News sites have taken recent polling data about Ukrainian refugees in Poland and distorted the findings to form a completely wrong conclusion. Among the surveys conducted of Ukrainian refugees in Poland, only 17% said they plan to stay in Poland.

Certain media and social media users are disseminating a news item claiming that 50% of Ukrainian refugees who are currently in Poland plan to remain there forever. They draw these conclusions by distorting what experts actually say and misrepresenting polling data.

In fact, results of studies conducted among Ukrainians who crossed the border into Poland after the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine do not support these conclusions. Between April 15 and May 10, the Interdisciplinary War Research Laboratory in Ukraine conducted surveys among Ukrainians who left for Poland using the computer-assisted web interview (CAWI), which were distributed on social networks among Ukrainian refugees. A total of 737 completed responses were analyzed.

“Most of the respondents surveyed say they want to return to Ukraine after the end of the war. Almost 1/5 of those who fled the war intend to stay in Poland. Some plan to work and earn money, and only then return. A small number of respondents want to return as soon as possible, as they find conditions Poland unbearable,” the study report says.

We can say that 50% intend to return, 32% intend to stay, and 17% did not know what they would do. It is also worth noting that the respondents indicated they would return to Ukraine when the war is over. However, it is difficult to unequivocally determine when this will happen,” study authors add.

Therefore, it is inaccurate to say that half of Ukrainian refugees will remain in Poland. This is an incorrect conclusion. Judging by the responses, 17% said they wanted to stay, 14% said wanted to work in Poland, and return home with earnings, and 3% plan to obtain Polish citizenship.

“If we look at all Ukrainian displaced persons who left Ukraine for Europe, then 79% want to return, and 50% want to return from Poland to Ukraine. They are very quickly assimilated there” said Natalya Zaitseva Chipak, the director of to Socioinform polling center. Zaitseva actually confirms the Interdisciplinary War Research Laboratory poll results about Ukrainian refugees planning to return from Poland, she does not say anything about the other 50%, of which a significant percentage is undecided.

Expert assessments of what percentage of Ukrainian refugees will remain abroad after the end of the war vary. Most experts agree that the duration of the war will influence refugees’ decisions. An online study by the 4Service polling center conducted in late March – early April of 3,027 respondents from 36 European countries confirms this. 89% of those surveyed plan to return home after the war ends. 3% do not plan to return at all, another 4% are undecided but want to remain in Europe, and another 4% are completely undecided. 67% of Ukrainians think that if the war drags on, they will likely remain abroad.

StopFake has debunked other previous fakes about Ukrainian refugees, such as Ukrainian refugees are being kicked out of hotels in Bulgaria, an Ukrainian refugees cut swastika into German field.