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These are just some of the women at the top of their game in the world of entertainment in But how much of their success is down to the shade of their skin?


The Black Lives Matter BLM protests have not swept across Russia the way they have elsewhere, but people of colour living there have told the BBC about the casual discrimination they experience on a daily basis. There are estimated to be tens of thousands of people of colour living in Russia - including Russian-born people with mixed heritage and people from African and Caribbean countries who are working or studying in Russia.

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Recently a video of a taxi driver refusing to take a black man in his cab made waves on the internet in Russia. The person left standing on the kerb was year-old Roy Ibonga, a Congolese man studying economics at Bryansk State University. In his video, published on social media, the driver can be heard saying "If I don't like a person, I won't give them a ride. It's my car". When Roy asks him bluntly "Are you a racist?

Later the Yandex taxi company, the Russian equivalent of Uber, apologised to Roy. I'm very sorry that it happened to you," wrote a customer service rep.

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According to news reports, the driver was dismissed the same day. The company said "rude or racist drivers have no place at Yandex Taxi". Roy wrote about the incident on Instagram. Some people expressed support, but others wrote racist insults. Later Roy closed his. Some social media users criticised Yandex for firing the taxi driver and even called for a boycott. Roy lives in Bryansk, a city km miles south of Moscow, where he is not the only African student, but all of them, he says, experience similar racist treatment.

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I just decided to video it this time to show people. It's the same every time. It happens to my friends too, but they can't talk about it because they don't speak Russian. The security guard told me, 'You can't come in because last time some African guys came in there was a fight'. What has that got to do with me? I asked. But he wouldn't let me in. I even called the manager, but they just told me I wasn't allowed in. There's a big difference between Bryansk and Moscow.

Moscow is like a different country. I never felt discrimination there. He said he had "never seen police beat up a black person in Russia" and "I've never had anything to do with the police here". There's no point being aggressive. People won't understand anyway and they won't change.

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I try to ignore it. It just makes you stressed. You start to think, 'Why was I born black? I only encountered racism when I came to Russia in I find it very hurtful. You step outside and everyone looks at you as if you're not human. It's really offensive. Isabel says she was treated meanly by other kids at school and reminded every single day that her skin colour was different.

I couldn't stand up for myself there. I didn't tell my parents about it. My big brother protected me at school. Sometimes he had to get into fights for me. Isabel dreamt about moving from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to a place where she would be able to walk down the street without people looking at her.

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Both she and her Dominican dad were routinely stared at. But later, when I started work and needed to rent a flat, I felt the racism again. It was particularly bad in Moscow, says Isabel. All the letting said "Slavs only". I had to arrange to meet them in person, so they could see I was a normal person with a normal job and wouldn't turn their apartment into a drug den.

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I either ignore them or in the banter, if I can see that it's just teasing. If you get angry every time it'll make you a nervous wreck. Isabel's mother is from Sakhalin island and her dad from the Dominican Republic. They met in the s, studying in Kyiv, the capital of then-Soviet Ukraine.

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Isabel's father came over to the Soviet Union on a student exchange programme. Isabel says that when her parents got married, while still studying, the university's reaction was negative. Her mother was harassed and called an "enemy of the people".

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The day after giving birth to my brother she had an exam. The university refused to let her postpone it. She wasn't allowed to defend her dissertation properly. She always got top marks, but they wouldn't give her anything higher than a third-class degree. Racism shows itself in Russia in attitudes towards people from the former Soviet republics. They are the ones who need to protest, but they are afraid to because a lot of them are here illegally. on anti-racism protests:.

Sometimes people look suspiciously or with disapproval and move to another seat if you sit down next to them in the metro. But I haven't noticed any serious racial hatred.

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Not as an adult. I think it left a mark on me. I lived on the outskirts of Moscow. It wasn't just the kids, but their parents who were bringing them up to be racist.

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Later I went to a better school. The kids and especially the parents there were much more aware and open-minded. Now it doesn't bother me so much, but there are still moments. The journalism faculty has a black doorman! I've learnt to have a positive attitude to myself and think my appearance is an advantage.

I don't think we have the institutionalised racism of the West. I'm shocked by the brutality against people of colour there. Racism is a problem in Russia, too, but here everything is hushed up. Kamilla is of Russian and Nigerian origin.

She grew up in Stary Oskol, a town km south of Moscow. There weren't many other people of colour around. I was lucky because my class was quite tolerant and we all knew each other from nursery school. But kids in other classes called me names.

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That was racist for sure and they insulted me. I still get impolite questions like, 'So are you from Africa, or something?

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I usually give a sarcastic reply or just ignore them. But when you play for a Russian team there are always comments on social media s: Is she really Russian? Has there been a mix-up? People think it's funny when a black girl plays for Russia. But now I shrug it off.

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Why do they call me names? The answer is simple: it's not me that's wrong, it's the people around me. Throughout her life she felt she looked different. It depends on the situation. Very occasionally I've been called chernaya - "a black" - but it was always by a very ignorant person. There have been clashes, but more often about my personality than the colour of my skin. There have certainly been times when people called me 'chocolate' and other things like that.

Alena believes the problem of racism in Russia is different from the USA.