Where is Ukraine located?

What countries border Ukraine?

Ukraine Weather

What is the current weather in Ukraine?

Ukraine Facts and Culture

What is Ukraine famous for?

  • Cultural Attributes: Neighborhood ties are strong, and friendship is valued highly. Ukrainians see themselves as a lively and happy people. Embroidery: Embroidered... More
  • Family: An average family is headed by a father and has two children. Both parents usually work outside the home, but... More
  • Personal Apperance: For weddings and other special events, Ukrainians may wear traditional outfits, such as a "vyshyvanka" which is an embroidered shirt... More
  • Recreation: Soccer is the favorite sport. Ukrainians also enjoy volleyball, basketball, horse racing, and ping pong. Fishing, hiking, and mountaineering are... More
  • Diet: The staple foods in Ukraine are dairy products, bread, and vegetables. Corn on the cob is popular in Ukraine, which... More
  • Food and Recipes: Table manners: It is customary to wait for the host to invite you to begin eating before starting your meal.... More
  • Visiting: People prefer to receive advance notice when visiting. When relatives or friends visit, coffee or tea are frequently served with... More
  • Dating: Couples commonly marry in their early twenties. A marriage needs to be performed in a public hall or 'wedding palace'... More

Ukraine Facts

What is the capital of Ukraine?

Capital Kyiv (Kiev is the transliteration from Russian)

note: pronounced KAY-yiv
Government Type semi-presidential republic
Currency Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH)
Total Area 233,031 Square Miles
603,550 Square Kilometers
Location Eastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Poland, Romania, and Moldova in the west and Russia in the east
Language Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian, Polish, Hungarian
GDP - real growth rate -11%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $8,000.00 (USD)

Ukraine Demographics

What is the population of Ukraine?

Ethnic Groups Ukrainian 77.8%, Russian 17.3%, Belarusian 0.6%, Moldovan 0.5%, Crimean Tatar 0.5%, Bulgarian 0.4%, Hungarian 0.3%, Romanian 0.3%, Polish 0.3%, Jewish 0.2%, other 1.8%
Languages Ukrainian is the official language. Minorities including Hungarian, Polish and Romanian may speak their own languages. Ethnic minorities now have the legal right to use their own language in public and judicial matters.
Nationality Noun Ukrainian(s)
Population 43,922,939
Population Growth Rate -0.63%
Population in Major Urban Areas KYIV (capital) 2.829 million; Kharkiv 1.451 million; Dnipropetrovsk 994,000; Odesa 1.01 million; Donetsk 959,000; Zaporizhzhya 771,000
Urban Population 68.900000

Ukraine Government

What type of government does Ukraine have?

Executive Branch chief of state: President Volodymyr ZELENSKYY (since 20 May 2019)

head of government: Prime Minister Denys SHMYHAL (since 4 March 2020)

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers nominated by the prime minister, approved by the Verkhovna Rada

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 31 March and 21 April 2019 (next to be held in March 2024); prime minister selected by the Verkhovna Rada

election results:

2019: Volodymyr ZELENSKYY elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Volodymyr ZELENSKYY (Servant of the People) 30.2%, Petro POROSHENKO (BPP-Solidarity) 15.6%, Yuliya TYMOSHENKO (Fatherland) 13.4%, Yuriy BOYKO (Opposition Platform-For Life) 11.7%, 35 other candidates 29.1%; percent of vote in the second round - Volodymyr ZELENSKYY 73.2%, Petro POROSHENKO 24.5%, other 2.3%; Denys SHMYHAL (independent) elected prime minister; Verkhovna Rada vote - 291-59

2014: Petro POROSHENKO elected president in first round; percent of vote - Petro POROSHENKO (independent) 54.5%, Yuliya TYMOSHENKO (Fatherland) 12.9%, Oleh LYASHKO (Radical Party) 8.4%, other 24.2%; Volodymyr HROYSMAN (BPP) elected prime minister; Verkhovna Rada vote - 257-50

note: there is also a National Security and Defense Council or NSDC originally created in 1992 as the National Security Council; the NSDC staff is tasked with developing national security policy on domestic and international matters and advising the president; a presidential administration helps draft presidential edicts and provides policy support to the president
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Citizenship citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Ukraine

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
National Holiday Independence Day, 24 August (1991); note - 22 January 1918, the day Ukraine first declared its independence from Soviet Russia, and the date the short-lived Western and Greater (Eastern) Ukrainian republics united (1919), is now celebrated as Unity Day
Constitution history: several previous; latest adopted and ratified 28 June 1996

amendments: proposed by the president of Ukraine or by at least one third of the Supreme Council members; adoption requires simple majority vote by the Council and at least two-thirds majority vote in its next regular session; adoption of proposals relating to general constitutional principles, elections, and amendment procedures requires two-thirds majority vote by the Council and approval in a referendum; constitutional articles on personal rights and freedoms, national independence, and territorial integrity cannot be amended; amended several times, last in 2019
Independence 24 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union); notable earlier dates: ca. 982 (VOLODYMYR I consolidates Kyivan Rus); 1199 (Principality (later Kingdom) of Ruthenia formed); 1648 (establishment of the Cossack Hetmanate); 22 January 1918 (from Soviet Russia)

Ukraine Video

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Ukraine Geography

What environmental issues does Ukraine have?

Overview Ukraine's area of 233,088 square miles (603,700 sq. km) is slightly larger than France. Ukraine is mainly a vast plain with no natural boundaries except the Carpathian Mountains in the southwest, the Black Sea in the south, and the Azov Sea in the southeast. The Dnipro River with its many tributaries unifies central Ukraine economically. The mouth of the Danube River provides an outlet for Ukrainian trade with the Balkans, Austria, and Germany.

Ukraine has a complex geology with a rich variety of scenery and impressive contrasts in topography. Central and southern Ukraine is primarily steppe (prairie) with very fertile black soil exceptionally well suited for grain farming. In the east, the industrial heartland of the Greater Donbas or Donets Basin contains large reserves of mineral deposits. Western Ukraine has many picturesque mountain resorts.

Enhancing the topography of Ukraine are two mountain ranges. On the western border are the Carpathians, very popular for winter sports. The Crimean Mountains divide the Crimean Peninsula, creating a semitropical area on its southernmost tip. Crimea is a popular tourist destination.
Climate The Ukraine climate is similar to the wheat-producing regions of Canada and is characterized by abundant precipitation and cloudy skies, especially in fall and winter. Snow can start as early as October and not end until April. The mean temperature in summer is 87°F (30°C) and in winter 16°F (-8°C). Although summers are short, the temperature can soar to the 90s. Mediterranean only on the southern Crimean coast; precipitation disproportionately distributed, highest in west and north, lesser in east and southeast; winters vary from cool along the Black Sea to cold farther inland; summers are warm across the greater part of the country, hot in the south.
Border Countries Belarus 891 km, Hungary 103 km, Moldova 939 km, Poland 526 km, Romania (south) 169 km, Romania (west) 362 km, Russia 1,576 km, Slovakia 97 km
Environment - Current Issues inadequate supplies of potable water; air and water pollution; deforestation; radiation contamination in the northeast from 1986 accident at Chornobyl' Nuclear Power Plant
Environment - International Agreements party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds
Terrain most of Ukraine consists of fertile plains (steppes) and plateaus, mountains being found only in the west (the Carpathians), and in the Crimean Peninsula in the extreme south

Ukraine Economy

How big is the Ukraine economy?

Economic Overview After Russia, the Ukrainian Republic was the most important economic component of the former Soviet Union, producing about four times the output of the next-ranking republic. Its fertile black soil accounted for more than one-fourth of Soviet agricultural output, and its farms provided substantial quantities of meat, milk, grain, and vegetables to other republics. Likewise, its diversified heavy industry supplied unique equipment such as large-diameter pipes and vertical drilling apparatus and raw materials to industrial and mining sites in other regions of the former USSR.

Shortly after independence in August 1991, the Ukrainian Government liberalized most prices and erected a legal framework for privatization, but widespread resistance to reform within the government and the legislature soon stalled reform efforts and led to some backtracking. Output by 1999 had fallen to less than 40% of the 1991 level. Outside institutions - particularly the IMF encouraged Ukraine to quicken the pace and scope of reforms to foster economic growth. Ukrainian Government officials eliminated most tax and customs privileges in a March 2005 budget law, bringing more economic activity out of Ukraine's large shadow economy. From 2000 until mid-2008, Ukraine's economy was buoyant despite the political turmoil between the prime minister and president. The economy contracted nearly 15% in 2009, among the worst economic performances in the world. In April 2010, Ukraine negotiated a price discount on Russian gas imports in exchange for extending Russia's lease on its naval base in Crimea.

Ukraine’s oligarch-dominated economy grew slowly from 2010 to 2013 but remained behind peers in the region and among Europe’s poorest. After former President YANUKOVYCH fled the country during the Revolution of Dignity, Ukraine’s economy fell into crisis because of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, military conflict in the eastern part of the country, and a trade war with Russia, resulting in a 17% decline in GDP, inflation at nearly 60%, and dwindling foreign currency reserves. The international community began efforts to stabilize the Ukrainian economy, including a March 2014 IMF assistance package of $17.5 billion, of which Ukraine has received four disbursements, most recently in April 2017, bringing the total disbursed as of that date to approximately $8.4 billion. Ukraine has made progress on reforms designed to make the country prosperous, democratic, and transparent, including the creation of a national anti-corruption agency, an overhaul of the banking sector, the establishment of a transparent VAT refund system, and increased transparency in government procurement. But more improvements are needed, including fighting corruption, developing capital markets, improving the business environment to attract foreign investment, privatizing state-owned enterprises, and land reform. The fifth tranche of the IMF program, valued at $1.9 billion, was delayed in mid-2017 due to a lack of progress on outstanding reforms, including adjustment of gas tariffs to import parity levels and adoption of legislation establishing an independent anti-corruption court.

Russia’s occupation of Crimea in March 2014 and ongoing Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine have hurt economic growth. With the loss of a major portion of Ukraine’s heavy industry in Donbas and ongoing violence, the economy contracted by 6.6% in 2014 and by 9.8% in 2015, but it returned to low growth in 2016 and 2017, reaching 2.3% and 2.0%, respectively, as key reforms took hold. Ukraine also redirected trade activity toward the EU following the implementation of a bilateral Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, displacing Russia as its largest trading partner. A prohibition on commercial trade with separatist-controlled territories in early 2017 has not impacted Ukraine’s key industrial sectors as much as expected, largely because of favorable external conditions. Ukraine returned to international debt markets in September 2017, issuing a $3 billion sovereign bond.
Industries coal, electric power, ferrous and nonferrous metals, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food processing (especially sugar)
Currency Name and Code Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH)
Export Partners Russia 17.8%, Turkey 6.9%, Italy 4.7%, Germany 4.2%
Import Partners Russia 37.6%, Turkmenistan 11.2%, Germany 9.9%

Ukraine News and Current Events

What current events are happening in Ukraine?
Source: Google News

Ukraine Travel Information

What makes Ukraine a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Ukraine continues to experience significant political and economic changes. 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 still 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; English is not widely used.


Street crime remains a serious 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. United States citizens often stand out in Ukraine, and are therefore more likely to be targeted than in Western European countries where incomes are higher and U.S. citizens may blend in better. The police are poorly paid, motivated, trained, and equipped, and also are considered to be one of the most corrupt organizations in Ukraine. Ukrainian police and emergency services remain generally 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 small-caliber firearms have also been reported, but are rare; most criminals do not carry guns, but may have other weapons. When violent assaults do occur, they usually involve punches and kicks, with an occasional bottle or similar item used as a club.

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.

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 ). Many of these incidents are perpetrated by “skinheads” or neo-Nazis and have been reported throughout the country. 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. The police and government’s slow response to hate crimes is a serious and continuing concern. 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 U.S. Embassy has received numerous credible reports from victims of violent hate crimes stating that uniformed police officers observed the assaults and did nothing to prevent the attacks, to assist the victims afterward, or to investigate and apprehend the attackers. 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.

The general disinterest shown by Ukrainian law enforcement in responding to or investigating crimes against U.S. citizens in a number of cases is a cause for concern. In particular, 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.

The U.S. Embassy also 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 next to no chance it will be recovered.

In particular, dating/marriage scams are frequent. In many cases, U.S. citizens have sent 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 visas to the United States. We urge you to read the document entitled “ Marriage Brokers ” on our website for additional information.

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.

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.

Ukraine lacks reliable services for foreign victims of crime. Transferring funds from the United States, replacing stolen traveler’s checks or airline tickets, and canceling credit cards can be difficult and time consuming. There are few safe low-cost lodgings, such as youth hostels. Public facilities in Ukraine generally are not equipped to accommodate persons with physical disabilities.

The Embassy has received reports of harassment and intimidation directed against foreign businesspersons and interests.

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.

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.

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-trail 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.


Ukrainian is the official language. Minorities including Hungarian, Polish and Romanian may speak their own languages. Ethnic minorities now have the legal right to use their own language in public and judicial matters.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

If you are ill or infirm, we strongly recommend that you do not 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. No hospitals in Ukraine accept U.S. health insurance plans for payment, and the level of medical care is not equal to that found in U.S. hospitals. (Some facilities are adequate for basic services.) 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. The U.S. Embassy has information on various air ambulance companies that provide medical evacuations to Europe or to the United States. More information can be found on the U.S. Embassy's website in the document “ Medical Services in Kyiv.”

Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in Ukraine.

There have been several outbreaks of measles in Ukraine in recent years. The Ukrainian Ministry of Health currently reports suspected cases of the illness are increasing, particularly in Western Ukraine. 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.

Ukraine has experienced several outbreaks of H1N1 influenza, most recently in November 2009. These instances were among birds and poultry only and no known human cases have occurred.

Safety and Security

Prior to wartime conditions, Ukraine is a safe country to visit, with the little anti-U.S. sentiment. Large demonstrations occasionally occur in bigger cities, such as Kyiv, and are usually sponsored by political organizations. Most protests are peaceful but you should avoid them if at all possible. 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.

Several bombings targeting public areas have occurred in Ukraine in the last year and caused damage or injury. While the bombings in Ukraine are not related to terrorism and have not targeted U.S. citizens, the Embassy reiterates the necessity to maintain high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase your security awareness.

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 attempting to park 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. 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. Western-made or foreign-registered cars have been carjacked.

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