How many Russians and Ukrainians live in the USA?
The invasion of Ukraine has sent shockwaves around the world and left Ukrainians living overseas uncertain about their future and ability to return home.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine saw President Putin launch an attack on his nation’s closest neighbours, both geographically and culturally, and alienate his government from the rest of the world.
The global fallout from the conflict has affected people all over the world and has caused great concern for people of Ukrainian and Russian descent living overseas.
In 2019 the United States’ Census Bureau published an American Community Survey which studied the reported ancestry of the American population. From those who submitted their information they were able to extrapolate to estimate the total number of people from each national heritage.
The study estimated that there were around 1,009,874 people of Ukrainian descent living in the United States.
It also suggested that there were 2,432,733 people with Russian ancestry.
Ukrainians in the US given additional visa
Of the roughly one million people of Ukrainian heritage living in the US, independent think tank the Migration Policy Institute estimates that around 30,000 of them do not currently have American citizenship or permanent residency status.
Normally this could leave them vulnerable to deportation but in response to the crisis in Ukraine the Department of Homeland Security has announced that Ukrainians will be granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. This will allow them to continue living or studying in the US without fear of being sent back to a nation in the midst of war.
Immigration advocates had been pushing for exception to be made and last week dozens of senators signed a letter urging President Biden to issue TPS for Ukraine. On 3 March that was made official with a statement from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
"Russia's premeditated and unprovoked attack on Ukraine has resulted in an ongoing war, senseless violence, and Ukrainians forced to seek refuge in other countries," said Mayorkas in a statement. "In these extraordinary times, we will continue to offer our support and protection to Ukrainian nationals in the United States."
Ukrainian Canadians clash with Russian hockey player
In the past week the US and other nations have imposed strict sanctions against Russia’s oligarchs and other wealthy elites considered to be close associates of Putin’s, but it was a Russian ice hockey player who has been the focus of attention in recent days.
Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is a known support of President Putin and their friendship remained solid through the annexation of Crimea in 2014, even leading to Ovechkin launching an online campaigning to support Putin in the 2018 Russian election.
On Wednesday the Capitals faced Canada’s Oilers in an NHL fixture held in Edmonton, home to one of the largest concentrations of Ukrainians living in Canada. Oilers fans did their best to show their support for Ukraine and their opposition to Putin’s invasion, wearing the blue and yellow colours of the Ukrainian flag and loudly jeering whenever Ovechkin touched the puck.
Tim Shipton of the Oilers Entertainment Group released a statement, reiterating support for Ukrainians: “The Edmonton Oilers stand in solidarity alongside the people of Ukraine. As we saw during Saturday’s home game, Oilers fans were very respectful in showing their support for Ukraine.”