Ukraine Response — Regional Analysis — Ukrainians and TCNs crossing to Ukraine in Q2 2023 (April-June)




DTM Europe,
Period Covered
Apr 01 2023
Jun 30 2023
  • Survey

Since March 2022, IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) regularly collects individual surveys in countries neighbouring to Ukraine with persons who cross back, with the aim to improve the understanding of their profiles, displacement patterns, intentions and needs. The survey is deployed in 5 countries neighbouring Ukraine – Hungary, Poland, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, and Slovakia.

Key Findings

  • Between April and June 2023, there are more “short-time visitors” (47%) than “prospective returnees” (42%) among Ukrainians crossing back from neighbouring countries, while a minority (11%) is unsure on the length of their visit. Women (91% of the sample) more frequently intend to pay a short visit than men (47% vs 42%). Prospective returnees are older than short-time visitors by 8 years on average (47 years versus 39 years old).
  • For both, short-time visitors and prospective returnees, reasons related to the desire to visit or reunite with family members are prevalent. Moreover, one third of short-time visitors mentioned the need to go to the doctor’s, have a surgery or take a specialist exam, and another third aimed at obtaining or renewing identity documents (biometric passport, diplomas, licenses).
  • 52% of Ukrainians interviewed stayed in one of the neighbouring countries, for an average period of 10 months before crossing back. The rest stayed mainly in Germany, Czechia, and the UK.
  • The period since initial displacement is longer for short-time visitors (407 days), who also have already crossed in and out of Ukraine twice or more since February 2022 in most cases (54%). Prospective returnees (220 days) have spent less time abroad on average and have less frequently travelled in and out of Ukraine before returning than short-time visitors (55% only once or zero).
  • The Top 5 needs are: financial support (20%), health support (17%), medicines (12%), food supply (11%) and general information (10%). Short-time visitors report a higher level of needs overall (linked to issues that they aimed to solve during the visit in Ukraine) than prospective returnees. The latter report no needs in more than half (55%) of the cases, as they may be already more focused on the conditions of return rather than on what was not achieved successfully abroad.
  • Ukrainians, transiting from Latvia through the Russian Federation to reach eastern areas of Ukraine have a different profile than those crossing from neighbouring countries into western Ukraine. Most originate from areas which are temporary not under Ukraine’s government control in four oblasts – Donetska, Luhanska, Khersonska and Zaporizka. Among them, there are more prospective returnees than short-time visitors, with the desire to reunite with their family members, and with a widespread need of more information about Ukraine and recent developments on the grounds than anything else.
  • TCNs have often spent in Ukraine long periods (even more than 5 years) before being displaced abroad because of the military invasion. Most of those interviewed when crossing back from neighbouring countries plan to resume their studies or take exams to avoid interruption of their education cycle and career.
  • The profiles and needs expressed by Ukrainians crossing back from neighbouring countries and surveyed between April and June 2023 mostly match with those of the actual returnees from abroad surveyed in Ukraine in May 2023.
  • Trends in terms of profiles, intentions and needs from Ukrainians crossing back from between April and June 2023 are in line with what observed in the previous reporting period (January-March 2023), with small variations (+/-2%) between the two consecutive periods on the main quantitative findings