65% of Ukrainians don’t plan to return home in the foreseeable future

Ukrainian refugees arrive to Budapest's Western Railway Station. (Márton Ficsor)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

A new United Nations poll shows that of the 8.8 million people who left Ukraine since the war broke out, there are 5.6 million who remain abroad.

According to UNHCR, the majority of those surveyed said they wanted to return when the situation in Ukraine stabilizes, but 65 percent said that they planned to stay where they were in the foreseeable future and 9 percent expressed a wish to move to another country away from Ukraine. 

Sixteen percent of those surveyed said they wanted to visit Ukraine in the next two months to see their relatives and friends and to put their personal affairs in order.

The poll conducted for UNHCR was carried out on a sample of 4,900 refugees currently located in Poland, Czechia, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, and Slovakia.

The desire of the respondents to return varied greatly depending on the region that they had fled from. Inhabitants of Kyiv and western Ukraine were far readier to do so than those from the east or north of Ukraine.

The majority of those who want to stay put in the country that gave them refuge are people taking care of children or older parents, as well as people who arrived at their current place of residence soon after the war started and have found adequate living arrangements. 

Among those who wish to move to another country, the majority are people who have arrived recently and are living in refugee centers. A third of them want to move to Germany. 

Seventy percent of those polled left Ukraine with close relatives. Ninety percent are mothers with children, and 82 percent have left at least one member of immediate family behind. 

Seventy-seven percent of the refugees have finished university or school or have work experience.

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