Since the beginning of the war, many Ukrainians – but also Russians – have been seeking refuge in the countries of the European Union. Where are they going, and which are the countries that already hosted the largest Ukrainian communities?
Ukrainian refugees now enter the EU under the aegis of the ultra-fast special protection system, but regular reception centres across the Union are piling up hundreds of thousands of applications and rejecting many. EU members states' asylum systems average more than 15 months of delay.
The various COVID-19 related lockdowns and closures of the EU’s borders have reduced mobility, particularly of migrants. First-time asylum applications fell by 37 percent between 2019 and November 2020.
Greece has a new center-right government since summer 2019. Its approach to migration differs sharply from its predecessor’s, as more controls and constraints are imposed on asylum seekers. The government claims that the system will become more efficient, but some organisations are unconvinced.