Two-thirds of Ukraine refugees plan to stay put for now - UN

UNHCR says more than 5.6 million refugees are now recorded across Europe, with nearly 8.8 million people crossing out of Ukraine and nearly 3.3 million crossing back in.

 UKRAINIAN REFUGEES cross a bridge at the buffer zone to the border with Poland, Zosin-Ustyluh crossing, western Ukraine, in March (photo credit: DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)
UKRAINIAN REFUGEES cross a bridge at the buffer zone to the border with Poland, Zosin-Ustyluh crossing, western Ukraine, in March
(photo credit: DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

Around two-thirds of refugees from Ukraine expect to stay in their host countries until hostilities subside and the security situation improves after Russia's invasion, a survey by the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR has found.

Most of the refugees from Ukraine, mainly women and children, hope to return home eventually, according to the survey of around 4,900 people from Ukraine now living in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The survey was conducted between mid-May and mid-June.

UNHCR says more than 5.6 million refugees are now recorded across Europe, with nearly 8.8 million people crossing out of Ukraine and nearly 3.3 million crossing back in since the Russian invasion on February 24.

"They are anxious to reunite with friends and family and worry about those who stayed behind. Most want to wait until hostilities have subsided," the report released on Wednesday said.

Of those seeking to return, 40% planned to do so in the next month, said UNHCR, adding that a higher proportion of refugees from the capital Kyiv and areas in the west were planning to return than those who arrived from the east and north.

A man cleans an area of a residential building damaged by a Russian military strike, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv, Ukraine July 11, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/NACHO DOCE)A man cleans an area of a residential building damaged by a Russian military strike, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv, Ukraine July 11, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/NACHO DOCE)

Kyiv denies Russia shot down four Ukrainian jets

 Ukraine's air force denied on Wednesday that Russian forces had shot down four Ukrainian military jets in Ukraine.

The Russian defence ministry said Russian forces had destroyed an Su-25 and Su-24 - both Soviet-era jets used by the Ukrainian air force - over the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine along with another Su-25 and a Mig-29, another Soviet-designed fighter aircraft, in the Mykolaiv region of southern Ukraine.

Yuriy Ihnat, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force, dismissed the assertion as propaganda.

Ukraine rules out ceding territory to Russia to secure peace

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Wednesday ruled out ceding territory to Russia as part of any peace deal and said no peace talks were under way between Moscow and Kyiv.

"The objective of Ukraine in this war... is to liberate our territories, restore our territorial integrity, and full sovereignty in the east and south of Ukraine," he told a briefing.