Algerians calling for help from Kharkiv: They preferred cats and dogs over us

The city of Kharkiv, which has a population of about 1.4 million people, is located less than 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of the Russian border, and the Kharkiv region is witnessing heavy Russian bombing, which has killed 34 civilians during the past 24 hours, according to what the services said. Emergency in Ukraine, Thursday.

Everyone who lives in Kharkiv tries to get out of it via trains or buses, which are an unsafe means of transportation with the intensification of the bombing, heading to the city of Lviv, in western Ukraine, which is the meeting point for the displaced towards the border countries.

catch the train

An Algerian student, who preferred to withhold his name, tells Sky News Arabia his suffering under the bombing. He says that since the first day of the Russian invasion, he has been trying to flee the city, but there are obstacles that prevent him from leaving so far.

The 22-year-old, who lives on Cerbania Street in the city center, says that the first problem is the difficulty of moving within the city, which prevented him from moving to the train station, which is about 7 kilometers away from his place of residence.

And the young man who studies computer engineering at Kharkiv National Technical University continues: “The issue of finding a taxi has become intractable, and the transportation prices have become very expensive. In normal circumstances – before the war – the cost of moving to the train station by “taxi” was about two dollars, today I arrived to 100 US dollars.

He continues: “After I found a taxi with great difficulty on Wednesday, a new suffering began inside the train station. In front of the door that allows us to reach the train platform, two Ukrainian guards stood, stipulating that children and women enter first, and then we were surprised to enter Ukrainian men after a side conversation. With the guards, and when some Indians tried to pass in the same way, they were prevented and assaulted.”

The Algerian young man says that some Ukrainian men were jumping from the top of the fence without objection from the police, but when any foreigner tries to cross in the same way, he is prevented and sometimes assaulted, and after suffering and attacks, we as foreigners managed to reach the sidewalk.

He added: “At the train station, I met a Jordanian young man, and we started moving from one platform to another, jumping across fences in very cold weather, and whenever a train came, workers and police prevented anyone from boarding anyone but women and children, and after that Ukrainian men, as for Arabs, Indians and Africans. Others are not allowed to board the trains.

“The funny thing is that we used to see dogs and cats being allowed to board the trains with the Ukrainians, while we were forbidden,” he says sadly.

At the conclusion of his interview with “Sky News Arabia”, the Algerian student said: “In the end, we lost hope of catching any train and went back home, waiting for relief under the bombing, and what we are asking now is the intervention of any responsible party to save us.”

another distress

There is another suffering for another Algerian young man who studies at the Kharkiv National University of Economics, and he lives in the Prospect Peremoha neighborhood, which is the neighborhood closest to the Russian borders. Until now, it also has the basic needs, but in small quantities.

He added in his speech to “Sky News Arabia” that he was initially renting an apartment from Ukrainians, but with the beginning of the war he moved to live with them because they know the Russian and Ukrainian languages, and they have a familiarity with English, which helps him to communicate in this turbulent atmosphere, especially as he searches Six days ago, a taxi took him to the train station, which is about 17 kilometers away.

He says that during all this time he did not find a car to take him to the station; Traveling has become unsafe, but even getting to the station is no longer a solution in itself, with Arabs and other foreigners barred from boarding the trains, and priority is given only to Ukrainians.

The young Algerian joins his voice with the voice of his other compatriot in Kharkiv to urge everyone who can help them get out of Kharkiv, in light of the absence of a representative of the Algerian embassy in the city, in addition to the fact that the number of the Algerian community in Kharkiv is very limited, which puts them in an embarrassing position.

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