German Government Expects 10 Million Migrants to Flee Ukraine if Russia Wins War: Report

Hundreds of refugees stand in line as they wait to be transferred after crossing the Ukrai

The German government believes if Ukraine loses the war with Russia, a mass exodus of up to ten million migrants will flee the country, particularly into Germany, where the asylum system is already cracking under the pressure of the past decade of open borders policies.

Berlin is expecting that approximately ten million more people would leave the country in the event of a Russian victory, with the vast majority heading towards countries in Western Europe, a newspaper report citing parliamentary and security services sources claims.

However, some have warned that this estimate may be downplaying how many Ukrainians will seek lives in other countries, with migration researcher Gerald Knaus telling the Welt am Sonntag newspaper: “If Ukraine lost the war, many more than ten million refugees could come to the EU. It is already the largest escape movement in Europe since the 1940s.

“There is a big difference compared to the mass exodus in the context of the war in Syria. Turkey has now closed the border with Syria and built a wall. The EU will not do this in relation to Ukraine. So if [Europe] does not want the number of refugees to increase, it must now help Ukraine to win its defensive war.”

Roderich Kiesewetter, a member of the Bundestag parliament for the centrist Christian Democratic Union (CDU), added: “If we don’t change our strategy to support Ukraine, the worst-case scenario of a mass exodus from Ukraine and an expansion of the war to NATO countries will be much more likely. Then ten million refugees would be a low estimate.”

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, over six million people fled the country, with millions more displaced from their homes within the country as well.

Germany has been one of the major destinations for Ukrainian refugees, with around 1.1 million Ukrainian nationals having moved to Germany since 2022, a figure among European states only second to Poland.

This came on top of the waves of illegal migrants continuing to flood into the country, with approximately 127,000 “unauthorised entries” being detected by German law enforcement in 2023, the highest level since the Europe Migrant Crisis of 2015.

According to Chairman of the German Police Union Heiko Teggatz, there are currently over 350,000 migrants living illegally in the country without any prospect of being deported due to the lax enforcement by the leftist government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz. This, in addition to legal asylum entries, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier admitted in September, has pushed the country’s system to the “breaking point”.

While Europe and other countries in the West opened up the gates to Ukrainians fleeing from the war in 2022, there was a common assumption that they would be more likely than migrants from the Middle East and Africa to return home.

However, a study conducted last July by Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and Federal Institute for Population Research found that 44 per cent of Ukrainians who entered since the start of the war would like to stay in Germany “forever” or at least for a “few more years”. In contrast, just 31 per cent said they would like to return home.

A more recent survey, conducted in September by the Pathfinders organisation in Canada, found that 90 per cent of Ukrainian refugees would prefer to remain in Canada. Even if the war came to an end, some 79 per cent said they would still like to remain in Canada, indicating a potentially growing reticence among the Ukrainian diaspora to return home.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on X: or e-mail to:


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.