16:47 28.03.2023

Half of Ukrainians who left after start of Russian invasion decide not to return to Ukraine for security reasons – poll

4 min read
Half of Ukrainians who left after start of Russian invasion decide not to return to Ukraine for security reasons – poll

(The 11th paragraph has been added)

KYIV. March 28 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The security issue has become the reason for not returning to Ukraine for 50% of citizens who left the country after February 24, 2022.

This is evidenced by the results of an online survey assessing the migration processes and moods of Ukrainians, which were presented by executive director of the Ukrainian Institute for the Future Vadym Denysenko at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine.

According to the survey, 37% of respondents have close relatives (spouses, children or parents) who were forced to leave Ukraine after the start of a full-scale Russian invasion, and 80% have friends and acquaintances with whom they communicate personally.

The main reason for leaving was the lack of a sense of security, 58% said the need to take care of children and their future, and 57% believe that the reason is the increased level of danger.

Answering a question about the attitude towards the need to return, 46% of respondents, who left after February 24, 2022, noted that "everyone decides for themselves," 21% chose the option "yes, immediately after the end of the war (before the process of rebuilding the country)," and 16.5% - "yes, if there is no threat of occupation of their territories."

Regarding the assessment of the intentions of the closest relatives who left to return to Ukraine, 36% of respondents answered "definitely yes - they firmly decided it," 32% consider it possible, "if there is work and it is safe," 14% believe that it is unlikely whether it will happen, "because they are starting to settle in a new place," 5% said no, and 3% of the respondents are going to move to relatives if possible.

At the same time, 44% of respondents believe that their friends and acquaintances will be able to return if it is safe in Ukraine and the issue of employment can be resolved, 29% are convinced that it will definitely be so, because "they constantly talk about it," 15% - chose the option "unlikely" and 2% - "no."

Among the reasons that influence the decision of people to return to Ukraine are family ties (60%), habitual lifestyle and environment (46%), security (42%), job availability (36%), patriotism (32%), failures in settling abroad (27%), and caring for children, since they have to live and study in Ukraine (16%).

At the same time, 55% of respondents named life prospects as reasons not to return to Ukraine, 50% - safety, 48% - availability of work, 33% - caring for children (they should receive a normal education and start a new life), 28% - comfort, and 27% - lack of fight against corruption and lustration of pro-Russian forces in Ukraine.

Also, 21% of respondents said that among their acquaintances, friends and colleagues there are men who left Ukraine after February 24, 2022, although they had no legal reasons or grounds for this (59% answered "no," 19% - "I don't know" and another 1% refused to answer this question).

"As for those 21% who left the country illegally, we asked how exactly they traveled illegally. And here we have an undisputed leader (two first places 23% each) – through bribes and volunteering. Third, fourth, fifth place – 15-16% each – through registration of disability for themselves, registration of care for a disabled relative, and the third point is through student visas," Denysenko said.

In addition, 47% of respondents to the question of whether Ukrainian refugees should help Ukraine answered that everyone decides for themselves, 28% believe that for this purpose (for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine) part of their salary should be transferred. The average monthly donations of Ukrainians who left, according to the survey, are UAH 51-100 (this was reported by 16.4% of respondents, while 18.2% answered that they had not helped the Armed Forces of Ukraine or volunteers with money over the past three months).

The online survey Assessment of Migration Processes and Moods was conducted by the Ukrainian Institute for the Future together with New Image Group on March 20-23. Respondents gave answers to questions about their motivation to return to Ukraine or stay abroad, and assessed the likelihood of their friends and relatives returning.

The survey involved 1,200 respondents, including the adult population of Ukraine, Internet users aged 18 years and older. The statistical error with a probability of 0.95 does not exceed 2.89%.

The survey was conducted throughout the territory of Ukraine, except for settlements in the temporarily uncontrolled territories of Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Luhansk and Kherson regions, as well as the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea.