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Poland’s Ukrainian refugee assistance as a transformational experience

Russia’s war in Ukraine has changed not only Ukraine but also nearby countries due to the massive influx of war refugees. Poland has become the major destination for people fleeing from the war and hosts the highest number of those seeking shelter. What does this new Ukrainian diaspora mean for Poland and what impact will it have on Polish politics, demography and society?

Immediately after Russia’s full-scale invasion started on February 24th 2022, war refugees began to stream into neighbouring countries, with Poland quickly becoming the main destination. The refugee influx found the Polish state unprepared for such a situation. There was no pre-existing infrastructure nor administrative experience that would be sufficient to comprehensively manage the crisis by state agencies and civil servants.
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December 7, 2022 - Maciej Makulski - AnalysisIssue 6 2022Magazine

A photo from the Polish-Ukrainian border in the early days of the full-scale invasion. As of mid-October 2022, 7.5 million refugees from Ukraine have fled the country and have been recorded across Europe. The number of border crossings on the Polish-Ukrainian border has reached 6.9 million. Photo: Adam Reichardt

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