The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) updated its Ukraine refugee statistics this week, adding new data that “better reflects movements of refugees to and from Ukraine.”
According to the UN’s refugee data portal, Ukrainian refugees are now documented in 44 countries across Europe. New border crossing data for Ukraine was also provided, showing some movement back to Ukraine.
The UNHCR noted that as of June 7, 7.3 million border crossings took place, with some 2.3 million people re-entering the country.
“From the onset, UNHCR has strengthened its data collection and analysis capacity in refugee-receiving countries on the profile, vulnerabilities, and intentions of refugees,” Raouf Mazou, the UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Operations said in the statement.
“This is crucial to ensure an effective humanitarian response, enabling us and partners to respond to critical needs with specific support, and to better plan for the future.”
Before this week’s update, the United Nations predicted that a total of 4 million people would flee Ukraine, but that figure soon surpassed 5 million by the end of the second month of the invasion.
Also prior to the recent update, the UNHCR predicted that as many as 8.3 million Ukrainians will leave the country before the end of the war, with many of those leaving never returning to the country. In April, the UNHCR called on international charitable groups and world governments to assist in housing the millions of Ukrainians fleeing the war.
Preparing For A Life Overseas?
A report from the BBC shared the stories of Ukrainian immigrants settling in the United Kingdom who are receiving free English lessons to help them permanently settle in the United Kingdom.
One refugee, Anastasiia Vellikokhatska, described how her family in Odesa, Ukraine, had “everything” before the conflict began – and that they arrived in Bath, England, with “nothing.” Vellikokhatrska described how the English lessons were helping her and her family “start a new life” in the country.
“We had everything, a normal job, car home, friends, but when we arrived here we had nothing. I didn’t know the language which meant I couldn’t work,” she said.
“We go to classes to try and learn English. It means we can start a new life.”
Other reports out of Europe reveal how Ukrainian refugees are receiving similar foreign language lessons to assist in establishing new lives in European countries, including Poland and Romania.
With Russia controlling one-fifth of Ukraine and no end to the invasion in sight, millions more Ukrainians could see themselves displaced – and the longer the conflict goes on, the more Ukrainians may simply not return.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.