(NewsNation) — More than half a million refugees have reportedly returned to Ukraine since fleeing the Russian invasion.
During the past week, 144,000 people left Ukraine and 88,000 arrived, according to the Ukrainian interior ministry.
Why have they returned?
In different reasons listed by Ukrainians at border checkpoints:
- Some want to fight in the war.
- Some felt their homes are safe enough to return with fighting dying down or Ukrainian forces recapturing their hometowns.
- Others listed difficulty getting employment or resources in other European nations.
Of the more than 4 million refugees who have fled Ukraine, over 2.4 million have crossed into Poland. While many have traveled onward throughout Europe, plenty have stayed in Poland, which is offering free temporary accommodation, medical care, education and some social benefits. Some 625,000 refugees have sought and obtained Polish ID numbers entitling them to all that for 18 months.
The United States is also preparing to accept up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. Existing communities in cities like Sacramento and Seattle are already mobilizing to provide food, shelter and support to those fleeing the war.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.