VIDEO: Russians Mock African Students With Bananas And Racial Slurs

VIDEO: Russians Mock African Students With Bananas And Racial Slurs

(Image Credit: The Observers)

On January 20, a video was shot with several clips of two unidentified Russian people interacting with and calling African students discriminatory slurs while handing them bananas.

The video, shot at Moscow State University of Civil Engineering, has sparked attention on Reddit, as well as on Russian social media channels. The video features a Russian filming and another handing out bananas and throwing snowballs at the African students, using the slur “monkey,” as well as other insults.

The nature of the video sheds light on the ongoing racism against foreign students in Russia.

Moscow State University of Civil Engineering has more than 200 foreign students from 35 countries.  A number of partnerships between Russia and Africa, including scholarships, provides opportunities for students to study. In 2012, up to 27,000 African students were studying in Russian universities.

A Congolese student, Christ Dinga, 27, began pursuing his studies in Russia in 2015. According to France’s The Observers, Dinga said he has witnessed different accounts of racism at the Moscow university, but not to the extent of the video.

“In Russia, I personally have been a victim of racism on several occasions. When people see me, the first thing they do is laugh: ‘Look, a Black man. What is he doing here?’ There is mockery every day,” Dinga said.

While speaking of his own experiences, Dinga said he had not witnessed racism to the extent of the video. But did expand on the details that occurred.

“The first person in the video is an Angolan student who defends himself with aggression, using rude insults too,” Dinga explained. The second student is a Nigerian and accepted the banana without realizing it is for humiliation. The third is Angolan. And the fourth student is a Guinean. With him, a fight broke out, but the Russians cut out the part of the video with the fight.”

Reports of daily racial discrimination have flooded with stories of Black people, including Russian-born people with mixed heritage and people from African and Caribbean countries working or studying in Russia. Incidents span from refusal of taxi service to being turned away from restaurants and cafes.

In light of the recent war between Russia and Ukraine, others stories have surfaced of racism against Africans who are trying to flee Ukraine.

“There are many foreign students at our university who come from Africa, Asia, the Middle East. I can say that many African students are victims of racism and discrimination. I speak of Africans because I am a witness and I know what is happening in the African community here. I can’t speak for other communities,” Dinga said.