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This study examines the evolution of Ukrainian refugees during the first year after the start of the full-scale armed conflict on 24 February 2022, which resulted in a severe humanitarian crisis and high levels of migration both within Ukraine and towards Europe. Using official statistics, the changes in border crossings from Ukraine to neighboring countries during the first year of the conflict are investigated. Additionally, surveys conducted with Ukrainian refugees in several European countries and author interviews conducted in Bulgaria, Spain, and Germany reveal the specific needs of refugees and the main challenges to successful integration into host labor markets and societies. The Temporary Protection Directives and other local protection programs are analyzed in this study, accompanied by a comprehensive discussion on similar initiatives. The primary conclusion drawn from this research affirms the presence of substantial challenges in the successful integration of Ukrainian refugees into host societies, despite the efforts made by the respective governments.
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