How Safe Is It In Kiev?

Jun 3rd, 2009, 09:09 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,832
My good friend works for the State Department and just learned she will be assigned to Kiev in 2010 -- so I will be scouring this site for information for her! Sounds great so far...her other posts have been in Asia (Ho Chi Minh City and Tokyo), so this will be a big departure for her...and another completely new language to learn; argh!
azzure is offline  
Jun 8th, 2009, 10:52 PM
Original Poster
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I really envy her! It would be so cool to work and live there!

I was there only four days but it was an unforgettable four days!

What do you want to know? I'll try to help you based on my experience there.

Techctzn is offline  
Jul 9th, 2009, 03:14 AM
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Im living in Kiev for more than one year and half so i could be a little help if you want. I am Romanian but i could say Kiev is far better than Bucharest, there is no comparison you can make. Is a splendid city, for its views, churches, parks etc. I couldn't say much about people cause i don't interact too much with them. One thing you can be sure... there are plenty who want to cheat you and plenty that would help you. Still it remains a great place to spend you vacantion.
I will be checking this site from now on... who knows? there will probably be someone that needs an advice
Lumi is offline  
Jul 16th, 2009, 07:26 PM
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I am toying with coming to Ukraine for a week to trace my Jewish roots - My family is from Berdichev, and Romanovka. I am not sure if I am traveling with someone else or alone.. I am concerned about a female travel alone?
MomDDTravel is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 07:10 AM
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We did just that in was my third trip into Russia (twice during the SSR days, as far east as Uzbekistan (Uzbek SSR at the time)....and after a Volga River cruise, Moscow to St. Petersburg, we went off to seek out Roz's (my wife) mother's birth village in western Belarus...thence to my family's origins in the Kiev municipal areas. Roz was able to see the remains of the village (25 miles south of Brest) where her mom was born (a few years prior we had visited the Polish town where her mother lived as a teenager before emigrating to Canada in 1927). My family began leaving Kiev and vicinity in 1912-1914 (it was Tsarist Russia then, of course).

Due to the nature of my "work" I constantly seek out the remnants of Jewry wherever I travel. I have a list of over 100 synagogues/cemeteries worldwide which I have personally visited over the decades past.

I did not write a full trip report for this past Russian/Belarus/Ukraine visit...but my many pics (even going back to some earlier 1980's Russian visits also) which may be of interest to you and your planning, are in the posts above, as well as my email address...which is also listed on my profile page. I would be pleased to help you out in any way I can. I see you're from the OC; we are in L.A.

Pics are best viewed by slide show, although the captions tend to get lost that seen as individual pics preserves the for the old scanned pics, also better as indivudual..and clicking on the magnifying glass icon enlarges quite clearly. You will see current pics of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kiev synagogues therein. The Babi Yar pics can be painful if you're familiar with those days of infamy.

Best wishes,

Stuart Tower [email protected]
tower is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 08:27 AM
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"I am concerned about a female travel alone?" - I'm female and I didn't find it a problem. See for my trip which included Crimea and western Ukraine (Chernivtsi to Kolomiya to Lviv - didn't get to Kiev but really liked Lviv). Pix at
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 09:55 AM
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Stuart - I will be emailing you.

I recently received photos of where my Great Grandparents are buried in NJ - and hope to visit there as well. I will not be able to go to Ukraine in Oct as I had wanted to due to the short notice and hard time getting FF miles to work. I played with it last night. So am now looking towards the spring.

I think I will be going back east during that time in Oct and meet up with cousin who has a lot of information on our heritage - as well as going to the area where my family lived.

This is all very new to me. I find it 'interesting' that I have been extremely interested in Jewish history and the holocaust and teaching my 12 year old about it - never knowing until the last few months that my Grandfather's Mother was Jewish from Ukraine as her parents etc. My Mom's Dad is from Poland and I am exploring that side as well.

I am only recently familiar with Babi Yar.

I will email you over the weekend. Thank you so much!
MomDDTravel is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 12:07 PM
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For Lumi, because she is Rommanian, just like me

Lumi, profit de faptul ca esti romanca si vreau sa te rog sa imi spui si mie 1.cum este miev-ul la inceputul lui noiembrie, ma refer din punct de vedere al vremii,2. daca ai calatorit cu trenul de la bucuresti la kiev si roman, avand in vedere ca sunt ceva neintelegeri politice cu vecinii nostri ucrainieni, daca sunt ceva probleme pe la granita si in mediul urban (ma refer aici la sicane din partea politistilor etc.)

Sarut mana anticipat pt raspunsuri
mr_bek is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 12:25 PM
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interesting and mulit-lingual thread!

for those who are interested in the Ukraine, conde nast's travel newletter is featuring Lviv [aka Lvov] this week. no mention of safety issues so I guess they are not expecting to be sued any time soon.

I know no romanian, but a knowledge of italian and frequent exposure via my "children" to a moldavian pop group who sing in Romanian gives me a faint idea of what mr. bek is saying to Lumi. any chance of a translation so I can see if I'm on the right lines?

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 04:56 PM
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I walked around the center of Kiev for a couple of days in the early 1990s. No problem.
spaarne is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 04:59 PM
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Thank you Ann - I will check it out. I still need to email Stu!
MomDDTravel is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 12:29 AM
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For annhig

I wrote to Lumi in Romanian because I asked her three questions that are mainly related to my citizenship.

1.How is Kiev weather early in November?
2.Have she ever been with the Bucharest-Kiev train and how safe is it?
3.Taking in consideration some political problems that have occurred recently between Romania and Ukraine, I asked her if there might be some problems for me with the police at the Ukrainian border or in Kiev.

And by the way, the Moldavian pop group is probably Ozone
mr_bek is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 01:25 AM
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thank you, mr_bek, for satisfying my insatiable curiousity. I'd guessed a bit of that. the group is indeed Ozone, who I gather were very big in Italy at one time.

my son can still sing all the lyrics with a perfect accent but very little idea of what he's singing about!

if you get there, I hope that you enjoy Kiev.
annhig is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 05:27 AM
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Well, questions 1 and 2 at least are of interest to non-Romanians, too, so I hope that lumi will answer in English, since that is the lingua franca of this board.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 6th, 2009, 05:09 PM
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I was in kiev 2 weeks ago when this freak flu was announced, but there was nothing scary. Kiev is safe place to stay, no doubts. I was there for a business for a couple of days and could recommend president hotel as business one for stay. I choose it because of centrally good location and good recommendations based on internet reviews. And all in all I was satisfied and had nothing to complain. Great staff, clean and comfy rooms, total absence of street noise, great breakfast.
w_green is offline  
Dec 12th, 2009, 02:02 AM
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Much of the information with the flu has been increased. But this was not only the politicians to move to earn some money. I would like you to look at it from the other side. Ukraine - the state, which is learning to provide service.
The reason why Ukraine is not going foreign tourists - no service and care for foreign tourists. This situation shows that Ukraine and cares about its citizens, but due to the fact that the state young, we were a bit overdone - wanted to do everything as best as possible)
I can say 100% of that in Ukraine - safe, although there is no order in the state. In the soul of Ukrainians, as well as all Slavs PROBABLY will always be more important than human relationships than laws written on paper.
Unlike Europe, in this regard as I said - we are a young country, and only learn their mistakes)
And despite all the problems, confusion and lack of technology - in Ukraine is very good living people, whom I love very much.
Kononov is offline  
Dec 12th, 2009, 05:31 PM
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I was in Kiev and Lviv two weeks ago and had an amazing time. There were tons of people wearing masks due to H1N1, but it didn't deter me from enjoying my trip. I can't vouch for the rest of the Ukraine, but as a solo female traveler, I felt 100% safe in both cities I visited. I know just a little bit of Russian and can manage the Cyrillic alphabet well, but even when there was a language barrier, most people were friendly and did the best they could to help me.

I wouldn't say Kiev has an amazing tourism infrastructure, but if people did a bit of research and gave it a try, they could easily manage the city. To me, Kiev was a diamond in the rough, while Lviv is clearly establishing itself as a major weekend away type destination.
trsny is offline  
Dec 28th, 2009, 09:26 PM
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bookmarking, this thread has lots of great information on Kiev, will be there next year.
justshootme is offline  
May 10th, 2012, 10:42 AM
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OrangeTravel...perhaps you can help Michael on this thread..he's in Kiev and has what seems like a major problem. I told him I would try to contact you.
Stu Tower
tower is offline  
Nov 27th, 2012, 11:36 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 11
Kiev is an intelligent, european capital! Why it shoud be dangerous??? I just can't understand.
Maria78 is offline  

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