Only half of Ukrainian refugees are ready to return home: under what conditions

Darina GertsevaNews
How many Ukrainian refugees are ready to return home
How many Ukrainian refugees are ready to return home. Source: Pixabay

Only 50% of Ukrainian refugees in Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic are ready to return home if there is security, critical infrastructure is functioning properly, housing is available, and the war is over. For 34% of respondents, the key conditions are security and normal operation of critical infrastructure, while 26% emphasize the housing issue and the end of the full-scale invasion.

These are the results of a survey conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) in April. According to the study, 34% of respondents named normal operation of critical infrastructure and security as the main conditions for the return of Ukrainian refugees home.

Results of the survey of Ukrainians

In addition, 26% of respondents said they would return if they had housing and the full-scale invasion was over. Additionally, 16% emphasized the possibility of finding a job, and 13% – the possibility of children attending school or kindergarten.

The sociologists also analyzed the answers of Ukrainians to questions about their satisfaction with life abroad, the conditions for returning to Ukraine, and their desire to obtain a passport of another country. The study concludes that those who have not applied for citizenship of another country, are not fully satisfied with living conditions in the new country, and express certain conditions for returning home are more likely to return.

How many Ukrainians plan to return home

"According to this approach, exactly half of the respondents (50%) are those who are more likely to return to Ukraine. However, taking into account the respondents' answers to the questions about their interest in Ukraine, this assessment is rather an optimistic scenario in the current conditions," KIIS said.

KIIS Executive Director Anton Hrushetsky emphasized the importance of maintaining communication with Ukrainian citizens abroad. "The results of the survey cited in this press release show that a significant number of Ukrainian refugees are losing (or have already lost) contact with Ukraine. Unfortunately, this was absolutely expected and in any case, we would have lost some citizens. However, the question remains as to which part of the citizens can be returned and what makes sense to do so," he said.

According to him, on the one hand, the state, Ukrainian civil society, and ordinary citizens should maintain contact with citizens abroad, work with them, keep in touch, and motivate them to return. On the other hand, Ukrainians abroad also need to be motivated to return and make relevant efforts to stay connected to Ukraine.

The survey was conducted from April 20 to 26, 2024. A total of 801 respondents were interviewed online – adult citizens aged 18 and older who left Ukraine after February 24, 2022, and currently reside in Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

Formally, under normal circumstances, the theoretical statistical error of such a sample would not exceed 3.5%. At the same time, sociologists emphasize that the lack of reliable statistics on the number and distribution of Ukrainian refugees, the lack of data on their gender and age structure, and, as a result, less interest in participating in Ukrainian surveys and the peculiarities of the online interview method affect the error, and the actual error will be somewhat higher.

As OBOZ.UA previously reported, Ireland is considering reducing state support for asylum seekers and refugees, including those from Ukraine, even those who have long been in the country. The main goal is to bring Irish payments in line with other European countries, as more and more Ukrainian refugees are moving to Ireland from other EU countries due to the large financial support.

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