How The Refugee Exodus Will Change Ukraine’s Demographics

If the violence continues for two years, an expert believes that five million people may decide to permanently relocate abroad. So, how exactly would the refugee exodus change Ukraine’s demographics?

How The Refugee Exodus Will Change Ukraine’s Demographics

If the military confrontation with Russia drags on, the population of Ukraine may fall by up to five million people. Ella Libanova, head of the Ukrainian Institute of Demography and Social Research, issued the warning, stating that many refugees would live overseas permanently.

Libanova stated during a nationwide TV marathon that the length of the Russian offensive’s “hot phase” is currently the key determinant of the country’s demography.

“If it is over by the end of the year, I think that we will lose about 500,000 – 600,000 people. It’s a lot, but not a disaster. If the hot phase of the war lasts, say, 2 years, then it could be up to five million,” Libanova said. She also added that as the conflict drags on, more people will flee.

When the limits on men ages 18 to 60 leaving the nation are relaxed, “family reunification will take place not in Ukraine, but abroad,” in her words.

According to the demographer, the situation with internal migration is even more challenging. Even when the military battle is finished, she predicted, people will still be aware of Russia’s status as a “aggressive neighbor.” She argued that as a result, businesses and families may decide not to relocate back to the areas near the Russian border.

“Therefore, I am not convinced that we will be able to restore the pre-war distribution of the population {and} business,” she said.

The Ukrainian government should, in Libanova’s perspective, take a number of steps to reduce the conflict’s negative demographic effects, she suggested earlier this month. She emphasized that it is crucial for the state to keep in touch with those who have departed by offering them chances to work and study remotely.

She added that Ukraine should not anticipate a baby boom right away after the war is over.

“Children will be born only when there is a rapid increase in living standards and improvement in quality of life, when there are living conditions for parents. But this will not happen immediately after the war,” she said.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, stated earlier this month that over 12 million Ukrainians had fled their homes since the start of the Russian campaign.

As of June 21, almost 5.3 million Ukrainian refugees had registered for national protection programs across Europe, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The organization claims that there were more than 8 million border crossings from Ukraine, therefore it appears that a greater number of Ukrainians overall were leaving the nation.

The estimated population of Ukraine before February was 41.2 million.

Russian President Vladimir Putin forewarned the West in late March of a new surge of migrants that, in his judgment, will “inevitably” precede the food crisis as Europe deals with one of the most severe migratory crises in modern history.

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