Fleeing Ukrainian refugees have been met with isolated incidents of hostility on the border, according to PoliticsJOE reports.
Those arriving into Przemyśl, a two-hour train journey from Lviv, have been subject to antagonism from gangs roaming the streets, with some – namely those of colour – being chased through the streets by hooligans who are suspected of belonging to the far-right group ONR.
The mobs have amassed on the streets after a video went viral, purportedly showing a black refugee robbing a shop and attacking a pregnant woman at knifepoint on CCTV.
But, as PoliticsJOE report, it wasn’t true. The local police department put out a statement that evening, alluding to the social media posts, saying there had been no reports of such crimes, or any evidence they’d taken place.
Regrettably, that hasn’t managed to quell the angst, as the below footage shows:
‘Nothing but humanity’
The isolated incidents appear to conflict with the overwhelming outpouring of support from Polish people elsewhere.
Writing in the Guardian, Anastasia Lapatina reported that people are hosting Ukrainians in their apartments, driving them to places, or simply giving them money to cover basic needs.
She said expected to be confronted with a humanitarian catastrophe produced by a million people fleeing their homes due to war.
But when she arrived in Przemyśl, “what I saw was instead the best of humanity”.
More than 1.5 million people have fled Ukraine in just 10 days, with about 1 million of them crossing into Poland.
No specific funding legislation has been passed yet in response to the effort, but local government in the Polish Podkarpackie region, which covers about half of the Ukrainian-Polish border, has spent more than €10m to date.
Meanwhile, the European Commission has said it will allow EU states to use resources from a large Covid-19 recovery package to help Ukrainian refugees.
On Wednesday the UN launched a $1.7 billion appeal to provide assistance both in Ukraine and in the countries welcoming Ukrainian refugees, while the UNHCR is also present, helping to register and provide accommodation for refugees at the Polish border.
More than 90 per cent of Poles in a recent survey said they support the admission of Ukrainian refugees into Poland, while 65 per cent said they are willing to help them personally.