25 Jul 2022 14:03

Nearly 4 mln refugees from Ukraine registered for temporary protection in Europe - UN

MOSCOW. July 25 (Interfax) - The number of refugees from Ukraine registered for temporary protection or similar national protection schemes in Europe stood at 3,709,330 as of July 20, 2022, the Ukrainian media said, citing the website of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said.

This number increased by around 135,000 over three weeks since June 29, after growing by 170,000 during the previous two weeks, and by nearly 775,000 since the end of May.

The biggest growth was recorded in Poland (by around 40,000), in the Czech Republic (some 13,500), the United Kingdom (some 13,000), and Italy (around 11,000).

According to the UNHCR Office data provided by national governments, the largest number of Ukrainian refugees with temporary protection status is in Poland (1,234,700). The Polish Border Service, in turn, said that 4.968 million people have arrived in Poland from Ukraine, and 3.045 million people have crossed into Ukraine from Poland since February 24.

It is followed by Germany and the Czech Republic, where 670,000 (this figure has not changed since June 21) and 396,180 refugees from Ukraine have registered for temporary protection.

The UN said, citing the figures provided by the government, that a total of 893,000 refugees from Ukraine have been recorded in Germany, where Ukrainians are allowed to stay without registration until the end of August. Based on these data, it is clear a large number of them have not yet applied for temporary protection status in this country.

Meanwhile, UN data indicate a different situation in the Czech Republic, where nearly all Ukrainians who have arrived in this country have applied for temporary protection - 396,180 out of 396,330.

The situation in the overwhelming majority of other countries is similar to that in the Czech Republic: the number of refugees from Ukraine currently present in these countries is completely or almost completely equal to their numbers who have applied for temporary protection, a circumstance that obviously stems from the specifics of accounting for them and the expiration of 90-day periods during which they can stay in these countries without visas. Along with Germany, there are only two other countries that represent an exception from this situation - Romania, which 84,530 Ukrainian refugees have entered, but only 45,530 of them have been officially registered, and Estonia, where these figures stand at 46,730 and 30,290, respectively.

Italy still has the fourth largest number of registered refugees from Ukraine - 143,130, followed by Spain, where the number of registered Ukrainian refugees has increased by 5,000 to 128,890 over the past three weeks.

It is followed by Bulgaria, where this figure stands at 123,360. It is the only country where the number of refugees from Ukraine registered for temporary protection is far larger than the number of refugees from Ukraine recorded in this country.

Countries with more than 50,000 refugees from Ukraine registered for temporary protection also include the UK (99,700), France (92,160 as of July 4, an increase by 4,200), and Slovakia (85,770, an increase by more than 6,000).

Among these countries are also Austria (76,210), the Netherlands (68,050 as of July 5), Lithuania (59,470), Switzerland (57,020), and Belgium (51,120).

They are followed by Portugal (47,750), Ireland (44,580, a rise by 4,200), Belgium (48,380), Sweden (40,450), Latvia (35,800), Finland (32,670), Denmark (29,830), Hungary (26,930), as well as the aforementioned Romania and Estonia.

Furthermore, according to UN statistics, another 6,790 refugees from Ukraine have been registered for temporary protection in Slovenia, 5,780 in Luxembourg, 5,260 in Montenegro, 1,240 in Malta, 1,220 in Iceland, 850 in Serbia and Kosovo, and 260 in Liechtenstein.

Other countries where refugees from Ukraine have been recorded, but there is no information as to whether they have been registered for temporary protection include Turkey (145,000 as of May 19), Moldova (86,240), Georgia (23,110), Azerbaijan (4,800), Albania (2,500), North Macedonia (1,640), Armenia (490), and Bosnia and Herzegovina 300.

The UN report separately mentions Russia and Belarus, whose border with Ukraine has been crossed by 1,745,800 and 16,680 people, respectively. All such arrivals have been recorded in Russia, whereas Belarus has recorded only 10,350 such arrivals. There are no data on whether they have registered for temporary protection or on the number of people who have crossed back into Ukraine.

According to the UN's July 19 statistics, a total of 9.567 million people have left Ukraine and 3.793 million have returned to Ukraine (without data from Hungary, Russia and Belarus) since February 24. Based on this information, the overall number of refugees can be estimated at around 5.4 million-5.5. million, including some 1.75 million in Russia.

As of mid-2021, there were a total of 53,470 Ukrainian refugees seeking this status around the world, including 36,490 in Europe, the UNHCR Office said.

The UNHCR Office estimated the size of the Ukrainian community outside of Ukraine at 6.1 million in mid-2020, including 5 million in Europe.