« 2023. # 4 (172)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2023. № 4 (172), 904—916

UDK: 930.2:[328.1(410:477-054.73):355.01(470+571:477)”202″]

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2023.04.904

THE PROBLEM OF UKRAINIAN REFUGEES IN THE POLITICAL DISCOURSE OF THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT IN THE FIRST MONTHS OF THE FULL-SCALE OF THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN WAR

BARAN Zoya

  • ORСID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9685-3953
  • Candidate of History, Associate Professor,
  • Ivan Franko National University of Lviv,
  • Department of Modern and Contemporary History of Foreign Countries,
  • 1, Universytetska str., 79000, Lviv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: е-mail: zoja_baran@ukr.net

Abstract. Introduction. More than 4 million Ukrainians were forced to leave their homes and go abroad during the first five weeks after the outbreak of the full-scale Russian-Ukrainian war. The United Kingdom, like other democracies around the world, is facing the challenge of providing shelter to victims of unprovoked aggression.

Problem Statement. Parliamentary debates in the UK on the issue of providing assistance to Ukrainian refugees began in the first days of the war. The position of government circles and politicians was unequivocal in condemning the actions of the Kremlin authorities and providing the widest possible assistance to Ukraine.

The purpose of the article is to retrace the evolution of the UK government’s response to the issue of Ukrainian refugees since the beginning of the full-scale Russian-Ukrainian war on February 24, 2022, and the launch of the discussion by British politicians, until the government’s program of legal entry mechanisms was put into effect and its first results (early April 2022).

The source base of the research included international acts; laws, speeches and statements of high-ranking UK officials, transcripts of parliamentary debates; and statistical data.

Results. The UK political community has shown unanimity in providing assistance to Ukrainian refugees. A similar position was taken by the country’s population, which actively responded to an electronic petition for a visa-free regime for Ukrainians. However, the government, based on the security of its own people, adopted a special program for Ukrainian refugees, which provided two legal mechanisms for their entry into the UK: from March 1, 2022, under the Family Reunification program (some of the usual criteria for family members, such as language proficiency and salary thresholds, were waived) and from March 18, under the Homes for Ukraine program based on humanitarian sponsorship (individuals, charities, businesses and community groups). The governments of Scotland and the Wales acted as sponsors themselves. These decisions gave Ukrainians the opportunity to live, work, and study in the UK for three years.

My key research conclusions are based on the thesis that the UK government and people have expressed their unwavering support for Ukraine during the most difficult period — the first weeks of the full-scale Russian-Ukrainian war. According to statistics, the percentage of visas issued in relation to the country’s population is insignificant, but the growth dynamics is obvious. According to the UN, as of May 9, 2023, there were 204, 700 refugees from Ukraine in the UK.

Keywords: Ukraine, Great Britain, Russian-Ukrainian war, refugees.

Received 21.06.2023

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