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Crisis Movements

This section gives an overview of currently available data on people on the move from and inside Ukraine: refugees, Third Country Nationals (TCNs), IDPs, vulnerable groups on the move, and data on missing migrants.

Last updated on 31 January 2024

Forced Displacement (Short Version)

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)

 

As of 25 September 2023, there are now an estimated 3.7 million persons internally displaced within Ukraine (IOM, 2023). More than two thirds of IDPs (70%) reported having been displaced for one year or longer (ibid). 

SourceIOM, 2023, as of 25 September 2023.

 

734,000 people – most of whom were displaced in 2014 and 2015 following the annexation of Crimea and instability in Donetsk and Luhansk regions – continued to live in internal displacement as of 31 December 2020. [1] According to the Ministry of Social Policy in Ukraine, the the total number of people living in internal displacement was as high as nearly 1.5 million as of 1 January 2021.[2] In 2020, an additional 2,000 people were newly displaced internally due to disasters.[3]

 

[1] IDMC, 2021.

[2] Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, 2021.

[3] IDMC, 2021.

Refugees and Asylum Seekers

 

Between 24 February 2022 and 31 December 2023, nearly 6 million refugees from Ukraine have been recorded across Europe and another 500,000 beyond Europe (UNHCR, 2023). Nearly 5.4 million refugees from Ukraine have registered for temporary protection or similar national protection schemes since 24 February 2022. The three main countries where people registered for temporary protection or similar national protection schemes were Poland, Germany and Czechia (ibid.).

IOM Ukraine Response 2022

 

 

Returns [1]

 

As of 25 September 2023, 4.6 million people had returned to their habitual place of residence after a significant period of displacement from abroad or from displacement within Ukraine[2], with 22 per cent returning from abroad (IOM, 2023a).  An estimated 298,000 people who returned from abroad remain in displacement within Ukraine (IOM, 2023b).

SourceIOM. 2023, as of 25 September.

 


[1] The definition of “returns” excludes those who have come back to Ukraine from abroad but who have not returned to their places of habitual residence in country. Source: IOM, 2023.

[2] Minimum of two weeks since February 2022. This cut-off period has been shown as statistically most meaningful in terms of vulnerability following return as compared to the non-displaced population. Source: IOM, 2023.

 

Third Country Nationals (TCNs) 

 

An estimated 5 million migrants lived in Ukraine as of mid-year 2020 (UN DESA, 2020), and 76,548 international students from 155 countries in 2020 (Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, n.d.).

As of 24 January 2024, more than 1.2 million cross-border movements from Ukraine to neighbouring countries and over 1 million cross-border movements from TCNs to Ukraine have been registered since 24 February 2022  (IOM, 2024).

Source: IOM's Displacement Tracking Matrix, 2024.

 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) assists TCNs fleeing the war in Ukraine to return home.

 

IOM Ecuador

Emotional scenes in Quito, Ecuador, as the relatives of nearly 450 people who fled the war in Ukraine were reunited with their loved ones. IOM provided assistance to returnees aboard the flights organized by the government. Photo IOM/ Ramiro Aguilar

 

Source: IOM's YouTube Channel, 2022. Third-Country Nationals fleeing the war in Ukraine assisted to return home.

 

Missing Migrants

Deaths during attempted emigration from Ukraine

As of 12 May 2022, IOM’s MISSING MIGRANTS PROJECT has recorded the deaths of 17 people fleeing Ukraine since 24 February 2022. It is likely that more go unrecorded, particularly as distinguishing conflict-related deaths from those attempting to flee the country is challenging.

27 February: a 64-year-old Ukrainian man died due to cardiac arrest at the Palanca border crossing in Moldova.

28 February: an Israeli man attempting to reach the Moldova border was fatally shot some 95km south of Kyiv while driving in a convoy.

5 March: a 61-year-old Ukrainian woman died of a respiratory arrest due to an epileptic seizure while waiting to be admitted into Hungary.

10 March: a boat capsized in Kyiv reservoir, Ukraine during an attempt to flee the country, whereas eight drowned: two dead including a 60-year-old Ukrainian woman, and six missing, including her 4-year-old grandson.

13 March: a Ukrainian woman died after the bus she was travelling along with other Ukrainian refugees overturned in Italy

23 March: a 64-year-old Ukrainian woman has died from blood clots due to immobility while traveling at a gas station in Tàrrega, Spain.

6 April: a Ukrainian man was found dead in a ravine in Pop Ivan Massif Maramureș region at the Romania-Ukraine border of presumed hypothermia.

7 April: a Ukrainian woman died at La Fe Hospital in Valencia, Spain from injuries she encountered in a vehicle accident on 28 March after arriving from Ukraine.

5 May: 2 Ukrainian men are believed to have lost their lives after attempting to reach Romania via the Tisza river crossing. The body of one man was recovered, while the other remains missing and is presumed dead.

VISIT THE MISSING MIGRANTS PROJECT WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION

 

Vulnerabilities of people on the move from Ukraine

 

On 24 February, Ukraine imposed a temporary regulation for the period of martial law restricting male citizens in the age group 18-60 years from leaving the country. This regulation has also had crucial impacts on the arrival of more vulnerable people with special protection needs, such as women, children, unaccompanied minors, elderly, wounded or sick people. Reports suggest that these groups are in urgent need of short-term and long-term protection measures, including combatting human trafficking, towards child protection and emergency medical care and psychosocial support.

IOM Ukraine Response Moldova

 

Third country nationals trying to leave conflict-affected areas, including migrant workers and students who have been living in Ukraine, have reported that they experienced discrimination, racism, verbal and physical violence (OHCHR, 2022IOM, 2022). 

 

 

Disclaimer: This webpage curates public information and data. The opinions expressed in this webpage are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), nor its Member States and other stakeholders. The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout the webpage do not imply expression of any opinion or endorsement whatsoever on the part of IOM, its Member States and other stakeholders concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning its frontiers or boundaries. While the portal section "Ukraine: Migration Statistics, Policy and Humanitarian Responses" has been made possible with funding from the U.S. Department of State: Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, the European Union, the German Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) Switzerland, the contents on this section do not necessarily reflect their official policy or position.