Public support for hosting Ukrainian war refugees remains high

Ukrainian war refugees in Estonia.
Ukrainian war refugees in Estonia. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Support for hosting refugees fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine remains high in Estonia, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Tuesday.

79 percent of the Estonian population supports the reception of refugees, according to the research, commissioned by the government office.

This figure rose to 92 percent when native Estonian speakers-only were polled, compared with 51 percent of those of "other nationalities", which in practice primarily means Russian-speakers.

While the figure for ethnic Estonians was largely unchanged on a poll taken in February, in the case of other nationalities, support for the reception of Ukrainian refugees has risen slightly.

Of those who have arrived in Estonia after fleeing the conflict, many have sought, and often found, work, while the Unemployment Insurance Fund (Töötukassa) is helping those who have not yet.

With the new refugee reception center opened in the southwestern Estonian city of Pärnu, many people have been applying to the Unemployment Insurance Fund office there.

Kristjan Heamäe, consultant at the Unemployment Insurance Fund Pärnu office,

Heamäe told AK that: "As of yesterday, there are 41 war refugees registered as unemployed in Pärnu, but almost 90 people have visited us here.

"Registering as unemployed provides an opportunity to use the Unemployment Insurance Fund's services, though only those who have received international protection can register as unemployed," Heamäe added. 

"Being registered as unemployed is not a prerequisite for getting a job. However, if a person gets an offer from us, we will mediate in the contact and they will have the opportunity to apply," he went on, adding that training in extra skills such as language can be talked through with the advisor.

There are more than 400 vacancies in Pärnu County, with 130 companies having expressed interest in offering jobs to Ukrainians, AK reported.

The same survey found that public trust of Estonian media channels' coverage of the war remains high, including Estonia-based Russian-language sources, has grown, while that in Russian Federation based channels has declined.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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