Ukraine

Ukraine

Use High Level of Caution

Ukraine is located in eastern Europe between Russia on the east and Poland and Romania on the west. Ukraine also has coastline on the Black Sea. The population is approximately 46 million people. Although the official language is Ukrainian, Russian is also widely spoken.

The government of Ukraine is a republic with a president as chief of state and a prime minister as head of government.

Ukraine, one of the original republics of the USSR, gained independence with the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. The economy has struggled with the transition to a market system. Ukraine has great economic potential with a good education system, fertile agricultural land, a highly skilled labour force, and a well-developed heavy industry. However, the country struggles with issues of corruption, lack of law enforcement, excessive government regulation, and resistance for reform.

The government is promoting the development of the tourism sector. Ukraine has over 500 cities with origins dating back more than 900 years. There are thousands of historical monuments, over 600 museums, and many national parks.

Currency UAH: Hryvnia
Language Ukrainian
Capital Kiev
Recent Alerts None
Latest Alert Not Available

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Ukraine. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Tuberculosis

Travellers to Ukraine are at significant risk for tuberculosis, including multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, if visiting friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Ukraine through contaminated food or water. 

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Ukraine.

Tick-Borne Encephalitis

Tick-borne encephalitis occurs in the Ukraine below 1,400 meters. The areas mainly affected are the mountain forest zone of the Krym Republic (the Republic of Crimea) and the Volyn province. This disease occurs during the warmer months, most often in early and late summer when ticks are most active.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease occurs in the Ukraine. The highest risk occurs from exposure to ticks during camping and hiking in forested areas.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Polio

Three is a low risk of exposure to vaccine-derived polio virus.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Ukraine.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Tick-Borne Encephalitis Vaccine

Travellers who plan to visit this country during the summer months and hike or camp in rural or forested areas that provide a habitat for the ticks that carry the virus should consider obtaining this vaccine. This vaccine is only available in Europe.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Polio Vaccine

In addition to ensuring that childhood vaccination against polio is up to date, travellers expecting to stay in Ukraine for more than six months and are previously fully vaccinated should receive an additional dose of polio vaccine if they have not received a dose in the previous 12 months.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Ukraine.

None required.

Safety and Security in Ukraine

Emergency Numbers

112
102
103
101

Operators generally do not speak English. There could be long delays for police and/or emergency services.

Personal Safety

Most travellers to Ukraine have no serious safety or security problems. However, foreigners can be targets for petty crime, such as pickpocketing or bag snatching, especially in bars, crowded shopping areas, tourist areas, on public transportation, etc. With respect to your personal safety, be cautious and always be aware of your surroundings. Exercise caution as you would when travelling in general. Keep valuables secured and out of sight. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport. Avoid walking alone at night. Do not accept drinks or food from strangers and never leave your drinks out of your sight. Do not leave your documents or valuables in a vehicle.

Ethnic or racially-motivated violence and harassment can occur with little corrective action from local authorities, or can even be perpetrated by Ukrainian authorities, particularly toward those of Asian or Afro-Caribbean descent or toward religious minorities. Cooperate with local police at all times.

Be cautious and aware of the possibility of scams. A common scam occurs in Ukraine in which a person drops a bundle of money or wallet in front of a tourist, then claims he has just found it, and offers to share the money. If the victim stops to pick up the money, the criminal will then loudly and aggressively accuse them of stealing and threaten to tell the police, etc. Travellers are strongly advised to walk away and avoid engaging in any conversation when a scam is suspected.

Due to credit card scams, keep your credit cards in sight at all times during transactions.
Use only recommended official taxis and agree on the fare before entering the taxi.
Always carry your passport. Local police may stop travellers on the street and detain them while verifying their travel status. The police officer should introduce themselves providing their name, post, rank, reason for ID check. They should be able to present a document verifying their position.

Road travel can be unsafe. Drivers may not follow standard driving rules, such as ignoring traffic signs and traffic lights, drunk driving, aggressive driving, etc. Road lighting may be poor, and roads outside of urban areas may be in poor repair.

There is a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of alcohol. However, many drivers ignore this law.

Drivers may not stop at pedestrian cross walks.

Be sure to validate (punch at a machine) any bus, trolley or tram tickets. If you are travelling without a validated ticket, you can be fined on the spot.

Same-sex relations are legal in Ukraine, however, there is no law preventing discrimination. Public attitudes are generally not tolerant. Exercise caution and avoid public displays of affection.

Penalties for drug offenses are severe.

Do not photograph government, military or security installations.

Areas To Avoid

Avoid all travel to Crimea. Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in March 2014, and Russian forces continue to occupy the area. Many countries do not recognize Russia’s control over Crimea, and therefore, the ability for countries to provide consular assistance to citizens is very limited.

Avoid travel to Donetsk Oblast and Lugansk Oblast. Due to ongoing armed conflict (including during ceasefires), the safety and security situation is unpredictable and volatile. Separatists control some areas and have been known to threaten and/or detain foreign nationals.

Landmines make travel hazardous in the conflict zone of Donetsk and Luhansk. People have been killed or seriously injured.

Political Unrest

There have been violent demonstrations and protests in Ukraine in the past. To minimize safety risk, avoid all areas of large public gatherings and demonstrations. These situations can quickly escalate and become violent.

There are frequent rallies at Maydan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square), the National Bank of Ukraine, around the Verkhovna Rada (parliament building and other government buildings, and the National Bank of Ukraine. Road traffic can be disrupted since police may temporarily close roads. Rallies are common on anniversary dates of major events, especially from November to March.

Get A Free Account!

Sitata uses advanced software algorithms to monitor the world for disease outbreaks and safety hazards. Each travel alert published by Sitata is reviewed by staff to ensure it meets the concerns of a traveller.

Sign up for a free account so that you can prepare for your trip and view the latest alerts.

Plan A Trip