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Over 8 million Ukrainians became displaced since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion

According to Dmytro Lubinets, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, more than 5 million Ukrainians have applied for temporary resident status in European countries.

Photo: Leonhard Foeger / Reuters

“Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, millions of our fellow citizens have been forced to leave their homes in search of safety both within Ukraine and beyond its borders (…)[Ukraine] is grateful to all the countries that have not only hospitably accepted Ukrainians, provided shelter and a sense of security, but also actively assist our country in the fight against the enemy!” stated Dmytro Lubinets on the World Refugee Day on June 20.

Earlier this month, Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, reported that about 16 million Ukrainians went to EU member states in 2022. At the same time, approximately 11 million of them have already returned (to Ukraine – ed.). Four million still remain in EU countries, while another one million Ukrainians have fled beyond the EU, for example, to Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

According to Johansson, the return of Ukrainian citizens to their homeland is not related to any perceived unwelcome reception in the EU. Still, Ukrainians are primarily driven by their desire to be part of the resistance against Russian aggression and continue working in Ukraine.

“I have spoken to those who have returned (Ukrainians – ed.), and there is no reason to say they are not welcome here. They feel welcomed here. However, many of them, perhaps leaving their children with relatives, have returned to fight, work, or be part of the resistance against Russian aggression,” she said.