Why Ukrainian refugees are returning home: important reasons
Since the beginning of the full-scale war, more than 18 million Ukrainians have traveled abroad. However, time goes on and most citizens have returned or are planning to return home. Find out more about what makes refugees return to Ukraine
The war started by russia has caused the largest wave of migration since World War II, according to the UN. Ukrainians fled their homes in large numbers in the first days of the invasion, but eventually, as the situation in certain cities improved, they returned to Ukraine. What are the reasons why Ukrainians come back to their homeland from abroad? Let's find out.
How many Ukrainians have returned home?
The United Nations Refugee Agency has been counting the number of Ukrainians who have been forced to leave Ukraine. In February 2023, the agency reported that more than 18 million people left the country during the full-scale war.
At the same time, there is a positive trend: more than 9.9 million have returned. This means that there are currently more than 8 million refugees abroad, of whom 5 million have been granted temporary protection status.
Which countries have the largest number of refugees from Ukraine?
The top European countries that have accepted the largest number of Ukrainians remain unchanged. The first place is taken by Poland, where 1.5 million refugees have found shelter. Germany is in second place with 1 million Ukrainians.
Next comes the Czech Republic with 486 thousand refugees.
Slightly fewer of our citizens received help in Italy, Spain and the UK.
What motivates Ukrainians to return home?
Many Ukrainians dreamed of living abroad and, unfortunately, it was the war that gave them this opportunity. So why do they return to their homeland once they find themselves in the country of their dreams? The refugees themselves emphasize that the main reasons are:
- The expiration of temporary protection;
- Lack of free housing and high rents;
- cancellation of financial assistance;
- Difficulties in finding a job.
Employment is an important factor for settling down abroad. Statistics show that a relatively small percentage of refugees work abroad. In Germany, this figure is 15%, and in Poland - 41%. The figures show that the majority of IDPs live on financial payments or social benefits.
In conclusion, we can say that financial difficulties are a significant factor for returning home.
Ukrainians highly value family ties, so the desire to reunite with relatives also encourages them to return. According to a survey conducted by the Ukrainian Institute for the Future, more than 60% of respondents return because of their family.
The same survey showed that 46% of respondents want to live in Ukraine to restore the "pre-war" way of life.
Interestingly, this reason was mostly chosen by people aged 18-35, while family ties were the reason for Ukrainians aged 36-50.
Do Ukrainians miss their homeland?
We cannot ignore the fact that many Ukrainians are sincere patriots and miss their homeland immensely. Love for our native land is woven into our DNA, because from a young age we know that "There is no Ukraine, no second Dnipro." Therefore, most people plan to return home.
51% of Ukrainians called the end of the war a decisive factor. 34% said that the absence of hostilities in their home region would also allow them to return. (Data provided by the Center for Economic Strategy and Info Sapiens research agency)
Interestingly, parents are ready to leave their children abroad to study - 40% of respondents expressed this desire.
Sociologists interviewed Ukrainians in different countries. The international company "Gremi Personal" conducted a study among refugees in Poland:
- 55% of respondents plan to return to Ukraine (most of them after the election);
- 8% will return home this spring;
- 4% will come to Ukraine in the summer.
However, there are those who have settled abroad and plan to continue living there. 38% want to stay in Poland, and 7% plan to move from Poland to other European countries.
To encourage refugees to return to Ukraine, the government should make significant efforts. They need to rebuild destroyed infrastructure and homes, provide financial assistance to affected families and create jobs.
Our people have hearts full of love for their homeland, so we believe that all Ukrainians will return home.
To learn more about why Ukrainians are coming home, watch the new video on our Visit Ukraine YouTube channel.
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Since the start of the full-scale invasion, Ukraine has already returned more than 2,200 people from captivity, including both military personnel and civilians. Find out who is eligible for payments and how to get them
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