THE CRIME SITUATION
Crime in Ukraine is relatively low as for western standards but now it is on the increase. Common sense guidelines that would apply in any large city, should be used in Kyiv and will contribute to a safe and enjoyable visit.
Keep a low profile. Dress and behave conservatively. Avoid conspicuous behavior which would draw attention to you as a potentially wealthy or important foreigner. Be polite and low-key. Avoid loud conversations and arguments.
Don't use short cuts, narrow alleys or poorly lit streets (there are many in Kyiv). Before going into underground pedestrian crosswalks check to see who is entering and who is already in it. Try ont to travel alone. Do not stop for strangers who want to talk to you or who need their cigarette lit. Let someone know when you expect to return, especially if out late at night.
Be alert for gangs of youths or children. If you can avoid them by going into a store or the other direction, do so. Be wary of con artists, distractions and diversions. Be aware of being bumped into. Pickpockets frequently bump into their victims to distract them. This is especially true if you are utilizing Kyiv's public transportation. Be alert in Kyiv's open-air markets which is a favorite area of operation for many of the city's criminal elements.
Carry handbags or backpacks in a secure manner to prevent snatch and run type theft, and place wallets in inside or zippered pockets. Wrapping rubberbands around your wallet, makes it more difficult for a pickpocket to remove.
Instead of keeping all your money, airline tickets, passport, and other valuables in your wallet, conceal them in several places to prevent easy theft. Keep them in your accompanying hand luggage, on your person, or in a hotel safety-deposit box. Do not leave them in your room while you are out. Keep hotel and car keys on your person. Do not leave your bags unattended in public areas or taxis. Don't flash large amounts of money when paying a bill. Be sure your credit card is returned after each transaction.
Be especially alert when shopping at the many hard currency stores located in Kyiv. The criminal element knows that patrons of such stores are usually carrying large sums of western currency and are an extremely attractive target. Be alert when leaving stores or hotels. If you feel you are being followed, seek out a public area or militia officer.
If confronted by armed attackers: give up your valuables. Don't carry items you are not prepared to lose. If any of your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss to the police. Report loss of:
Keep your hotel door locked at all times. Be sure of the identity of service or maintenance personnel before opening the door of your hotel room. Meet visitors in the hotel lobby. Don't meet strangers at unknown or remote locations. Never invite a stranger into your hotel room.
Be careful of selecting taxicabs. Do not get into the cab, if other individuals are in the vehicle. If your luggage is put in the trunk, do not exit the vehicle until the driver exits and proceeds to open the trunk. Also leave the passenger door open until all your luggage is removed from the vehicle.
If you travel by train, purchase tickets for the entire compartment. Do not let the conductor place other passengers in your compartment. Use both locks on the compartment door and secure the door with a piece of rope or wire in addition to the locks.
Only exchange money at the authorizedlocations. Illegal currency exchange in Ukraine is a criminal offense. Remember, when you are in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws.
Report any unusual or untoward incidents and all encounters with the police.
You can also refer to:
Crime and Safety Report
provided by the Regional Security Office of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.