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As war ravages Ukraine, Poland becomes a refugee center

Photo By Anil Aytekin

While the welcoming stance of the Polish government and friendly behaviours of civil society matter for war-weary refugees, the crisis has led some other social and economic issues.

Poland, a member of the EU in Eastern Europe, borders with Belorussia and Ukraine. Warsaw, the capital city, hosts thousands of Russian, Belorussian, Ukrainian students.

However, this welcoming atmosphere is quiet new step for Poland. For the last decade, Poland has followed anti-immigrant and anti refugee policies. The ruling right-wing party Law and Justice, elected in 2015 and considered to be the mastermind of these policies, did harm the country so much.

Poland’s acceptance of millions of Ukrainian refugees should be praised, however, it might lead to social unrest in the future. While Poland is welcoming white Ukrainians warmly and friendly, refugees with other skin colours are getting treated differently.

I interviewed Anil, an engineering student in Warsaw for 2 years. He is not taking any side in the war, saying that everything is changing rapidly and this war brought unrest to students, causing a lot of social and economic problems.

As the interviewee mentioned in the podcast, Nazism is still active in Poland, posing a huge threat against Africans, Asians and Middle Easterners.

According the UN, United Nations, 2.3 million Ukrainian refugees have fled to Poland so far. The number is expected to get higher as the war continues.

Locals, NGOs, students in Poland have carried out plenty of campaigns so far, piling tons of humanitarian aid and food. Also millions of zloty ( Polish currency) have been raised, going into safe state-protected bank accounts.

Refuge campaign stands in Warsaw Photo By Anil Aytekin

Yet the wrong policies pursued by the Polish government triggered Nazism and cultivated chauvinistic emotions, promoting extremist right wing groups to foster their organisational skills and ideological ground. Now the Polish authorities have to fix their misdoings to overcome likelihood racist attacks on refugees.

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