Nearly everyone who crossed the Danube on the open-air ferry from Ukraine and landed in the frostbitten Romanian port city of Isaccea on a recent morning had a roller bag and a stopgap plan. One woman planned to join her husband in Istanbul. Another was headed to Munich, where her company has its headquarters. Others were meeting brothers, cousins, in-laws and friends in Paris or Sofia, Madrid or Amsterdam.
And then, they hoped to go back to Ukraine.
“I need to return,” said Lisa Slavachevskaya, who traveled with her 10-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter from Odessa. “My husband, my mother and my grandmother are there.” She said she planned to go home in a month.
Whether such quick turnabouts are possible is one of the many uncertainties hanging over Europe’s fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II. No matter how the catastrophe in Ukraine ends, the costs of helping the millions of Ukrainians fleeing Russian bombs…