Number of Ukrainians living abroad increases by 500,000 in the first half of the year

According to a new study by the Ukrainian Center for Economic Strategy (CES), the number of Ukrainian war refugees abroad has increased by about 500,000 people in the first half of 2023.

This reported The Kyiv Independent. Between 5.6 and 6.7 million Ukrainians were living abroad at the end of June this year. The CES has indicated that these figures represent an increase of 300,000 to 500,000 people over the number of people in December 2022. According to the CES, this increase is due to increased missile attacks in May 2023, Ukrainian energy infrastructure in 2022-23, and the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka hydroelectric plant in June 2023. The still ongoing war also contributes to the increased numbers.

About 63 percent of refugees want to return to Ukraine

According to the report, the majority of refugees are women and children, and most Ukrainian refugees live in Germany and Poland. About 63% of Ukrainians living abroad plan to return to Ukraine, but the timeframe as well as the conditions for return are still unclear. According to one estimate, about 3.3 million Ukrainians plan to stay abroad under various circumstances, which will have a significant impact on the Ukrainian economy as well as the gross domestic product. Based on these figures, the CES has proposed a number of recommendations to encourage refugees to return, including, for example, facilitating post-war reconstruction.

Image: Number 10, Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses Parliament (52676732611), CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons (image resized).

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