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Ukrainian migration

Migration from Ukraine has been very salient in Europe with thousands of Ukrainians working in the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia & other countries.

The disintegration of political regimes in the GDR, Poland & the countries that followed the pro-democratic path of changes and the announcement of independence in former Soviet republics allowed mobility from Ukraine to the Western European countries & in the Central and Eastern Europe region. Poland, which three decades ago was a country with large emigration in Europe, became the main destination for Ukrainian migrants including temporary workers, students and permanent labour migrants. After accessing the EU & joining the Schengen zone the booming Polish economy attracted increasing interest from Ukrainian migrants.

“As of July 2020, 1.47 million persons were registered in Ukraine as internally displaced (UNHCR 2020) and roughly 500 000 persons moved to Ukraine without registering as IDPs (Vakhitova and Iavorskyi 2020). About 70% of the registered displaced population are children, pensioners and disabled (ibidem). Slightly above 400 000 persons were displaced to Russia and up to 100 000 applied for asylum or obtained refugee status in other countries. Overall, Ukraine lost approximately 3.2–3.9 million persons due to this war (Vyshnevskiy n.d.).”

CEE countries, in particular Poland & Hungary, pursue active migration-promoting policies aimed especially at Ukrainians. They offer citizenship or a special card which may support the card holder in matters of work or education. At the same time, Poland & to a smaller degree, Czechia mostly focus on short-term labour mobility and students’ migration.

In 1944 nearly 190,000 Crimean Tatars were deported by the Soviets to Central Asia. Around 40% of the exiled population died during the transport and in the first years of exile. They began to return to Crimea only in the late 1980’s & their right to return was officially recognized in 1989. According to estimates, around 100,000 Tatars still live in CA & the diaspora in Russia is estimated to include between 50,000-100,000 individuals. There are also many Crimean Tatars living in Turkey.

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