BERLIN (Reuters) – Most of the more than one million Ukrainians who fled to Germany after the Russian invasion feel welcome there and around 37% would like to settle permanently or for several years, according to a government-backed survey on Thursday.
The survey of 11,225 refugees carried out jointly by various bodies, including the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, said another 34% of refugees planned to stay until the end of the war and 27% were undecided. About 2% planned to leave within a year.
Germany has taken in more Ukrainians than any other European Union country except Poland after Moscow sent troops to Ukraine in February, sparking the largest movement of refugees since the end of World War Two.
Foreign Minister Olaf Scholz pledged to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes” and, along with other Western allies, sent aid and weapons to Kyiv to resist the Russian attack.
The vast majority of adult Ukrainian refugees, around 80%, were women, the survey showed, and they tended to be better educated than the average Ukrainian, with 72% holding a college degree.
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Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy ordered a mass mobilization at the start of the war and forbade men of fighting age from leaving the country.
According to the survey, only 4% of Ukrainians knew German well, but half attended German courses. Three quarters lived in private accommodation and only 9% lived in public housing for refugees.
Most rated their health as good. However, they have significantly lower life satisfaction than the German population, and Ukrainian refugee children also have lower well-being than other children in Germany, according to the survey.
About 17% of working-age Ukrainian refugees were employed at the time of the survey, and 71% of employed refugees had a job that required a professional or university degree.
Ukrainian refugees expressed a need for more support, especially in learning German, looking for a job, getting medical care and finding housing, according to the survey.
(Written by Matthias Williams; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)
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