EU official says 11M Ukrainian refugees returned home

GENEVA – About 16 million Ukrainians arrived in the European Union (EU) in 2022 and 11 million of them have returned to their homeland, an EU commissioner said on Wednesday.

"We have welcomed 16 million Ukrainians into the European Union [in 2022]. Eleven million have gone back to Ukraine again. Four million are still here. Another 1 million went further outside Ukraine, for example, to Canada, the US and the UK," Ylva Johansson, the EU commissioner for home affairs, said in a news conference in Brussels.

She underlined that Ukrainians did not leave the EU territory because they were not happy but because they left their families behind and/or they wanted to be part of the resistance against the Russian war.

"I talked to those who returned, and therefore there is no reason to say that they are not happy here. They feel that they are welcome here," Johansson said. "But many, perhaps having left their children here with their relatives, returned themselves to fight, work or be part of the resistance to Russian aggression."

She said about 200,000 border crossings by Ukrainians to and from the EU are recorded every week.

Millions of Ukrainians fled their country after Russia launched its war on Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. (Anadolu)