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Ukraine Refugee Crisis Grows

In Russia, people are starting to see the impact as the Ukraine refugee crisis grows.

Statistics from the United Nations suggest over one million people have fled the Donbass region of the Ukraine and authorities on both sides of the border are preparing for this shift to be a long term one.

875,000 refugees have ended up in Russia itself, fleeing the war that has to date killed 3,500 people.

Germany has shown its support by sending €25 million to the Ukraine to support refugees still in the country. On the other side of the border, corporations have been supporting the effort with Lukoil offering 3.5 million rubles to the aid effort. The Russian authorities are said to be spending approximately $20 per day per refugee on housing and food.

Judy Twigg, professor at UCUL at the Douglas Wilder School if Government and Public Affairs has said that the Russia-Ukraine emigration corridor is now only smaller than that of the USA and Mexico.

Despite Russia’s slowing economy, many of the new immigrants may not have trouble finding work as Russia’s unemployment rate currently stands at 4.8%. Many of the Ukraine immigrants are clearly intent on staying as 300,000 are currently applying for residency.

This is part of a wider population problem experienced in the Ukraine since independence in 1990. The population of the country has dropped 6.3 million or 12% due to a low birth rate, high mortality rate and from mass emigration of young people. This has led to an aging population that will no doubt put pressure on the countries public finances in the future.

Remittance to the Ukraine is the third highest in the world. Last year saw $9.3 billion dollars being sent back by its citizens abroad, representing a massive 4% of the country’s GDP that year and exceeding foreign direct investment for the year.

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