Ukrainian workers, seeing little hope at home, head abroad

Supermarket warehouse workers ride trolleys and sort food and drinks near Teresin, Poland, March 12, 2019, with nearly half the workers being Ukrainia

Supermarket warehouse workers ride trolleys and sort food and drinks near Teresin, Poland, March 12, 2019, with nearly half the workers being Ukrainia

Andriy Lytvynenko Ukrainian war veteran, sorts drinks and food at his workplace at a supermarket warehouse near Teresin, Poland, March 12, 2019, with

Andriy Lytvynenko Ukrainian war veteran, sorts drinks and food at his workplace at a supermarket warehouse near Teresin, Poland, March 12, 2019, with

Ukrainians disembark the Kharkiv-Warsaw bus in Warsaw, Poland, on March 10, 2019. As Ukrainians prepare to go to the polls in a presidential election

Ukrainians disembark the Kharkiv-Warsaw bus in Warsaw, Poland, on March 10, 2019. As Ukrainians prepare to go to the polls in a presidential election

Nurse attends the child in Rivne Regional Children's Hospital, Ukraine on March 14, 2019. As Ukrainians prepare to go the polls in a presidential elec

Nurse attends the child in Rivne Regional Children's Hospital, Ukraine on March 14, 2019. As Ukrainians prepare to go the polls in a presidential elec

Mother and daughter walk away from the Rivne Regional Children's Hospital, in Rivne, Ukraine, on March 14, 2019.  As Ukrainians prepare to go to the p

Mother and daughter walk away from the Rivne Regional Children's Hospital, in Rivne, Ukraine, on March 14, 2019. As Ukrainians prepare to go to the p

Olena Aleksiychuk, a Ukrainian dentist, treats a patient, who is also Ukrainian, at a private dental clinic in Warsaw, Poland, on Monday March 11, 201

Olena Aleksiychuk, a Ukrainian dentist, treats a patient, who is also Ukrainian, at a private dental clinic in Warsaw, Poland, on Monday March 11, 201

Ukrainians pray at the St. Mary Magdalene Church in Warsaw, Poland, on March 10, 2019. Ukrainians prepare to go the polls in a presidential election M

Ukrainians pray at the St. Mary Magdalene Church in Warsaw, Poland, on March 10, 2019. Ukrainians prepare to go the polls in a presidential election M

People walk along the street of Rivne, Ukraine, on March 14, 2019.  As Ukrainians prepare to go to the polls in a presidential election March 31, mill

People walk along the street of Rivne, Ukraine, on March 14, 2019. As Ukrainians prepare to go to the polls in a presidential election March 31, mill

An elderly woman takes a walk to the WWII monument in Rivne, Ukraine, on March 14, 2019.   Millions of Ukrainians, an estimated one in 10, have left t

An elderly woman takes a walk to the WWII monument in Rivne, Ukraine, on March 14, 2019. Millions of Ukrainians, an estimated one in 10, have left t

A girl peeks out from the door in Rivne Regional Children's Hospital, in Rivne, Ukraine, on March 14, 2019. As Ukrainians prepare to go the polls in a

A girl peeks out from the door in Rivne Regional Children's Hospital, in Rivne, Ukraine, on March 14, 2019. As Ukrainians prepare to go the polls in a

Ukrainians pray at the St. Mary Magdalene Church in Warsaw, Poland on March 10, 2019. Ukrainians prepare to go the polls in a presidential election Ma

Ukrainians pray at the St. Mary Magdalene Church in Warsaw, Poland on March 10, 2019. Ukrainians prepare to go the polls in a presidential election Ma

TERESIN, Poland (AP) — As Ukrainians get ready for a presidential election on Sunday, millions have already voted with their feet to leave a nation mired in corruption and inequality.

With Russia in control of Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea and backing separatists fighting the government in eastern Ukraine, the government in Kiev is unable to fulfill its aspirations of joining the European Union or NATO.

Ordinary Ukrainians long for better wages but see them stuck at a monthly average of $350. Business owners crave transparent rules but often face being extorted for bribes by corrupt officials.

Many Ukrainians who dream of a decent existence are seeking it elsewhere. In a nation of 44 million people, about 5 million — more than one in 10 — now work abroad, especially in neighboring Poland.