Ella Libanova , Oleksii Pozniak

© E. Libanova, O. Pozniak. Article available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 licence


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The article aims to evaluate the scale and consequences of the emigration of Ukrainians triggered by the military aggression of the Russian Federation. The paper also attempts to determine the composition of the refugees. The first weeks of the military aggression saw the most active departure of the population from Ukraine, after that the number of those seeking refuge decreased. According to the estimation of the Ptukha Institute for Demography and Social Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine based on the data from the State Border Guard Service, the number of ‘refugees from the war in Ukraine’ reached 3 million as of the end of June 2022. The emigrants are mainly residents of Kyiv and Kharkiv, which results in a much higher specific weight of people with higher education than the national average. This fact combined with an orientation towards employment rather than social assistance (a mentality that is relatively close to Europeans), suggests a high probability (especially compared to the same emigrants from other countries, including Syria and Afghanistan) for most Ukrainian women to successfully adapt to life across the border. This is especially true for those who came to Poland, due to the minimal linguistic and cultural differences between the countries. The potential amount of irreversible migration losses, depending on the military and economic factors, ranges from 600–700 thousand to 5–5.5 million people. Considering the fact that approximately 3 million Ukrainians had already been staying (working) abroad before 2022, the war is likely to result in a demographic catastrophe for Ukraine, whose demographic potential has been utterly exhausted.


migration, forced migration, refugees, temporary protection, return of migrants, migration policy.


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