Over 7,000 Ukrainian refugees and 1,000 vulnerable third country nationals fled war to Belarus – IOM report

“I hope I will live long enough to come back to a thriving Mariupol, where all the people will return to when this war is over,” said Tatsiana, a Ukrianina pensioner now living in Belarus

More than 8,000 people have fled the war in Ukraine into its near neighbour, Belarus.  They add to the thousands of migrants from countries like Iraq, Cuba, Syria, Afghanistan who have entered since summer 2021.

Up to now, the paucity of information on migration flows, the precise number of migrants and their locations, their needs and intentions has been a significant challenge in terms of provision of quality and timely assistance.

To fill this gap, IOM Belarus, in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, UN agencies and Belarusian Red Cross, has rolled out country’s first Displacement Tracking Matrix.  DTM is IOM’s tool in use worldwide to gather and analyze data on the mobility, vulnerabilities, and needs of displaced and mobile populations. Such data enables decision makers and responders to provide these populations with appropriate assistance.

According to the first DTM report, there are approximately 7,200 Ukrainian citizens and 1,100 third country nationals in Belarus. They come principally from the Donetsk region, but also from Luhansk, Kharkiv, Kyiv and Chernihiv.

Almost half of them entered Belarus directly from Ukraine, 33 per cent from Poland, 19 per cent from the Russian Federation, and less than 1 per cent from Lithuania and Latvia, Belarus’ other neighbours.

Of the vulnerable migrants who entered Belarus in summer-autumn of 2021, the DTM survey found that the majority are men from 19 to 39 years old. About half of them plan to stay in Belarus, while the other half intend to move forward to Germany, Spain, France, Poland, and other countries, or return to the country of origin.

Most of the Ukrainians plan to stay in Belarus as for now, as there they have relatives and friends there, but one in three expressed a desire to go home as soon as possible. Among them was Tatsiana, a pensioner from Ukraine, who now lives in Vitsyebsk, Belarus. “I hope I will live long enough to come back to a thriving Mariupol, where all the people will return to when this war is over,” she said.

The majority of Ukrainian refugees in Belarus have either higher or specialized secondary education in the service sector, engineering, manufacturing, construction and education. In Belarus they plan to continue their professions as lawyers, doctors, nurses, teachers, accountants or in the service sector as cooks, hairdressers, and security personnel.

Read the full report here.


For more information, please contact:

In IOM Belarus: Hanna Kalichava,, +375 29 568 44 94

In IOM Vienna Regional Office: Joe Lowry,, +43660 3776404

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