with allegations of racism in the United States (and the Western world in general). That is simply inappropriate. The situation in Ukraine is more about nationalism and preference for a nation’s citizens instead of simply racism. Because the “mistreatment” is also happening to Arabs and Indians. Having said that… if Ukraine is prioritizing Ukrainians, then why solicit non-Ukrainians to fight? Seems like Pyra Diantouadi has a legitimate point.
Southpark – Operation human shield. – YouTube
Indian and African students fleeing Ukraine say they face racism at border | CNN
The Russian invasion of Ukraine shows racism has no boundaries
African and South Asian citizens fleeing Ukraine denounce racism – The Washington Post
More African students decry racism at Ukrainian borders | Russia-Ukraine war News | Al Jazeera
American Veterans Join the Fight in Ukraine – The New York Times
US Veterans Are Heading to Ukraine to Join Fight Against Russia: NYT