Ukraine: Flows across external borders stabilise over summer

By European Border and Coast Guard Agency

Ukraine: Flows across external borders stabilise over summer

7.6 million Ukrainian nationals have entered the EU from Ukraine and Moldova since the beginning of Russia’s invasion in February. 4.7 million Ukrainians have been recorded exiting the EU towards Ukraine during the same period.

During the month of July, slightly more Ukrainians exited Ukraine (1.17 million) than entered the EU (1.16 million). This is roughly on the same level as in June when 1.09 million Ukrainians entered and 1.11 million exited the EU.

Flows from Russia and Belarus have remained on the same level as in previous weeks: between 28 July to 3 August, 11 148 Ukrainian nationals arrived in the EU from Russia and Belarus. 4 002 Ukrainians entered the two countries from the EU during the same period.

While the flows across the external border have stabilized over the summer, future developments will depend on how the conflict evolves. Heavy fighting continues in the south and east of Ukraine, as well as Russian missile strikes against the civilian population.

The number of internally displaced people (IDPs) remains high: IOM data from July estimates the number of IDPs in Ukraine as 6.64 million, more than in June (6.27 million) but down from 7.1 million in May. 1.6 million of them are estimated to be in western Ukraine.

Enduring numbers of IDPs may have a long-term impact on the flow of refugees. Conflict intensification in the south or any other new fronts could further increase the number of IDPs and of people seeking refuge in the EU.

The protraction of the conflict and a continued internal push to sustain Russia’s aggression in Ukraine could impact the Russia-EU borders. The risks for illegal border crossings and the use of fraudulent documents might increase in case Russia will pursue more aggressive recruitment tactics. The risks for the instrumentalization of migration flows by Russia and Belarus remain high.

Frontex continues to monitor the situation at the external borders. Frontex currently has 259 officers and staff deployed to countries neighboring Ukraine to support national authorities with border control.