• Tue. Mar 5th, 2024

Grandma, Mom and Daughter: The Fate of Ukraine’s Exiles in Austria


Feb 13, 2024
Three generations of Ukrainian women enduring perpetual exile in Austria

Irina, Marina, and Katia are a grandmother, mother, and granddaughter originally from Mikolaiv, southern Ukraine. Due to the dangerous war with Russia, they had to flee their city of origin and now find themselves in exile together in Austria. The three women have worked hard to integrate into the local community and find an apartment while facing the reality that a quick return to their homeland may not be possible. There are 6 million Ukrainian exiles in Europe, marking an unprecedented wave of displacement since World War II.

Marina, 43, found a job in a supermarket and worked her way up from the bakery department to become head cashier. Her daughter, Katia, 17, is studying remotely at a Viennese high school with the goal of obtaining the Austrian high school diploma in 2025. Irina, the 64-year-old grandmother, has dedicated herself to volleyball and has formed a circle of friends. While many Ukrainian refugees are building their future in their host countries, the situation is complicated for women whose husbands are on the front lines. As the conflict drags on, volunteers are finding it difficult to help women find jobs and learn the language.

The burden on Austrians who have opened their homes to refugees is also growing as there is concern about the long-term impact on communities hosting refugees. In neighboring Germany, which is home to over a million refugees

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