Safety and security
Donbass (Donetsk and Luhansk)
Tensions remain extremely high in Eastern Ukraine and there are frequent casualties due to armed operations, particularly along the "contact line" separating the forces in Donetsk and Luhansk. We advise strongly against all travel to Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts at this time.
Tensions are also high in Crimea and we advise strongly against all travel to Crimea at this time, including transiting through the international airports at Simferopol and Sevastopol.
Demonstrations and protests are frequent and sometimes turn violent. We strongly advise Irish visitors to avoid demonstrations and protests. Your hotel or tour organiser should keep you informed of what's going on around you and further information is available on the local English-language media.
Although the threat from terrorism in Ukraine is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.
Whilst most visits to Ukraine are trouble-free, there has been a rise in the number of muggings and other attacks reported in Kiev and other urban centres. Always take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home
- Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you are alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafes, train and bus stations
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible
Racially motivated crime
All visitors should be careful but if you’re of Asian or Afro-Caribbean descent and/or belong to a religious minority, be particularly careful in Ukraine, as some attacks on visitors have reportedly been racially motivated.
A common scam is where a conman drops a wallet or bundle of money in front of a tourist. If you are approached in this way, do not engage in conversation and walk away.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Ukraine, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Consulate of Ireland in Kiev if you need help.
Lost or stolen passports
If your passport is lost or stolen, you need to report it immediately to the police. Getting a replacement passport will be easier if you are able to provide a copy of the lost or stolen one, so keep photocopies of your passport.
If you’re planning to drive in Ukraine, you should careful. Road conditions in Ukraine especially in rural areas can often be extremely hazardous, especially at night. If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driving licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
- There is a zero-tolerance policy on drink driving in Ukraine
- Be aware of Ukraine’s traffic laws, such as speed limits
- Wear your seatbelts at all times
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
Most towns and cities have a comprehensive network of buses, trolleybuses and trams. You can usually buy tickets (bilet) at ticket booths at major stops. If not, then once on board, you should buy a ticket from the ticket conductor or driver. Tickets, including those bought from conductor, normally need to be validated by being ‘punched’. Travelling without a ticket or with an invalid ticket carries an on-the-spot fine.
There is a wide network of minibuses with fares normally displayed on the window inside the bus. Fares are typically between 1.50 and 3.00 Hryvnia. Passengers often pay their fares by passing money to the driver via fellow passengers.
Crime on public transport
Be careful on public transport as it is popular with pickpockets and bag snatchers. Take particular care on any overnight trains. We recommend, if possible, travelling with someone else and in a compartment that can be secured from the inside.
Non-regulated taxi drivers can overcharge so we advise you to use official taxis only. These taxis will have the name and telephone number of the taxi company on the side of the door and on the top of the taxi. Two taxi companies whose drivers usually have basic English are:
Express taxi – Tel: +380-44-239-15-15
Etalon taxi – Tel: +380-44-501-55-01/502-54-54
Tue, 06 Jun 2017 10:09:01 BST