Africans living in Ukraine and Russia have told BBC News Hausa and BBC News Swahili they’re doing what they can to stay safe.
“We woke up to an atmosphere of palpable fear and tension. Everyone is still scared – citizens and foreigners are leaving the country,” says Muhammad Kabir, a Nigerian studying in Ukraine’s capital city Kyiv.
He said he heard “three loud explosions” early on Thursday morning that he and others mistook for “celebratory fireworks” at first.
“I live in a Russian city called Belgorod which is close to the Ukrainian border,” says Nigerian student Sadik Shehu Masalla. “The sound was so loud that it woke everyone up. We were not able to go back to sleep again because of fear since we are very close to Ukraine.”
Tanzanian medical student Evance Liseki who lives in Kharkiv, north-eastern Ukraine, says he and his friends have been “hearing explosions, but generally we are safe”.
On Thursdays he usually attends practical classes in a hospital but these have been called off and he’s instead remaining indoors in line with Ukraine’s state of emergency directives.
“For now I can say I am safe but am in a state of panic – as a human being you have to panic”.