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Lviv’s population grows by 150,000 during war, Zhytomyr’s almost unchanged, Mykolaiv’s falls by 200,000 – mayors

DAVOS. Jan 24 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Lviv has become one of the main hubs for migrants since the beginning of the full-scale Russian aggression and is aimed at their integration as an important factor in the cultural and economic development of the city, Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovy said at the Ukrainian House in Davos, organized by the Viktor Pinchuk Foundation, Western NIS Enterprise Fund and Horizon Capital.

Sadovy on the sidelines clarified to the Interfax-Ukraine agency that the population of Lviv, which, according to the State Statistics Service, amounted to 717,027 people on January 1, 2022, has now increased by about 150,000 people.

The mayor, speaking at the Ukrainian House, stressed that at the peak of the evacuation in Lviv for "days and weeks" there were 2 million people.

The mayor of Zhytomyr, Serhiy Sukhomlyn, on the sidelines of the Ukrainian House in Davos, told the Interfax-Ukraine agency that during the period of maximum proximity of the front to the regional center, when it was subjected to regular shelling, up to 45% of residents left it.

According to his estimates, currently 82-83% of the residents of Zhytomyr who left have returned to the city, whose population, according to the State Statistics Service, was 261,062 people on January 1, 2022. However, as Sukhomlyn noted, taking into account about 20,000 IDPs who settled in Zhytomyr, its population today is about the same as before the start of the full-scale war.

Mayor of Mykolaiv, Oleksandr Senkevych, speaking in the Ukrainian House, noted that before the liberation of Kherson on November 11, 2022, Mykolaiv had not been shelled for only 46 days. According to him, therefore in Mykolaiv there are especially a lot of destructions and problems for life, in particular, lack of drinking water since April 12.

Senkevych clarified to the Interfax-Ukraine agency that currently its population is about 280,000, or about 60% of the pre-war population, which the State Statistics Service estimated at 470.001 on January 1, 2022, and the mayor at 480,000.

According to the mayor, after the liberation of Kherson, the situation with shelling and, accordingly, the dynamics of the population has somewhat improved.

Deputy Head of the Ministry of Reconstruction Mustafa Nayyem, speaking at the Ukrainian House, noted that the restoration plans currently being developed in the ministry, in addition to transparency and openness, will be "human-centered".

"First of all, it’s about calculating the needs of the regions based on clear criteria. In particular, I’m talking about the number of people who are actual users of the main services. We also count how many people we want to return back to their places of residence," he explained.

According to Nayyem, it is necessary to be honest that, perhaps, not all people can immediately return to their homes, since not all cities are still safe, and not everyone will want to return at all.

"But now it is important for us to figure out how to return them and how to create the infrastructure of security, healthcare, education, etc., so that they return," the deputy minister stressed.

In addition, he noted that it is necessary to assess the potential for job creation. In this regard, Nayyem gave the example of Mykolaiv, which before the war had been a large industrial and port city.