In March, as the brutal Russian war against her country was killing citizens and destroying homes, hospitals and even entire towns, Yuliia Kabanets left Ukraine to meet her partner in Poland. She spent a week there.

Then she returned home.

“My own experience of being out of Ukraine for a week has shown me that I am not ready to not be in Ukraine now,” Kabanets writes. “I was told the same by many people: It is psychologically easier for them to be in Ukraine, even if nowhere is safe, even if their hometown is constantly under shelling from the Russian occupants.”

Migration scholar Karen Jacobsen of Tufts University’s Fletcher School writes today about Kabanets and the many other Ukrainians like her who don’t want to leave their country, despite the danger they face.

She says it’s a story repeated in other parts of the world where conflict rages, from Afghanistan to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “Many people do not leave their home areas, despite great danger,” Jacobsen writes.

Also today:

Naomi Schalit

Senior Editor, Politics + Society

Many Ukrainians returned home after fleeing the Russian invasion, including this family that arrived on April 12, 2022, in Lviv, Ukraine, from refuge in Poland. Dominika Zarzycka/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

‘Nobody wants to run from the war’ – a voice from Ukraine’s displaced millions describes the conflicting pulls of home, family and safety

Karen Jacobsen, Tufts University

A young woman in Lviv, Ukraine, writes about fleeing Russian aggression not once, but twice, since 2014 and explains the fierce desire to stay in her home country – a desire shared by many.

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