Two-thirds of Ukraine refugees plan to stay put for now – UN

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 (Reuters) – Around two-thirds of refugees from Ukraine expect to stay in their host countries until hostilities subside and the security situation improves after Russia’s invasion, a survey by the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR has found.

Most of the refugees from Ukraine, mainly women and children, hope to return home eventually, according to the survey of around 4,900 people from Ukraine now living in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The survey was conducted between mid-May and mid-June.

UNHCR says more than 5.6 million refugees are now recorded across Europe, with nearly 8.8 million people crossing out of Ukraine and nearly 3.3 million crossing back in since the Russian invasion on Feb. 24.

“They are anxious to reunite with friends and family and worry about those who stayed behind. Most want to wait until hostilities have subsided,” the report released on Wednesday said.

Of those seeking to return, 40% planned to do so in the next month, said UNHCR, adding that a higher proportion of refugees from the capital Kyiv and areas in the west were planning to return than those who arrived from the east and north.

The U.N. human rights office (OHCHR) said on Tuesday that more than 5,000 civilians had been killed in Ukraine since Russia invaded on Feb. 24, adding that the real toll was likely much higher.

OHCHR, which has dozens of human rights monitors in the country, said in its weekly update that 5,024 people had been killed and 6,520 injured.

Photo – War refugees at the Polish-Ukrainian border crossing in Dorohusk, Poland. EPA-EFE/WOJTEK JARGILO

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