In general, Ukraine is as safe as most Western European countries though exists potential risks, visitors should take the same precautions against street crime that they would in any large city.
Crimes perpetrated against foreigners are generally low level. Street crime ranges from cheating in the markets, robbery, wallet scams, pick pocketing, and bag snatching, to muggings, armed robbery, or drugging unsuspecting victims at nightspots and bars.
Pick pocketing occurs in Ukraine; cell phones, purses, wallets, pocket money and passports are the main targets. In order to avoid pick pocketing, visitors should keep any valuables, important documents and cash in a secure place and not to exhibit in public. The most common places where robberies occur are crowded areas, public transport, bars, nightclubs and tourist areas.
Mugging frequently occurs late at night; potential targets are people well-dressed who look drunk, seem to have valuable possessions on them and are alone.
There are increasing reports of racially motivated violence on those of African, Asian or other non-European appearance, mostly in Kyiv, these persons may be subject of various types of harassment, such as being stopped on the street by local police. Foreigners may be stopped by Ukrainian police and asked to present passports and visas.
Ukraine has been largely free of major civil unrest or disorders, the common of protests are small and peaceful, anyway you should avoid public manifestations.
Credit card and ATM fraud is increasing; you should refrain from using credit cars as much as possible, limit its use to ATMs in secure locations and be vigilant. Replacing stolen travellerís checks or cancelling credit cards can be complicated and time consuming
Computer fraud is becoming more frequent in Ukraine, scams involving marriage and dating services are increasing too; these well-organised scams usually result from connections made through internet dating sites or chat rooms.
Prostitution is illegal but widespread; it is accompanied by the growing of HIV/AIDS diseases.
Good habits of personal security
In almost all cases problems can be avoided by adopting good habits of personal security, the next is a short list of safety points that one should remember to be secure in Ukraine:
- Upon your arriving check your belongings, if something is missing contact a security official.
- Donít dress up fancy clothes.
- Avoid bring too much cash, only as much as you need.
- Avoid carry valuable items such as expensive jewellery or important documents.
- Wear valuables only in special holders for travellers.
- Keep your bags and pockets closed and try to store your valuables in a safe deposit boxes at a hotel.
- Never exchange money in not authorized locations.
- Donít leave any valuable in coat pockets when you hang your coat in public places.
- If you get drunk, never walk around alone at night. When you go out, go in a group.
- Put your money in your front pocket, not your back pocket.
- Late night, walk briskly, stick to well-lit areas where other people are close to, and be attentive to your surroundings.
- Carry a flashlight with you.
- Make photocopies of valuables such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers' cheques.
- Carry your passport with you at all times.
- If you are driving, you must possess a valid international driver's licence.
- Always use an official or commercial taxi service.
- Report immediately any incident to the nearest Embassy or Consulate and report the crime to the local police.