Thousands of Ukrainians returning home amid fighting
About 30,000 people are returning to Ukraine every day amid continuous fighting in the country, the United Nations said Thursday.
Driving the news: More than 870,000 people who fled Ukraine since Russia's unprovoked invasion have since returned, UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in their latest update.
Why it matters: "This significant figure suggests that migration back to Ukraine might continue increasing, potentially creating new challenges for the humanitarian response as people will need support to reintegrate into their communities or find suitable host communities if returning to their homes is no longer viable,” OCHA wrote.
- The recent returnees include women with children and the elderly, compared to mostly male residents at the beginning of the conflict, according to OCHA.
Between the lines: Most Ukrainian men ages 18 to 60 have been banned from leaving the country in anticipation of needing to be called to fight, the Washington Post reports.
State of play: The increase in returnees underscores a growing sentiment among Ukrainians that the war could last years, and that they'd rather be in Ukraine even amid some danger than live as a refugee elsewhere, the New York Times notes.
The big picture: More than 4.7 million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russia launched its unprovoked invasion, according to UN refugee agency data.
- Another seven million Ukrainians are displaced internally, according to the agency.
- The U.N. refugee agency has labeled the exodus the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.
Go deeper: Where Ukrainian refugees are fleeing to