As Russian bombs rained down on the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv in early March, Zoya Mamatkulova and her mother packed up their bags, put their cat in a pet carrier and headed for Poland.

But after traveling across three countries, shuttling between refugee shelters and a relative's house, the pair decided to go home — joining a growing number of Ukrainian refugees who are choosing to return as the war drags on.

Their story highlights the risks, however, especially in eastern areas, where Russian forces have focused their offensive after abandoning an assault on Kyiv in late March.