Most Ukrainian Refugees Want To Stay In Germany Indefinitely

As Russia continues its military invasion of its western neighbor, more than a million Ukrainians have relocated to Germany as refugees since February.

According to a new survey, the overwhelming majority of those Ukrainians want to stay in the country for the foreseeable future. In fact, more than one-quarter of the refugees polled indicated that they would prefer to stay in Germany for the rest of their lives.

One-third of those surveyed said they would like to stay in their current location for at least a few years, which is roughly the same percentage that indicated a desire to remain in place at least until the current war is over. About 27% were undecided and a paltry 2% expressed a desire to return to Ukraine within the next year.

While Germany’s outreach has been heralded as a humanitarian boon to citizens of war-torn Ukraine, the influx of refugees appears to be taking an economic toll on the nation. Only about 17% of working-age Ukrainians currently living in Germany have a job, which is in large part due to the fact that just one-fifth of them are fluent in German.

The latter figure could improve over time since about half of the Ukrainian refugees are reportedly taking language courses. Nevertheless, another impediment to more robust employment participation lies in the demographics of the refugee population.

About four-fifths of the Ukrainian adults living in Germany are women since the vast majority of men have been conscripted to military service in their home country. Since roughly half of those adults traveled with children, a significant number of the refugees are saddled with the responsibility of caring for their dependents.

European Parliament Member Manfred Weber addressed the issue impacting his home country recently, comparing the current situation to the 2015 inundation of refugees primarily from Syria. Noting that the winter months combined with Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s “ongoing destruction of energy infrastructure” are likely to result in even more Ukrainians seeking refuge in Germany, Weber predicted that already strained public resources are about to be stretched even thinner.

A Berlin airport retrofitted to serve as a refugee processing center currently handles about 100 new Ukrainians each day and officials across the country are sounding the alarm amid a shortage of housing and other necessities.

“Our capacities are exhausted,” said one elected representative from Thuringia. “Our backs are against the wall.”