Ukraine

Ukraine

Use Normal Level of Caution
Avoid Travel to the following provinces: Zaporizhzhya, Luhans'k, Kherson, Donets'k, and Crimea

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

Current travel note: Since March 2014, there has been armed conflict between the Ukrainian armed forces and armed separatists who are backed by Russia. On February 12, 2015, a ceasefire was declared. However, separatists control some areas, and fighting has continued to erupt in regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Most travellers to Ukraine have no safety or security problems. However, petty crime, such as pickpocketing, is common, especially in major cities and tourist areas. 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.

Ethnic 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. Cooperate with local police at all times.

Be cautious and aware of the possibility of scams. A common scam occurs in Ukraine where 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. Travellers are strongly advised to walk away and avoid engaging in any conversation. If the victim accepts the money, the criminal will then loudly and aggressively accuse them of stealing and threaten to tell the police. A second criminal poses as a passing police officer and demands to see the victim's wallet to ensure the money was not stolen. The criminal then steals the wallet and flees.

Always carry proper documentation and identification. Local police may stop travellers on the street and detain them while identity documents are verified.

Areas To Avoid

Avoid 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 to provide consular assistance to citizens is very limited.

Avoid travel to Donetsk Oblast and Lugansk Oblast due to ongoing conflict and the unstable security situation. Separatists control some areas, and fighting has continued to erupt in regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Separatist groups have been known to threaten and/or detain foreign nationals.

Consider only essential travel to Kharkiv Oblast – There have been reports of politically-motivated violence “resulting in fatalities.”

Political Unrest

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

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