UkraineOfficial Name: Ukraine
Must be valid at time of entry
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Yes for stays longer than 90 days; not required for stays less than 90 days within 180-day period
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
10,000 euros or equivalent must be declared in writing
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
10,000 euros or equivalent must be declared in writing
Embassies and Consulates
4 A.I. Sikorsky St. (formerly Tankova)
04112 Kyiv, Ukraine
Telephone: +(380) (44) 521-5566
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(380) (44) 521-5000
Fax: +(380) ( 44) 521-5155
Ukraine is undergoing a historic political, economic, and social transformation as it prepares for Presidential elections in May. The interim government is working to reform public institutions as the nation battles a legacy of decades of corruption and the Russian occupation of the Crimean Peninsula.
In recent years, the amount and types of goods and services available in Ukraine have increased, and facilities for travelers have improved. Nonetheless, the quality of travel and tourist services remains uneven throughout the country, and it can be difficult to find some of the goods and services commonly available in the United States. Ukrainian is the official language with Russian being widely used in Eastern and Southern Ukraine; use of English is increasing but is still not widely used outside of major cities. Please see the Department of State Fact Sheet on Ukraine for additional information
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
You need a valid passport to enter Ukraine. If you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need a Ukrainian visa if you will be in Ukraine for fewer than 90 days within a 180-day period for tourism. You need a visa or valid Ukrainian residency permit for all stays longer than 90 days. You cannot get a Ukrainian visa at the airport or at the border. If you need a visa, please get it in advance at a Ukrainian Embassy or Consulate. Contact information for Ukrainian embassies and consulates outside of the United States is available on the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Visit the Embassy of Ukraine’s website for the most current visa information.
Check your visa carefully so that you know the validity period. You are responsible for knowing the rules for the type of visa you have. Sometimes U.S. citizens try to come to Ukraine before their visa allows. Remember, in Ukraine the date is written day-month-year. For example, a visa issued on 01/05/13 is good from May 1, 2013, NOT from January 5, 2013. If you come to Ukraine before your visa allows, you can be stopped at the border, not allowed to enter Ukraine, and required to return to your point of origin at your own expense. The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv cannot stop this from happening.
If you enter Ukraine without needing a visa (meaning you will be in Ukraine for fewer than 90 days within a 180-day period), you are automatically registered at the border for 90 days. Extensions of stay beyond 90 days are rarely authorized. To apply for an extension, talk to your local office of the Ukrainian State Department of Citizenship, Immigration, and Registration (officially VGIFRO, but still referred to almost universally by its old acronym, “OVIR”) at least three work days before your initial registration expires. Although three days is a minimum, it is in your interest to contact OVIR earlier. Most cities will have several OVIR offices. If you are given an extension, you will be allowed to stay in Ukraine until your new registration expires; however, if you leave Ukraine, you may have to wait 180 days to come back without a visa. If you do not get an extension, you must leave the country and cannot come back until 180 days after your initial entry into Ukraine.
In March 2014, Russia occupied the Crimean Peninsula, which remains part of Ukraine notwithstanding Russia’s illegal military intervention. At this time the de facto Russian authorities are requiring that non-Russian citizens obtain a Russian visa to enter and exit Crimea by air, land, or sea. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs further announced that non-Russian citizens residing in Crimea when the occupation occurred must obtain an exit permit from the de facto Russian authorities before being allowed to depart the region. The Ukrainian government has confirmed that time spent in Crimea counts against the 90 days U.S. citizens are allowed to remain in Ukraine without a visa. U.S. citizens are urged to follow the guidance in the Travel Warning for Ukraine and defer all travel to the Crimean Peninsula at this time.
Upon entry to Ukraine, foreign travelers need to show proof of sufficient funds for the period of their stay in Ukraine. This equals the subsistence level amount (which is currently 1,176.00 UAH per month) multiplied by 20, i.e. 23,520 UAH (about $2,350.00) for one month stay. If a traveler is coming for a shorter or longer period, the monthly amount is divided by 30 (average number of days per month) and multiplied by the actual number of days the traveler is planning to stay, plus 5 additional days.
For instance, for a 40-day stay, a traveler would need to be able to demonstrate access to the following amount:
(1,176 x 20) / 30 x (40+5) = 35,280.00 UAH (about $3, 530.00)
For a 1-day trip, a traveler would need to have:
(1,176 x 20) / 30 x (1+5) = 4,704.00 UAH (about $470.00)
PLEASE NOTE: The subsistence level changes throughout the year and will be as high as 1,256.00 UAH by the end of 2014. U.S. travelers may wish to use 1,300 UAH as a default to calculate the required amount. The exchange rate of U.S. dollar to Ukrainian hryvnya changes as well.
Travelers should be ready to demonstrate the required amount by showing bank statements, ATM receipts, credit card limits, cash, or a letter of support from an inviting party.
If you enter Ukraine on a long-term (“D”) visa, you must apply with OVIR for a residency permit within 45 days from your entry date. Once you have the residency permit you can reside in Ukraine for as long as it remains valid. To enter and exit the country, you will need your un-expired residency permit and a valid passport. For more details regarding Ukrainian visas and registration procedures, please contact the nearest Embassy of Ukraine or consulate abroad, or the nearest OVIR office within Ukraine.
Ukrainian law requires visitors to have valid health insurance. More information on medical insurance is below.
Travel to Russia: If you are going to visit Russia from Ukraine, you will need a Russian visa. The Consular Section of the Russian Embassy in Kyiv is located at Prospekt Kutuzova 8, tel.: (380-44) 284-6816, fax: 284-7936, or at email@example.com. Contact information for Russian embassies and consulates around the world is available on the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. For more details, review Country Specific Information for the Russian Federation. Please note that it currently takes at least two weeks for U.S. citizens to receive Russian visas in Kyiv. The U.S. Embassy cannot intervene to expedite Russian visa issuance.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any restrictions for persons with HIV/AIDS visiting Ukraine on a temporary basis. However, anyone with HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis cannot get permanent residency in Ukraine. There are no waivers or exceptions to this rule.
Information about dual nationality and prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. Information about customs rules can be found on the Ukrainian State Customs Service website and on our Customs Information page.
Safety and Security
U.S. citizens are urged to follow the guidance in the Travel Warning for Ukraine and defer all travel to the Crimean Peninsula at this time. In March 2014, Russia occupied the Crimean Peninsula, which remains part of Ukraine notwithstanding Russia’s illegal military intervention.
Violence against foreigners in Ukraine is rare but you should avoid large gatherings or protests and adjacent areas. During the past year, large-scale protests have occurred in many cities throughout Ukraine. While mostly peaceful, some of these protests have turned violent and resulted in deaths and injuries. Even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful can become violent and unpredictable. Be alert and aware of your surroundings and pay attention to what the local news media report. If the Embassy obtains information about a planned protest ahead of time, an announcement will be posted on the Embassy website.
Stay up to date by:
- Bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Following us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.
- Calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the U.S. and Canada, or a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Taking some time before travel to consider your personal security – here are some useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: Street crime remains a problem in Ukraine. The country continues to undergo significant economic, political, and social transformation, and income differences have grown accordingly. As a result, you and other foreign visitors may be perceived as wealthy and become easy targets for criminals. The police are poorly paid, trained, and equipped, and historically were considered to be one of the most corrupt organizations in Ukraine, frequently soliciting bribes. Although reforms are underway, they will take time. Ukrainian police and emergency services remain below Western European and U.S. standards in terms of training, responsiveness, and effectiveness. Ukrainian law enforcement and emergency officials rarely speak English and interpreters are not readily available.
Most street crimes reported to the Embassy are non-violent and non-confrontational, and range from various scams to simple pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, and theft of personal items from parked cars. Many of these crimes occur in downtown Kyiv or on the public transport system, including the subway (metro). Muggings, armed robberies, harassment, or the drugging of unsuspecting victims at nightspots and bars (where they are then robbed) have been reported, but less frequently. Cases of assaults in apartment building corridors, elevators, and stairwells, as well as armed break-ins and crimes involving firearms have also been reported, but are rare; most criminals do not carry guns. Victims frequently report that violent assaults involve the use of bottles or clubs.
A commonly reported scam in Kyiv is the “wallet scam,” which involves a person dropping a wallet or a packet of money near you. After you pick up the wallet/packet and attempt to give it back to the individual who dropped it, the scam artist claims that the wallet is missing money and accuses you of stealing it. The individual either threatens to call the police if you don’t pay or asks you to show your wallet to prove that you did not take any money. When you show your wallet, the thief grabs your money and flees. A very common variant involves a second person who intercedes and claims to be a police officer, often flashing a badge. The second person also asks to see your wallet, grabbing the money and fleeing or, through sleight of hand, stealing your money. Many variants exist: two wallets, three or more thieves, etc. All variants involve the victim picking up something and returning it to the person who dropped it.
U.S. citizens have reported being robbed by people posing as police officers. Police officers in Ukraine, including plain clothes officers, routinely stop people on the street to check identity documents and U.S. citizens are required to carry their passports and produce them on request. However, if you have doubts about the legitimacy of a police officer, you can ask to see their photo ID.
Burglaries of apartments and vehicles represent a common threat to long-term residents. Although few cars are actually stolen, primarily because of increased use of alarm systems and security wheel locks, vehicular break-ins and vehicular vandalism are frequent.
While most travelers do not encounter problems with crime in Ukraine, there have been hate crimes directed at ethnic and religious minorities, and members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities (please see more on LGBT issues under Special Circumstances section). In Kyiv, these incidents have occurred without provocation in prominent downtown areas commonly frequented by tourists. The majority of people targeted have been of Asian, African, or other non-European descent. Racial minorities may also be subject to various types of harassment, such as being stopped on the street by both civilians and law enforcement officials. Individuals belonging to religious minorities have been harassed and assaulted in Kyiv and throughout Ukraine. Although senior government of Ukraine officials have publicly deplored these hate crimes and groups behind them, Ukrainian street-level law enforcement officials are either unwilling or are unable to deter hate crimes effectively. The Government of Ukraine has established special law enforcement units to prevent and investigate hate crimes; despite these efforts, problems with this type of crime continue to exist.
Ukrainian law differs with regard to sexual assault and rape, and Ukrainian law enforcement officers generally treat such cases with less seriousness and professionalism than their U.S. counterparts. If you become a victim of rape or sexual assault, you should expect little assistance from Ukrainian law enforcement. We recommend you contact the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv to help find medical care, and to help you understand the local criminal justice process.
Internet Scams: Internet crime is a serious problem in Ukraine. The U.S. Embassy frequently hears from people who have had large amounts of money stolen by internet contacts they thought were their friends, loved ones, or romantic interests. These Internet scams include lotteries, on-line dating or introduction services, and even requests from a “friend” in trouble. In many cases, scammers troll the Internet for victims and spend weeks or months building a relationship and credibility. Once they have gained their victim’s trust, they create a false situation and ask for money. Once money has been sent, there is almost no chance it will be recovered.
In many other cases, U.S. citizens are scammed into sending money to a person or agency in Ukraine with the understanding that either a young woman will visit the United States, or the U.S. citizen will visit her in Ukraine. Often, these scams lead to requests for increasing amounts of money for various purposes, including requests to assist with faked emergency situations (such as unexpected ticket or visa fees, serious illness, or family members in trouble). Once the U.S. citizen becomes suspicious, the individual or agency will cut off contact. Many of these scams have existed for many years using a variety of different identities, agency names, and addresses. In addition, some U.S. citizens visiting their “friend” or “fiancé” in Ukraine have been extorted out of thousands of dollars, and in some cases have been seriously assaulted. Numerous U.S. citizens have also lost money to agencies and individuals who claimed to be able to arrange a student or fiancé visa to the United States. We urge you to read the document entitled “Marriage Brokers” on our website for additional information.
Another scam involves scammers hacking a social media account and sending fake messages to friends and relatives stating they are in trouble and need money immediately. Do not send any money if you receive such a message. Contact the U.S. Embassy immediately if you suspect a U.S. citizen is in distress in Ukraine.
Credit Card Fraud: Credit card and ATM fraud are wide-spread. Ukraine generally operates as a cash economy, and money scams are common. Although credit card and ATM use among Ukrainians is increasing, the Embassy strongly recommends that you exercise caution and use credit cards only at reputable businesses. You should avoid using ATMs on the street or in public places whenever possible. Machines located inside bank branches are generally safer.
Crime Against Business: The Embassy has received reports of harassment and intimidation directed against foreign business persons and interests. Reported incidents include:
- Physical threats (possibly motivated by rival commercial interests tied to organized crime).
- Local government entities engaging in such practices as arbitrary termination or amendment of business licenses, or dilution of corporate stock to diminish U.S. investor interest.
- Delays of payment or delivery of goods.
- Arbitrary “inspections” by tax, safety, or other officials that appear designed to harm the business. U.S. business entities are encouraged to read the most recent Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Annual Crime and Safety Report for Ukraine.
Do not wire money to Ukraine unless the recipient is well-known to you and the purpose of business is clear. United States citizens have reported transferring money to Ukraine to pay for goods purchased from residents of Ukraine via online auction sites, but never receiving the goods in return.
Don’t buy counterfeit or pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal to bring back into the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you are the victim of a crime in Ukraine, you should contact the local police and the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. We can:
- Replace a stolen passport.
- Help you find appropriate medical care following violent crimes such as assault or rape.
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities and, if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although the local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.
In case of emergency in Ukraine, call the following emergency numbers:
- Fire – 101
- Police – 102
- Ambulance – 103
Operators generally do not speak English. As noted previously, Ukrainian police and emergency services are still generally below Western European and U.S. standards in terms of training, responsiveness, and effectiveness. United States citizens have reported waiting up to several hours for Ukrainian police and ambulance services to respond to calls for emergency assistance, especially in rural areas. Ukrainian law enforcement provides no adequate level of deterrence to street crime, and is not able to investigate criminal incidents to any minimal level expected in Western countries. Visitors to Ukraine should note that Ukrainian law enforcement and emergency response officials generally do not speak English, and translators are generally not readily available.
Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Ukraine, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. If you violate Ukrainian law, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. U.S. citizens who have been arrested in Ukraine have faced extended periods, even years, in pre-trial detention before their case comes to trial. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Ukraine are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Ukrainian prison conditions, while improved in recent years, are generally far below the norm in the United States or Western Europe. Cells are crowded and contact with the outside world is limited (no phones, Internet, or television). Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Ukraine, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.
While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
Dual Nationality: Ukraine does not recognize dual nationality. If you are a U.S.-Ukrainian citizen and arrive in Ukraine with a Ukrainian passport, you will be treated as a Ukrainian citizen by the local authorities. This may include being required to perform mandatory military service. For additional information, see the Consular Affairs website for information on dual nationality.
If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LBGT RIGHTS: Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is widespread in Ukraine, as harassment, threats, and acts of violence have been targeted at LGBT individuals. Government officials have been known to make derogatory comments about LGBT persons. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Ukraine, you may review the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Right Practices for 2013. For further information on LGBT travel, please read our Information for LGBT Travelers page.
Identification Checks: Under Ukrainian law, police are permitted to stop you for any reason and check your identification documents. You are required to carry your passport at all times, which police may check to verify your legal presence in Ukraine. Police are permitted to detain you for up to 72 hours without formal charges. U.S. citizens traveling to Ukraine are strongly advised to have the numbers for the U.S. Embassy handy. If stopped by the police for an unclear reason, call the U.S. Embassy at 38 044 521 5566 within working hours or 38 044 521 5000 after hours.
Currency Regulations: Licensed exchange booths for exchanging U.S. dollars into Ukrainian hryvnya are widespread, and exchange rates are normally clearly advertised. Currency exchange is only legal at such licensed exchange booths, banks, and currency exchange desks at hotels; anyone caught dealing on the black market can expect to be detained by the local police and may face criminal prosecution. You will need to show your passport when exchanging money. Be aware that you will be unable to exchange Ukrainian hryvnya back to U.S. dollars or other foreign currency if you are unable to show where you got this amount of hryvnya from. Keep receipts that you get from exchange booths to be able to show them later if you need to exchange the local currency back to U.S. dollars when leaving the country.
There are many banks and licensed currency exchange booths located in major cities. ATMs (known locally as “bankomats”) are common throughout the country, even in the smaller cities and towns. All ATMs dispense cash only in hryvnya. You should think about bringing enough hard currency with you if you need dollars or euros during your trip. Credit card and ATM card fraud is a major concern, so you should use credit cards only at reputable businesses and ATMs located inside bank branches.
Customs Regulations: Customs regulations prohibit sending cash, traveler’s checks, personal checks, credit cards, passports, or other forms of identification through the international mail system, as well as via courier mail (FedEx, DHL, etc.). Customs authorities regularly confiscate these items as contraband. Ukrainian customs authorities may also enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Ukraine of items such as firearms, antiquities, prescription medications (in particular narcotic pain relievers), and currency.
Travelers arriving in Ukraine should pay close attention to posted customs declaration requirements. Failure to declare cash, valuables, and certain goods in accordance with Ukrainian requirements can result in fines and the seizure of the goods. You may also have to attend a court hearing, usually scheduled several weeks after the offense, before you can depart Ukraine.
You may take up to EUR 10,000 or its equivalent into or out of Ukraine under oral declaration to Ukrainian customs authorities, if asked. To transport a greater amount, you must declare the total amount, in writing, by filling out the Customs Declaration Form before checking in at airports and presenting proof of the source of the money (a bank reference) to customs officials, or you may face forfeiture of the money to Ukrainian customs as well as a court appearance.
Ukraine has strict limitations on the export of antiques and other goods and artifacts deemed to be of particularly important historical or cultural value. These include, but are not limited to, any items produced before 1950 regardless of the country of production. U.S. citizens must adhere to these restrictions as a matter of law. Please contact the Kyiv Department of Culture, Expertise Section, at (38-044) 279-6109 or (38-044) 279-5647, if you have any questions regarding items you own, wish to purchase, and/or plan to export.
You should contact the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, or one of Ukraine's consulates in the United States for more specific information regarding customs requirements. The State Customs Service of Ukraine can also be contacted for advice at (38 044) 247 2719. Operators speak only Ukrainian or Russian.
ACCESSIBILITY: Accessibility is an issue in Ukraine. Public transport systems are not fully accessible to individuals with disabilities. Some newer buildings feature ramps and elevators, but older buildings do not. You should check ahead with your hotel/destination to learn more about options to accommodate disabled traveler needs before visiting Ukraine.
Radiation and nuclear safety: In 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear accident resulted in the largest short-term, unintentional release of radioactive materials into the atmosphere ever recorded. The highest areas of radioactive ground contamination occurred within 30 kilometers of the Chernobyl nuclear power station. The city of Kyiv was not badly affected because of the wind direction, but it was not completely spared. The last operating reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant site closed in 2000. All identified stabilization measures on the existing sarcophagus covering the reactor damaged in 1986 are complete, and preparatory work to start construction of the new shelter is nearing completion. The contract for the new Chernobyl shelter was awarded in 2007, and construction is underway.
The Ukrainian Government has an effective program of monitoring fresh foods and meats sold in local markets. You should not buy produce on the street. Wild berries, mushrooms, and wild fowl and game have exhibited higher than average levels of radiation. Back ground levels of radiation are monitored regularly by the Embassy and, to date, have not exceeded the level found on the Eastern seaboard of the United States. If external radiation levels are high enough to require evacuation, the U.S. Embassy will notify the U.S. community electronically. To receive these messages, you only need to enroll with the Department of State through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
If you are ill or infirm, we strongly recommend that against travel to Ukraine. Ukraine is not a disabled-friendly environment, with little or no accommodations to ease access. Elderly travelers and those with existing health problems may be at risk due to inadequate medical facilities. State ambulance service is inadequate and it can take hours to get a response even in an emergency. Ambulance crews have asked for bribes before agreeing to transport critically ill patients to the hospital. The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of hospitals and clinics with some English-speaking staff. A few facilities have only limited English speakers, and most have none at all. Hospitals in Ukraine do not accept U.S. health insurance plans for payment, and the level of medical care is not equal to that found in U.S. hospitals. If you are hospitalized, you or someone acting on your behalf must supply bandages, medication, and food. The U.S. Embassy also recommends that you obtain private medical evacuation insurance prior to traveling to Ukraine. If you do not have Ukrainian medical insurance, you may be asked to pay in cash for medical services and hospitalization before you are treated. Many private insurance companies in Ukraine offer short-term medical coverage for visitors.
Medical evacuation often remains the best way to secure Western medical care. This option, however, is very expensive and can take several hours or longer to arrange. You should buy medical evacuation insurance prior to travel or have access to substantial lines of credit to cover the cost of medical evacuation. Please read information on air ambulance and medical escort providers and the fact sheet on medical services in Kyiv for additional information.
Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in Ukraine. For further information, please consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) information on TB.
There have been several outbreaks of measles in Ukraine in recent years. The CDC provides regularly updated measles information. Travelers to Ukraine should make sure they have been vaccinated against measles (and that their other vaccinations are up-to-date) in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.
HIV levels in Ukraine are well above regional and worldwide averages. The CDC website publishes the latest news on HIV in Ukraine, along with information on HIV prevention.
You can find good information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the WHO website, which also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Ukraine, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.
Generally, roads in Ukraine outside major urban areas are in poor condition and are poorly lighted. U.S. visitors to Ukraine can drive using their U.S. driving licenses for up to 60 days after entering the country; those planning to stay longer need to obtain a Ukrainian driving license. You should drive defensively at all times since local drivers often disregard traffic rules. Drivers are often poorly trained; many drive without a valid driver's license. Drivers can also be dangerously aggressive and normally do not respect the rights of pedestrians, even at clearly marked pedestrian crossings, and regularly drive on the sidewalks.
Pedestrians should also be aware of cars driving or parking on sidewalks. Many cars, including some taxis, do not meet the safety standards common in the United States. There is no tolerance for driving under the influence, and penalties can be steep. Fines are associated with driving while talking on a cell phone.
Due to heavy traffic and congested roads, vehicle accidents happen often in larger Ukrainian cities, especially in Kyiv. If you are involved in an accident in Ukraine, do not move the vehicle from the site of the accident unless it presents a clear safety concern (causing a traffic jam is not considered a safety concern). In practice, this means that even moving a vehicle to the side of the road after an accident may be considered a criminal offense. Local police must be notified and will report to the scene to conduct an investigation. You must wait until the police arrive and complete their report, no matter how long it takes; often this can take several hours. When police arrive, they will decide responsibility, take the drivers’ personal information, and file an accident report. In the vast majority of cases, the police reporting to the scene of an accident will not speak English.
Cross-country travel at night and in winter can be particularly dangerous, and Embassy staff are generally prohibited from driving at night outside of major urban areas. The Embassy strongly recommends that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from driving after dark outside of major cities. Roadside services, such as gas stations and repair facilities, are becoming more common, but are far from U.S. standards; travelers should plan accordingly.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Ukraine’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Ukraine’s air carrier operations. You can find further information on the FAA website at the FAA safety assessment page.