Attitudes and assessments of Ukrainian refugees (July–August 2022)

September 01, 2022

Online poll among Ukrainian citizens who left Ukraine due to Russian aggression

The poll was held by the Razumkov Centre Sociological Service on July 20–August 25, 2022. Respondents were selected by the "snowball" method and by placing requests for participation in the survey in Facebook groups uniting representatives of the Ukrainian community and refugees in different countries ("self-selected sample" method).

511 refugees were interviewed in 30 countries, most of all — in Poland (110) and Germany (85). 231 people were interviewed in other EU countries, 63 — outside of the EU (Moldova, Turkey, Switzerland, UK, USA, Israel).

Refugees: characteristic traits

The vast majority (65%) of refugees arrived in the country of their current stay in March, and in total from the beginning of the war till the end of April — 84%.

The majority of refugees are women (93%) mainly in the age of 30 to 39 (42%) and 40 to 49 (29%) years. 83% has higher or incomplete higher education. The most represented groups are highly qualified specialists (30%), heads of enterprises and their divisions (14%), entrepreneurs (14%), skilled workers (12%), housewives (11%).

Before the war, 90% of the interviewed refugees lived in cities, 10% — in villages. The largest number (45%) came from Central Ukraine (mostly, Kyiv city and region), 31% from the East, 16% from the South and 8% — from the West.

51% of respondents mostly speaks Russian at home, 40% — Ukrainian. 70% called Ukrainian their mother language, 20% — Russian.

4.5% said that their home was completely destroyed, 8% — damaged, but could be restored, 7% did not know its state.

74% of respondents went abroad with children, 4% — with grandchildren, 23% with the husband or wife, 11% — alone.

Refugees' assessment of their status in the host country

82% of respondents answered that they had obtained the status of temporary protection in the host country, 1% — the status of a refugee, 1% has a permanent residence permit, 4% submitted documents for temporary protection, 0.8% submitted documents for the refugee status, 10% does not have temporary protection or refugee status and did not submit documents (mainly, refugees outside the European Union — 51%).

Among the main problems faced abroad, refugees most often mention anxiety about the events in Ukraine (87.5%), anxiety for relatives left in Ukraine (80%), longing for the Motherland (70%).

Bad command of the language of the host country was cited as the main problem by 65% ​​of refugees (especially in Germany — 80%). 43% of refugees also mentioned material problems, lack of money (this problem is less serious in Germany — 25%).

The respondents rated their own "pre-war" well-being in Ukraine much higher: 45% lived well before the war, 15% could afford almost everything they wanted, 26% in general they had enough for the life, 11% had enough only for food and the necessary inexpensive things, and 2% barely made ends meet.

42% of respondents reported problems finding a job, 32% — renting housing, 21.5% — absence of housing, 15% — uncomfortable housing. 31% referred to problems with medical care, 22% — bureaucratic problems obtaining financial assistance, temporary protection or refugee status, 14% — problems with children's education. Ukrainian refugees rarely mention a negative attitude of local residents (6.5% of respondents give this answer).

When asked if they received any assistance during their stay abroad, 78.5% of respondents answered that they received assistance from the public authorities of the host country (among refugees staying in non-EU countries — only 33%), 32% — from volunteer organisations, 23% — from relatives and friends, 14% — from foreign funds or institutions, 13% — from religious organisations, 6% — from the Ukrainian state, 4.5% ­— from the company where they worked. 7% of respondents did not receive any help.

43% of respondents received monetary assistance (from all sources) in sufficient quantity (especially in Germany — 76.5%), 42% — received not enough, 10% did not receive any, and 4% did not need such help.

Evaluating support and assistance provided to them in the country where they live by the state authorities, non-governmental organisations, citizens, 38% was highly satisfied with it, 41% — rather satisfied, 8% — rather unsatisfied, 5% not satisfied at all.

Plans of returning to Ukraine

When asked about their intention to return to Ukraine, 36% of respondents plans to return after they make sure that it is safe to stay in the area where they lived, 35% — immediately after the war, 13% ­— in a year or several years after the war, 7% — after the company they worked resumes operation or they can find another job, 11% plans to return in the near future, and 7% does not plan to return to Ukraine at all (among those who have a permanent job in the host country, they make 18%).

Residents of the Western (18%) and Central (15%) regions are more likely to return in the near future, while only 6% of refugees from the Eastern and Southern regions plan to return. The latter more often express their intention to return after making sure that it is safe to stay in the area where they lived (41% among refugees from the Eastern region, 48% from the Southern region).

88% of those who plan to return to Ukraine answered that after returning they wish to settle in the same region where they lived before the war, 7% — in another region (mostly, residents of the East).

Information about the events in Ukraine

91% of refugees follows events in Ukraine every day, 7% — several times a week, 0.8% — once a week or less frequently, and only 0.2% (one respondent) does not follow the events in Ukraine.

Assessments of actions of Ukraine’s state leadership and international aid

46% of respondents positively assessed the performance of the Ukrainian state leadership during the Russian aggression, 12% — negatively (41.5% could not assess it).

Only 18% of respondents considers international assistance to Ukraine sufficient, 61% suggests that support for Ukraine could be greater. 

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