20 Jun 2022 12:18

Temporary protection granted to 3.4 mln Ukrainian refugees in Europe, primarily in Poland, Germany, Czechia - UN

MOSCOW. June 20 (Interfax) - A total of 3.207 million Ukrainian refugees received temporary protection or a similar national status in Europe as of June 16, 2022, Ukrainian media outlets said, citing information from the website of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The number has grown by almost 0.5 million since June 1, including 0.2 million over the past week, mostly due to data updates from Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

According to the UNHCR data collected from national governments, the number of Ukrainian refugees with a temporary protection status is the largest in Poland (1,169,500), considering that, according to the Polish Border Guard, 4.166 million people arrived in Poland from Ukraine between February 24 and June 18, and 2.195 million people crossed the border in the opposite direction.

Germany and Czechia follow with 641,390 and 373,820 Ukrainian refugees with a temporary protection status, respectively.

The UN said, citing government data, that 780,000 Ukrainian refugees have been recorded in Germany, which allowed them to stay without registration until the end of August. The information suggests that a considerable part of them have yet to apply for temporary protection in Germany.

The situation is different in Czechia, where practically all the refugees - 373,820 out of 373,970, have asked for temporary protection, the UN said.

The situation is same as in Czechia in the vast majority of other countries: the number of recorded refugees is completely or almost equal to the number of protection seekers, probably because of specific features of refugee records. The only Germany-like exceptions are Romania where 37,830 out of 90,300 recorded refugees have been given temporary protection, Estonia (27,490 out of 42,260), and Italy (97,310 out of 129,620).

Besides Poland, Czechia, Germany and Italy, over 50,000 refugees from Ukraine have applied for temporary protection in Spain (119,740), France (87,970), Slovakia (78,110 out of 270,000 refugees who cross the border since the beginning of the conflict), Austria (71,830), the United Kingdom (70,500), the Netherlands (64,480) and Switzerland (55,920).

Meanwhile, the number of refugees with the temporary protection status reduced from 53,890 to 46,550 in Lithuania over the past week.

It is followed by Belgium (46,850), Portugal (42,150), Sweden (38,050), Ireland (36,910), Denmark (28,290), Latvia (26,800), Finland (26,750), as well as Romania and Estonia mentioned earlier.

There are 10,000 to 25,000 refugees with the temporary protection status in Hungary (24,450), Norway (18,510), Greece (14,890), Croatia (14,260), and Cyprus (13,050).

The UN statistical data on Ukrainian refugees with the temporary protection status also includes the refugees staying in Slovenia (7,100), Luxembourg (5,250), Montenegro (3,980), Iceland (900), Malta (920), Serbia and Kosovo (750), and Liechtenstein (220).

There is also information from Bulgaria in the table, probably entered by mistake. According to this information, 79,200 Ukrainian refugees are recorded in Bulgaria, and 114,880 are given temporary protection.

In addition, the UN listed countries that have recorded refugees from Ukraine but provided no information about temporary protection status: Moldova (85,500), Georgia (20,390), Azerbaijan (4,840), Albania (1,530), North Macedonia (1,210), Armenia (490), and Bosnia and Herzegovina (330).

Turkey has been excluded from the list, although it reported 145,000 refugees from Ukraine a week ago.

Russia and Belarus deserve a special mention, whose borders were crossed by 1,230,800 and 16,660 refugees, respectively. The UN said that everyone who crossed the border was recorded in Russia, while Belarus recorded only 9,010. There is no information about any status of these people, same as information about crossing the border into Ukraine.

In all, according to the UN, Ukraine was left by 7.704 million people between February 24 and June 16, while 2.559 million came back (without information from Hungary, Russia and Belarus). The UN estimated the total number of refugees at approximately 4.8 million, including over 1.2 million to Russia.

The UNHCR estimated the number of internally displaced persons at over 7.1 million. There are also 15.7 million people who need humanitarian aid and protection, it said.

As of mid-2021, there were only 53,470 Ukrainian refugees requesting the respective status in the world, including 36,490 in Europe.

The UNHCR estimated the size of the Ukrainian community in the world at 6.1 million in the middle of 2020, including 5 million in Europe.