Despite threats of a Russian attack on Ukraine since the beginning of the year, the Nigerian government has yet to reveal plans to evacuate Nigerians still residing in Ukraine.
Earlier today, Russian president, Vladimir Putin, launched a ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, with Ukrainians reporting explosions heard across Ukraine and Russia’s foreign minister warning of a ‘full-scale invasion.’ Although Russia claims to be targeting Ukrainian military installations, including air bases, at least 10 civilians are believed to have been killed in air raids.
While tensions between Russia and Ukraine—a former Soviet republic—have existed for some time, relations began to spiral out of control in January 2021, when Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, pushed US President Joe Biden to allow Ukraine to join The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This move made Russia begin sending troops near its Ukrainian border for ‘training exercises’.
NATO is a military alliance made up of 30 countries originally formed after World War II. Part of its function is to keep global peace, as members agree to come to one another’s aid in the event of an armed attack against any other member state. Over the years, Russia has long opposed any attempts by Ukraine to join the EU and NATO. Ukraine, according to Putin, is a puppet of the West and was never a real state in the first place.
Russia’s actions have sparked worldwide panic, disrupting energy markets, threatening to drive up food prices in Africa and Asia and disrupting the livelihoods of thousands of Africans studying in Ukraine. There are currently more than 15,000 Africans studying in Ukraine with 4,000 of them from Nigeria.
The Nigerian Embassy in Ukraine issued a statement today advising its citizens in the country to ‘to remain calm but be very vigilant and be responsible for their personal security and safety.’ According to Premium Times, despite threats of a Russian attack on Ukraine since the beginning of the year, the Nigerian government has yet to reveal plans to evacuate Nigerians still residing in Ukraine
Update: Yesterday, The Republic hosted a Twitter spaces event on what Russia’s invasion of Ukraine means for Africa. Catch up on the discussion below⎈
Missed our Space? Catch up on the discussion here. https://t.co/lD2DoyueF7
— The Republic (@republicjournal) February 24, 2022
Here are some Republic articles to read for context on Russia-Africa relations:
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