|Preface Last Updated: 7/10/2003
A country whose slogan is "Ukraine has not yet died" might not
seem the most uplifting destination, but do not let that deter you.
The country rewards visitors with hospitable people, magnificent
architecture, and kilometers of gently rolling steppe. Ukraine is a
major player in the region's economy, though for every smoggy
industrial city there are dozens of villages with picket fences,
duck ponds, and overloaded horse carts, where time seems to have
Ukraine has its share of the thoroughly modern, but even the
capital, Kiev, is replete with Gothic, Byzantine, and Baroque
architecture and art—reminders of the many foreign overlords who
have left their mark on the country. Nearly every city and town has
its centuries-old cathedral, and many have open-air museums of folk
architecture, caves stuffed with mummified monks, and exquisite
mosaics wherever you look.
For decades, the Western World perceived Ukraine as simply a part
of Russia. But borscht, painted eggs, and many of the famous Cossack
dance traditions originated in Ukraine.
Ukrainian history began with the rumble of hooves—Scythians
dominated the steppes north of the Black Sea from the 7th to the 4th
centuries B.C.E., initiating centuries of outside political and
cultural domination. Following the Scythians, a series of invaders,
including Ostrogoths, Huns, and the Turko-Iranian Khazars, ruled
areas of present-day Ukraine.
The first people to unify and control the area for a long period
were Scandinavians, known as the Rus. By the late 10th century, the
city was the center of a unified state that stretched from the Volga
west to the Danube and south to the Baltic.
By the 15th century, the region became popular with runaway serfs
and Orthodox refugees. These people came to be known as Kazaks
(Cossacks), a Turkic word meaning outlaw or adventurer. Ukrainian
Cossacks eventually formed a state that was to a significant degree
self-ruling, but 20 years later the state was divided between Poland
Following WW I, and after prolonged fighting involving Russia,
Poland, and various Ukrainian political and ethnic factions, Poland
retained portions of western Ukraine and the Soviets took the rest.
Ukraine officially became part of the U.S.S.R. in 1922.
When Stalin took power in 1927, he made a test case out of
Ukraine for his ideas about "harmful" nationalism. In 1932-33 he
engineered a famine that killed as many as 7 million Ukrainians.
Execution and deportation of intellectuals further depopulated the
country. WW II brought further devastation and death, with 6 million
perishing in the fighting between the Red Army and the German
Ukrainians are extremely proud of their country's long history.
Since the late 19th century, Ukrainians have dreamed of a sovereign
Ukrainian State, a dream that became a reality in the immediate
aftermath of the failed Soviet coup of August 1991.
In a referendum held December 1, 1991, the people of Ukraine
endorsed independence. The U.S. recognized Ukraine's independence on
December 25, 1991; and the first American Ambassador arrived in Kiev
on June 8, 1992.
Ukraine is a country in transition as it leaves behind its
Communist past to build a new political and economic system and
develops its links with Europe and the West.
An assignment to Kiev is rewarding and challenging because of the
country's rich heritage, economic and democratic potential, and its
The Host Country
Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 8/31/2001 6:00 PM
Ukraine's area of 233,088 square miles (603,700 sq. km) is
slightly larger than France. Ukraine is mainly a vast plain with no
natural boundaries except the Carpathian Mountains in the southwest,
the Black Sea in the south, and the Azov Sea in the southeast. The
Dnipro River with its many tributaries unifies central Ukraine
economically. The mouth of the Danube River provides an outlet for
Ukrainian trade with the Balkans, Austria, and Germany.
Ukraine has a complex geology with a rich variety of scenery and
impressive contrasts in topography. Central and southern Ukraine is
primarily steppe (prairie) with very fertile black soil
exceptionally well suited for grain farming. In the east, the
industrial heartland of the Greater Donbas or Donets Basin contains
large reserves of mineral deposits. Western Ukraine has many
picturesque mountain resorts.
Enhancing the topography of Ukraine are two mountain ranges. On
the western border are the Carpathians, very popular for winter
sports. The Crimean Mountains divide the Crimean Peninsula, creating
a semitropical area on its southernmost tip. The Crimea is a popular
The Ukraine climate is similar to the wheat-producing regions of
Canada and is characterized by abundant precipitation and cloudy
skies, especially in fall and winter. Snow can start as early as
October and not end until April. The mean temperature in summer is
87°F (30°C) and in winter 16°F (-8°C). Although summers are short,
the temperature can soar to the 90s making it uncomfortable, since
most buildings lack air-conditioning. Winters seem especially long
because of so many sunless days.
Population Last Updated: 7/10/2003 7:20 AM
The population of Ukraine is 50.5 million of which approximately
73% is ethnically Ukrainian and 22% ethnically Russian. The
remaining population consists of many minorities, the largest of
which is Jewish (1.35%) followed by Belarusian, Moldovan, Polish,
Hungarian, Romanian, Armenian, Greek, Bulgarian, and others.
Ukraine's population is 68% urban. Eastern Ukraine, with its heavily
industrialized cities, is more urbanized than western Ukraine.
Ukrainian is an Eastern Slavic language, closely related to
Russian and Belarusian. Ukrainian became the official language in
1989. Much of the population in eastern Ukraine speaks Russian as a
first language, but Ukrainian is the first language in western
Ukraine. Official Government documents are always in Ukrainian, and
official meetings are usually conducted in Ukrainian. The political
world and local media operate bilingually. Conversations in which
one party speaks Ukrainian while the other speaks Russian are
Ukraine was the cradle of the Kievan Rus State. According to
legend, it was in Kiev that Prince Volodymyr (Vladimir in Russian)
introduced Christianity to Kievan Rus in 988. Some 85% of the
Ukrainian population are Orthodox Christians, 10% are Greek (Uniate)
Catholics, 3% are Protestant (mainly Baptists), and 1.3% are Jewish.
Public Institutions Last Updated: 7/11/2003 9:49 AM
Ukraine continues its transition from an authoritarian Communist
system to a more democratic society. The Ukrainian government is
publicly committed to Euro-Atlantic integration as its national
policy. Ukraine is governed by a directly elected president and a
unicameral Parliament, the "Verkhovna Rada" (Supreme Council), half
of which is elected by proportional representation and half in
single-mandate districts. The President appoints the Prime Minister
(subject to parliamentary approval) and controls government
Leonid Kuchma was elected President in July 1994 and again in
November 1999. His term ends October 2004. The current Parliament,
which was elected in March 2002, is divided into 13 factions. As a
result of the 2002 parliamentary elections, the reform-oriented
political bloc led by former Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko has
the largest single faction in the parliament; however, nine
pro-presidential factions together maintain a slim majority overall.
The Constitution, adopted in 1996 and modeled on those of Western
European democracies, provides a good legal framework for protecting
civil and human rights. Actual practice, however, does not always
conform to constitutional requirements, and many areas of life are
still regulated by Soviet law and practices, although the Parliament
is steadily approving new legislation to replace the old.
Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 8/31/2001 6:00 PM
Ukrainians have made a spirited effort to preserve their cultural
traditions and customs. You can visit village museums that display
traditional crafts and homes of the last century. Folk dancing and
music festivals are often held.
The theater and music scene is lively. Theater performances are
in Ukrainian or Russian. The Kiev Opera House is home to very good
opera and ballet companies. The National Symphony and other musical
groups are quite active. Opera, theater, and symphony tickets are
Ukraine has a rich folk art tradition that features hand-painted
eggs ("Pysanky") and beautifully embroidered linen or cotton runners
called "Rushniki." Contemporary art includes painting and sculpture
representing both modern and traditional schools. Icons are on
display in museums; contemporary copies are skillfully done
according to strict artistic and religious standards and can be
purchased in galleries.
Educational policy formerly favored the study of science and
technology, but there are efforts under way currently to upgrade the
humanities, social sciences, MBA, and economics programs. Education
is compulsory for ages 7-17. University-level education is generally
open to anyone who can pass admission exams.
American professors conduct courses in American literature,
history, economics, and other subjects at institutes of higher
education under the Fulbright Program. In addition, some Americans
at the predoctorate level conduct research in Ukraine under the
International Research and Exchange Board (IREX) program. Still
other American scholars in Ukraine pursue scientific and other
academic work under the auspices of private programs.
Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 7/14/2003 1:57 AM
Ukraine has great agricultural potential and was once known as
the "Breadbasket of Europe." Ukraine is also rich in natural and
human resources, including an educated population and high-tech
industry. Despite its human and economic potential, the Ukrainian
economy stagnated for a decade after independence. All sectors of
industry experienced severe production declines after the collapse
of the Soviet Union, but economic growth resumed in 2000. Small
businesses have been privatized, as have many of Ukraine’s larger
enterprises. In fits and starts, the Ukrainian government has
generally pursued reform. For example, private land ownership has
been legalized under a new Land Code and market relations
increasingly underpin key economic sectors such as agriculture.
Nevertheless, widespread corruption with no clear delineation
between state and private interests, a poor legal system, and
political uncertainty continue to impede economic reform and the
creation of an enabling climate for private investment.
Automobiles Last Updated: 8/31/2001 6:00 PM
Traffic regulations and procedures in Ukraine differ
significantly from those in the U.S. Drivers often neglect to use
signal lights, speed, and drive recklessly in urban areas.
Pedestrians do not have the right of way; exercise extreme care when
crossing streets in large Ukrainian cities. Traffic police rarely
give moving violations or parking tickets to diplomats, but
nondiplomatic cars are frequently pulled over for violations, both
real and imagined.
Persons with official or diplomatic passports may import an
automobile into Ukraine for their (and dependents') personal use
only. Ukraine allows diplomatic personnel to import two automobiles
duty free during their tour of duty. Embassy personnel, regardless
of rank, may import any make of American or third-country vehicle.
Automobiles may not be sold, except to other diplomats, unless they
are less than 5 years old at the time of sale. Thus, many employees
prefer to bring vehicles less than 3 years old in order to avoid
Newcomers may also wish to consider purchasing an automobile
here. Western autos are occasionally available from other diplomats.
Ukrainian- or Russian-manufactured autos also can be bought locally.
Spare parts for American cars are not always available locally.
Spare parts for standard European models and some Japanese models,
when available, are priced substantially higher than in the U.S. In
time the situation should change as more car dealerships open. Ford
was the first U.S. manufacturer to establish operations in Ukraine.
Volvo, Toyota, Hyundai, and Mazda have recently opened service
garages in Kiev. Spare parts for Ukrainian and Russian cars are
Winters in Ukraine are snowy and dark, with severe ice
accumulations common along the city streets; therefore,
front-wheel-drive-vehicles provide the best handling. Only the main
streets of Kiev are plowed regularly, but, side streets and housing
complexes may remain covered with snow and ice throughout the
winter. Make sure that your car is equipped with a rear-window
defroster and snow tires.
An automobile shipped to Kiev should be equipped with all the
cold weather heavy-duty options available. Shipping an extra tire
and wheel in addition to the spare, plus a small supply of filters,
fan belts, inner tubes, spark plugs, light bulbs, points, windshield
wipers, and other small parts may save you time and money in the
long run. Ship these items with household effects (HHE) rather than
in the car's trunk, where they could be stolen.
Ship an adequate supply of motor oil, windshield washer fluid,
and antifreeze, though these items are generally available here.
Before shipping motor oil, check with your insurance company. Some
policies covering HHE are rendered invalid if motor oil is included
in the shipment.
For vehicles that use diesel fuel, a note stating "DIESEL ONLY"
should be attached to the ignition key before shipment. Diesel fuel
is available locally, but is not of high quality. Unleaded fuel is
widely available. A functioning catalytic converter is now required
to register a vehicle.
Ukrainian law requires every vehicle registered in Ukraine to be
covered by third-party-liability insurance issued by a Ukrainian
insurance company. The annual fee varies from 8.1 UHR to 16 UHR with
a total coverage of 2,000 UHR. Several Ukrainian insurance companies
offer this option. GSO can assist in obtaining this coverage after
the vehicle is registered in Ukraine.
Every American employee who operates a personal vehicle is also
required to present to GSO proof of third-party-liability coverage
issued by a Western insurance company in an amount not less than
$250,000. A copy of the declarations page of the policy showing the
amount of coverage should be given to GSO before the vehicle's
arrival at post. Vehicles will not be registered until proof of
adequate third-party-liability coverage is presented. At present,
there are no Ukrainian insurance companies with sufficient financial
strength and claims-paying history to meet this insurance
Local Transportation Last Updated: 8/31/2001 6:00 PM
Public transportation in Kiev is efficient and inexpensive, but
crowded. The city's network of buses, trolley buses, streetcars, and
the subway (Metro) covers the entire city. Riders should be ready to
contend with a good deal of pushing and shoving during the morning
and evening rush hours.
Privately operated minibus lines operate on many of the better
traveled bus, trolley, and streetcar routes. Minibus fares are
slightly more expensive than public system fares, but they never
take more passengers than they have seats. The driver collects fares
as you enter.
The transit system operates from 5:45 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monthly
passes for the entire system or one-use tickets are sold at kiosks
throughout the city. Although prices are the same throughout the
city, different color tickets are used for different types of
vehicles. Bus, trolley, and streetcar single tickets must be punched
on a gadget located along the sidewall of the car. Punching your
ticket is on the honor system. Surprise inspections are designed to
check if everyone has paid, with a small fine collected on the spot
if you are found without a properly punched ticket or a monthly
Entrance to the Metro system is through turnstiles operated by
blue plastic tokens, purchased in the station, or by monthly passes
shown to the Metro attendant before entering the subway. All
instructions and Metro stop information are in Ukrainian in the Kiev
Although some taxis cruise the city, private cars often provide
taxi services. New taxi companies have opened with nice, new cars
and English-speaking dispatchers. These taxis operate with a meter,
and a small tip is greatly appreciated. Cruising taxis may refuse
fares; the main reason being the destination desired by the traveler
being different than the route the taxi driver is taking. After a
taxi or car stops, state the required destination; if the driver
agrees, negotiate a price before you enter the vehicle. Language
skills are a necessity when dealing with cruising taxis as many
streets are being renamed, and buildings are not clearly marked, so
you may have to direct the taxi. Extra precautions should be taken
in the evenings, when it is advisable to use only a clearly marked
taxi instead of a cruising private vehicle.
Regional Transportation Last Updated: 8/31/2001 6:00 PM
Ukraine's railroad and air transportation networks are extensive,
and service is adequate. The rail system features three types of
tickets; first class, which is a two-person compartment; second
class, with four passengers; and third class, which is general
seating. First- and second-class overnight train rides are quite
comfortable except for the lack of ventilation and generally
dreadful toilets. Dining cars may or may not be available, and the
food is of poor quality. However, hot water for beverages is
Although no U.S. airlines offer direct service to Kiev, three
European airlines offer code-share flights to the U.S.:
Lufthansa/United via Frankfurt with same day arrival, Austrian
Air/Delta with an overnight in Vienna, and KLM/Northwest with an
overnight in Amsterdam. Air Ukraine offers direct flights to New
York via an arrangement with Air Uzbekistan.
Numerous airlines provide service to Western Europe and other
destinations: Air France, Lufthansa, British Airways, Swiss Air,
KLM, Austrian Air, MALEV (Hungarian), LOT (Polish), CSA (Czech),
Egypt Air, Turkish Air, Aerosweet, Air Ukraine, and Ukraine
Embassy personnel may easily obtain tickets for regional travel
through the Carlson Wagonlit Travel Management Center at the
Embassy. USAID personnel can also purchase tickets from BWL Travel
Agency at USAID. In addition, Kiev has a small but growing number of
travel agencies, and significant travel bargains can be found by
The road system in Ukraine provides access to all cities, towns,
and most villages, though many roads are of poor quality. The
traveler must plan the trip carefully since information and Western
standard lodging are not available along the highways.
Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 7/14/2003 4:08 AM
Telephone service from Ukraine to the U.S., Europe, and to most
of the world is available. Local calls within Kiev placed at home or
from telephone booths can experience static and crossed lines.
International direct dial is possible from most Embassy and USAID
apartments. Embassy employees can make personal long distance calls
via the IVG lines from 7:00 – 9:30 p.m. by calling the Embassy and
requesting an IVG line connection from the operators. This is free
Ukraine has a limited number of long-distance lines, so expect
busy signals during holidays and peak periods. Calls from outside
Ukraine can expect the same busy periods. ATT is currently available
in Ukraine. Sprint or MCI are not currently available. Callback
services are available, but Ukraine Telecom has threatened to make
this service illegal.
Calls can be booked through the international operator. Booked
calls can take 30 minutes or longer to be completed. The telephone
lines that are installed in residence apartments belong to the
landlords, and when the Embassy leases the apartment, a special rate
is assigned to that number. Diplomatic Missions are charged a higher
rate than Ukrainian nationals. When requesting the rate, the price
quoted by an operator is usually lower than the actual rate. For
planning purposes a standard of $2.50 per minute to the U.S. is
Most telephones in Ukraine still use "PULSE" versus "TONE"
dialing. It is recommended that when bringing a telephone from the
U.S. you select one that has both pulse and tone options. Telephones
can be purchased locally. Each apartment has one telephone
Internet Last Updated: 6/26/2003 7:44 AM
Various companies in Kiev offer Internet access accounts. Most
apartments will be able to connect with dial-up service. Connection
availability and quality depend on location. DSL is available
depending upon the telephone exchange and availability of phone
lines. However, actual installation and set-up has proven difficult.
Kiev suffers from a very old and limited infrastructure. Companies
are working to upgrade the systems but are hindered by bureaucracy
and corporate competition. Progress is slow.
Computers. The electrical power in Kiev, although better than
many cities around the world, still can fluctuate from 200 to 260
volts. Most computers have a switchable power supply. This can be
determined by looking at the back for either a small switch, usually
red with 110 and 220 printed on it, or a label that shows Input: 100
– 240. Almost all newer monitors are auto-sensing. Check the label
on the back to make sure. Any equipment that is not switchable or
auto-sensing will either need a new power supply or a transformer to
If ordering a new computer, ask for an overseas/export power
supply that will accept 220/240 and 110/120 VAC. Most computer
companies can provide a power supply that is switchable or
An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is also highly recommended
to provide protection against fluctuating power. Contact a computer
supplier prior to shipping your household effects to obtain a UPS
that will meet your requirements. A word of caution - connecting a
110 VAC UPS into a transformer may cause damage to both the
transformer and the UPS. For this reason, some people prefer to
purchase a UPS after their arrival at post. 220 VAC UPSs are not
readily available in the U.S. A UPS for the average household can be
purchased locally for approximately $125 to $175.
And, of course, outlets are European 220 VAC standard. Adapters
or replacement plugs are required for electrical equipment plugging
into wall outlets.
Contact post for more information. The Embassy also has a Web
site, which can be viewed at http://www.usemb.kiev.ua
Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 6/26/2003 9:43 AM
International mail can be slow and unreliable. The Embassy in
Kiev does not have an APO. Currently, the Embassy receives four
incoming shipments via the Department of State Diplomatic Pouch a
week. The Embassy sends pouches to Washington, D.C., once a week.
Direct-hire Americans are authorized use of the Diplomatic Pouch.
Size limitations for parcels shipped via diplomatic pouch are a
maximum of 45 pounds, 30 inches in length, and not to exceed 65
inches in length plus girth. (from State 221973). The Diplomatic
Pouch Office routinely x-rays parcels and will return all parcels
that contain prohibited items, exceed size restrictions, or are
overweight. Rejected parcels are returned to the sender, and a
telegram is sent to post advising the recipient of the reason for
rejection and the sender's address.
The following items will not be accepted: firearms, explosives,
caustics, poisons, radioactive substances, liquids, magnetic
materials, fragile items, or items packed in glass containers larger
than 6 ounces.
Additional prohibited or illegal pouch items are:
Any item that is illegal to import into the receiving country or
export from the sending country. Any goods from third-country
sources addressed to the Department of State requiring clearance by
Customs prior to onward shipment to posts abroad. Any item shipped
to circumvent the weight limitations provided for HHE, airfreight,
or consumables allowances. Outgoing Mail: International mail
services like Federal Express, UPS, DHL, and others are available.
All of these companies have offices in Kiev. Bring a supply of
first-class stamps to post. Postage can now be purchased directly
from the USPS WEB site (https://sss-web.usps.com/ds/jsps/index.jsp)
with a credit card number. Once registered, the address label
containing postage can be printed out directly from an ink jet or
laser printer. The AEEA commissary sells stamps and provides a
homeward-bound parcel service. Neither the post nor AEEA provides
registered mail, insured mail, certified mail, or guaranteed mail
Parcels received from catalog vendors can be returned via the
pouch in the original package. Parcel limitations for returned items
are a maximum of 2 pounds per item. Homeward-bound, first-class mail
is not restricted beyond pouch restrictions. All mail via the
diplomatic pouch must have the correct postage at the applicable
Embassy Kiev diplomatic pouch address should be:
Your Name 5850 Kiev Pl. Dulles, VA 20189-5850
Radio and TV Last Updated: 6/26/2003 7:36 AM
You can purchase a multisystem TV through mail-order houses, such
as Ostermann or Peter Justesen. Most newer multisystem TVs and VCRs
also have power supplies that will accept 90-240 VAC electrical
power. Japanese and other foreign sets are on sale at numerous
department and electronics stores. The prices are high comparable to
Western prices. (no longer true)Local television programming is
available in Russian and Ukrainian. Many apartments now have their
own satellite receivers, and it is fairly easy and inexpensive to
buy your own. With satellite receivers you can view various European
channels that include French, Polish, Spanish, Arabic, German,
Dutch, Portuguese, Greek, Turkish, English, Danish, Swedish, and
Norwegian broadcasts. Many satellite channels transmit
English-language TV programs, sports, and movies. At the AEEA
commissary is a large but not updated video library where members
can rent videos.
Radio programs on Kiev’s stations begin early in the morning.
Most of the programming is musical, mainly Europop, Ukrainian
choral, folk, and rock.
You can receive Voice of America, BBC World Service, and Radio
Liberty on shortwave. Ukraine has two national stations (UT-1 and
UT-2) in Ukraine. UT-1 and UT-2 broadcast in Ukrainian. According to
audience surveys and public opinion polls, UT-1 (Ukrainian
Television-1) has the lowest rating of all national Ukrainian TV
stations. It broadcasts movies, largely pro-government political
programs and news.
UT-2 is on a shared frequency. It state programming the time slot
in the day time. The rest of the time is taken by "Studio 1+1,"
aprivately-owned TV channel that carries newscasts, talk shows,
entertainment, and movies.
Inter TV is among the most popular privately-owned television
stations in Ukraine. Other privately-owned Ukrainian television
stations include STB, ICTV and Noviy Kanal. They all broadcast
mainly entertainment programs and some news programs.
Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated:
6/26/2003 7:38 AM
A small but growing number of foreign newspapers and magazines
such as the Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune,
Financial Times, Newsweek, Time, and The Economist are available in
hotel lobbies and at a few newsstands usually the day after
publication. Prices are high even by Western standards, and
availability is unpredictable.
The Kyiv Post, a free English-language paper published weekly,
carries local, national, and some international news. It also is
available by subcription for a fee. It is readily available in
restaurants, hotels and and anywhere English speakers congregate. A
weekly English-language entertainment and life style magazine,
What's On, is also readily available for free.
Using the Department of State pouch address is the best method to
ensure delivery of U.S. publications. (Robert, I don’t know about
pouch stuff, but it seems to me that Tom Barnes should write up
about pouch and mail services, deadlines, and which zip code
(Washington, or Dulles) to use. PHHG Most periodicals are received
within 3-4 weeks via pouch.
Health and Medicine
Medical Facilities Last Updated: 6/26/2003 6:05 AM
The Embassy has a new Health Unit staffed by a Foreign Service
Health Practitioner, a local Ukrainian doctor and nurse, and a
Ukrainian secretary. It operates under all the guidelines of the
Department of State Medical Division. The regional medical officer
is based in Warsaw and visits Kiev regularly. The regional medical
officer and Western specialists are always available by telephone.
The medical evacuation point is London or Washington, D.C.
The Health Unit is set up to provide primary health care that
includes immunizations, first aid, well-child care, understanding
and support, and the evaluation and treatment of acute medical and
surgical problems. A small pharmacy is maintained that is adequate
for such a facility. You should be prepared to carry with you a
reasonable supply of any long-term, regularly used medications, as
these are probably not available locally and are not supplied under
the Department of State Medical Program. The Health Unit can assist
you in obtaining prescriptions to send to a U.S. pharmacy to be
filled. You should send a supply of your favorite over-the-counter
minor pain remedies, cold medications, antacids, vitamins, and
children's vitamins with fluoride and cough syrup. A home first-aid
kit is also recommended.
At certain times of the year, particularly during winter months,
air pollution is a problem in Kiev. This raises the risk of
respiratory tract irritation, especially for children and persons
with allergies or asthma. High pollen counts in the spring and
summer compound the air pollution problem. Persons with known
environmental allergies should bring an ample supply of appropriate
medications. The Health Unit can continue any allergy
desensitization injections that may be currently prescribed.
Health care is available to manage a normal pregnancy. However,
it is not recommended to deliver in Kiev, as maternal and neonatal
care is not adequate. Therefore, pregnant patients will be evacuated
to the location of their choice in Europe or the U.S. Travel to the
U.S. beyond the Washington area is on a cost-constructive basis. The
Health Unit can give you all the guidelines and support you in
making your decision for a delivery site.
Local medical care is improving slowly but is difficult to
access. The Health Unit staff will always accompany you if outside
diagnostic tests or therapeutic care is needed. Dental and
orthodontic care with Western standards is available for acute as
well as prophylactic care at a reasonable price. The Health Unit
will assist you in setting up appointments. Always discuss invasive
dental or medical care with the Health Unit staff before it is
The American Medical Center, a for-profit medical clinic with
branches throughout Eastern Europe, has opened in Kiev and is
staffed by an American physician. Care can be obtained at a
subscription rate or on a fee-for-service basis. They also have an
American dentist with Western dental equipment.
Health and Medicine
Community Health Last Updated: 6/26/2003 6:57 AM
The standards of cleanliness in most public buildings, taxis, and
trains fall far short of Western standards but pose no threat to
your personal health. Eating out in Kiev is one of its pleasures,
and the Health Unit does not see any increased incidence of
intestinal problems related to eating in restaurants. In the summer,
there is usually an increase in the number of cases of
gastroenteritis, but is is not epidemic
Background radiation levels are a natural concern because of the
1986 accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station located 80
miles northwest of Kiev. At the time of the accident, Kiev was not
exposed to heavy radiation because the prevailing winds were blowing
in the opposite direction. The Embassy and U.S. Government
specialists monitor radiation levels in the air, water, soil, and
produce of Kiev carefully and regularly. To date background
radiation levels are regularly lower than radiation levels within
the U.S. and world standards of safety.
The Health Unit has radiation monitoring equipment and checks
radiation levels on a regular basis. In the event of any rise in
those levels, the Embassy community would be informed immediately
through the warden system.
Tap water samples are taken regularly, and local water is not
considered safe to drink due to the presence of coliform bacteria
and the intestinal parasite giardia lambia. Water should be filtered
and boiled, distilled, or bottled for both cooking and drinking.
Both the Embassy and USAID provide water distillers/filters for
Anywhere in the world automobile accidents and the lack of a
trauma center pose the greatest threat to your health. The use of
seatbelts is mandatory in all U.S. Government vehicles and should be
used in your personal vehicle. When traveling in any vehicle,
children should always be in some type of restraining carseat. Bring
them as they are not available locally.
Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 6/26/2003
The post makes every effort to employ eligible family members who
are interested in working and have the requisite skills for the
particular position. Family members who are interested in post
employment should contact the Family Liaison Office (FLO) at the
Department and fill out a Skills Bank Form. It is also important to
let the CLO and the Human Resources Office at post know that your
family member is interested in post employment. Because security
clearances are required for most jobs and can take months to
complete, it is advisable that any family member interested in
working at post complete the Security Form (SF-86) and have it ready
to be submitted. Family members should bring any pertinent paperwork
from previous employment as well as copies of the above form to
post. All Eligible Family Member positions are advertised on the
post's webpage: www.usinfo.usemb.kiev.ua.
Although many positions do not have a language requirement, a
working knowledge of Ukrainian or Russian will help spouses. Post
recommends taking language classes if possible before arrival.
The Embassy uses Windows NT 4.0 and Microsoft Office Professional
97, with Access Word 97, Excel, Outlook, and MS Exchange EMAIL.
Check NFATC for availability of computer training.
Check with FLO in Washington, D.C. and the Overseas Briefing
Center to see what courses are being offered. Consular, GSO, and
computer courses are all relevant for this post.
Kiev International School and Pechersk School hire qualified
spouses for teaching positions. CLO will be happy to put you in
touch with either school if you are interested in working in
education. Occasionally, both schools also hire teacher aides. Bring
your teacher's certificate with you to post.
Employment in private industry is also possible but very rare. If
you have a specific career path in mind, please contact CLO, and
they will assist you in contacting the American Chamber of Commerce
American Embassy - Kiev
Post City Last Updated: 7/7/2003 5:47 AM
Kiev, a scenic city of some 2.6 million people situated on the
Dnipro River, is the bustling capital of Ukraine. Ancient Kievan
Rus' was a center of trade routes between the Baltic and the
Mediterranean. The city of Kiev and the power of Kievan Rus' were
destroyed in 1240 by Mongol invaders, and lands of the Kievan Rus'
were divided among principalities located to the west and north:
Galicia, Volynia, Muscovy, and later, Poland, Lithuania, and Russia.
Once a powerful player on the European scene, Ukraine's fate has in
modern times been decided in far-off capitals. As a result, modern
Ukrainian history, for the most part, was defined by foreign
Kiev suffered severely during World War II and the Stalinist era;
many irreplaceable architectural and art treasures were destroyed
and the city center systematically demolished. Extensive restoration
has revived much of historical Kiev.
The city hit the headlines in April 1986, when the nuclear
reactor at nearby Chernobyl exploded. The prevailing winds spared
the city any significant rise in background radiation levels.
Produce in the local markets is inspected before being sold. The
Embassy also conducts regular testing on the grounds of the
compound. Daily radiation testing done by the Embassy and the
Ukrainian Government does not reveal any elevated levels of
background radiation in the city.
Despite repression, centuries of foreign domination, political
turmoil, and ecological disaster, Ukraine's spirit and national
identity have never died. On August 24, 1991, after the aborted coup
in Moscow, Ukraine proclaimed its independence. As of early 2000,
Ukraine has diplomatic relations with 169 countries, and there are
118 accredited ambassadors assigned to Kiev. News correspondents,
business representatives, and students from all over the world
reside in the capital. The flow of foreign tourists and official
delegations is year round. The resident American community consists
of Embassy personnel, business representatives, clergy, professors,
Peace Corps volunteers, and students.
Enthusiasts of art and architecture will have a field day in
Kiev. The Cathedral of St. Sophia, where the princes of Kiev were
crowned in the years of Kiev's grandeur, has intricate mosaics and
frescoes dating back to the 11th century. The Cathedral of St.
Michael's Monastery (built 1108-1113) has recently been rebuilt,
after being destroyed by the Soviets. The Pecherska Lavra, the
Monastery of the Caves, a short bus or trolley ride from the center
of town, has two 11th-century cathedrals on its grounds, in addition
to its world-famous catacombs. Closer to the center of town stands
the Golden Gate, a structure, which dates back to 1037. This
recently refurbished fortification defined the western limits of the
city in centuries past. Several blocks away stands the magnificent
Cathedral of St. Volodymyr.
Theater buffs will find much to choose from. Most performances
are in Ukrainian or Russian. The renovated Kiev Opera House presents
very good opera as well as a broad repertoire of ballets. The Kiev
Young Theater is very popular and stages innovative plays in
Ukrainian or Russian. The Russian Dramatic Theater features a
repertoire of classics. There are also many musical concerts,
ranging from classical to jazz and pop.
The modern center and remains of the old city are both on the
hilly west, or right bank of the Dnipro River. The main street, the
Khreshchatyk, runs along the bottom of a ravine toward the Dnipro.
Running parallel about half-a-kilometer west, is Vulytsya
Volodymyrska, the main street of the Old Kiev area. Woods and parks
cover most of the western bank slopes along the Dnipro River. The
capital's newer sections lie on the eastern bank. Large apartment
developments and industrialized regions characterize this area.
Shopping in Kiev is always rewarding as a cross-cultural
experience. Western products are increasingly available. Several
state-run stores carry Ukrainian pottery, embroidery, and
handicrafts. More expensive Ukrainian crafts are available
throughout the city, in particular at stalls on Andrievskyj Uzviz,
and at several of the churches and monastery souvenir shops. Quality
and quantity vary from shop to shop.
A growing number of supermarkets stock Western food, alcohol,
clothing, beauty and health items and electrical appliances. Prices
compare to those in the West, but stock availability is
Diplomatic personnel can travel freely throughout Ukraine.
Careful advance preparation is still necessary to ensure proper
coordination of train, plane, and hotel reservations. Domestic rail
and air services are relatively good. Tourist facilities and
accommodations are limited outside major cities.
Security Last Updated: 6/26/2003 5:32 AM
As in any large Western city, pickpockets, simple muggers, and
purse-snatchers operate in Kiev. American visitors and residents
should take the same precautions against street crime that they
would in any large American or foreign city. Property crimes include
car vandalism and theft and residential and office burglaries.
Violent property crimes, including carjackings and armed residential
invasions, attacks in hallways, elevators of residences have
occurred but are rare. There have also been reported cases involving
druggings in order to facilitate robberies. This crime involves a
well-dressed and well-mannered stranger(s) that befriends the
victim, offers refreshments laced with drugs that cause the victim
to lose consciousness, and then robs the victim in an isolated spot
or within the victim’s hotel room. The RSO urges all personnel to
exercise caution when accepting food or beverages from strangers.
Credit card frauds are frequently reported. Personnel should use
all available means to protect credit cards, credit card numbers,
and personal identification numbers (PIN).
Occasionally, Americans of African or Asian heritage report
incidents of racially motivated assaults or harassment. In cases
involving harassment, individuals report being frequently stopped on
the street by both civilians and local law enforcement officials.
There have been reported cases of harassment that included physical
Personnel are advised not to import high-value vehicles and to
equip vehicles with alarms and steering wheel clubs.
Although Ukraine is not a world leader in the cultivation,
trafficking, and use of narcotics, or the laundering of profits from
drug sales, the drug problem has increased in recent years.
Despite the country's difficult economic straits, Ukraine has
been largely free of significant civil unrest or disorder. Political
demonstrations and rallies to mark significant anniversaries and
holidays, as well as to address specific political and economic
issues, are a normal part of life in Ukraine. Although these have
been largely peaceful, as in any foreign country, it is advisable
for American visitors and residents to avoid such demonstrations. To
date, there have been no recorded acts of international terrorism
committed on Ukrainian territory.
In general, Ukrainian law enforcement authorities provide
adequate assistance to American citizens and firms victimized by
crime. However, Ukrainian police continue to suffer from low pay and
a shortage of such basic assets as vehicles, fuel, computers, and
communications equipment. Police forces are also understaffed, and
English-language capability is rare, even among officials who work
on crimes involving foreigners. As a result, reporting a crime to
the police can be a difficult, lengthy process, and you should seek
help from the RSO office and/or American Citizens Services.
Subsequent follow-up to determine the status of a case requires
time-consuming visits to police stations. The Embassy does recommend
that Americans visiting or residing in Ukraine report any crimes to
the nearest local police station. Reporting a crime is also
advisable even if some time has elapsed since the crime occurred,
because criminals often repeat the same crime within the same
During the past year the Embassy has received a number of reports
involving incidents of harassment and intimidation directed against
American businesspersons and interests. Physical threats have been
recorded against American investors or facilities. In some cases, it
appears that local commercial interests, which may have links to
organized crime groups, are behind these incidents. In other cases,
local government entities have engaged in practices such as
termination or amendment of American investors' license or
contractual rights without warning or legal basis; arbitrary
dilution of corporate stockholdings; random implementation of
unfavorable legislation; and delay of payment or delivery of goods
owed to foreign investors.
American firms should pay close attention to security concerns
when establishing operations in Ukraine. Locally hired staff and
partners should be selected only after background screening has been
conducted. Installation of security hardware, including reinforced
doors, high security locks, window grills, and intrusion alarms to
protect office equipment, should also be considered. Hiring security
guards for protection of property and personnel is also recommended,
and particular attention should be paid to the choice of a security
guard firm. Finally, when utilizing local service sectors, such as
banking, medical, legal, and security services, business persons and
firms should limit personal data and information provided to only
that which is absolutely necessary. There are reports that persons
working in these sectors provide information to criminal gangs,
which they then use to plan burglary or extortion attempts. In
general, business addresses and phone numbers should be provided
instead of home addresses and phone numbers whenever possible.
The Embassy's current crime and safety report is available
on-line via the Internet/worldwide web at the official website for
the American Embassy in Kiev: HTTP://WWW.USEMB.KIEV.UA
The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 7/29/2003 4:03 AM
The Embassy is located at 10 Yuria Kotsyubinskoho Street about 2
kilometers north of Khreshchatyk (Kiev's main avenue). The Embassy
currently houses the Executive Office, the Political, Economic and
Regional Security Sections, the Marine Security Guard Detachment,
the Defense Attaché Office, the Arms Control Implementation Unit,
the Department of Energy, and the Legal Attaché Office. The Consular
Section is located at an annex on Pimonenko Street, within walking
distance of the Embassy. The Administrative Section, the Foreign
Commercial Section, the Foreign Agriculture Service, and the Public
Affairs Section are located in the new Artyom Center not far from
the Embassy. The Agency for International Development, the Office of
Defense Cooperation, and the Peace Corps are located at various
annexes around the city. Representatives of the U.S. Department of
Treasury have offices in several Ukrainian Government ministries.
The American Embassy Employee Association operates a small
commissary at USAID and at the Artyom Center. The Embassy has a
contract with a local company which operates the Gazebo Café at the
Chancery and the cafe at the Artyom Center -- both cafes offer
breakfast and lunch. The structure that houses the Chancery was
constructed in the 1930s to house the Communist Party and Komsomol
(Communist Youth League) Headquarters of Kiev's Shevchenkivskyj
Rayon. It served in this capacity until late August 1991, when the
Party was declared illegal and the building was sealed. Soon
thereafter, Kiev offered it as a site for the new U.S. Embassy. On
January 23, 1992, the doors of the Embassy were opened to the
Office hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The American Embassy in Kiev comprises some 163 Americans and
more than 543 Ukrainians, representing more than a dozen U.S.
Government departments and agencies.
The Executive Office consists of the Ambassador, Deputy Chief of
Mission, two office management specialists, and three Ukrainian
employees who handle protocol issues. The Ambassador, assisted
closely by the DCM, is responsible for the direction, coordination,
and supervision of all U.S. Government personnel and programs in
The Political Section's top priorities are to support and
strengthen U.S.-Ukrainian bilateral ties, to support Ukraine's
integration into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures, to work with
Ukraine on nonproliferation and arms control issues, and to promote
the democratization of Ukrainian society. The Political Section
helps organize and facilitate high-level bilateral meetings and
negotiations in support of these goals. It reports on issues
affecting the bilateral relationship, as well as domestic political
events, including democratic practices, labor, and human rights.
The Economic Section's first priority is to build a strong
bilateral economic relationship with Ukraine, including negotiation
of government-to-government agreements, promoting economic reform
and integration into the global economy, promoting U.S. trade and
investment, and ensuring compliance with completed agreements. The
section reports on the pace and nature of economic and agricultural
reform, key leaders, institutions, and social acceptance of these
changes and provides raw and analyzed economic and agricultural
performance data to Washington. The Economic Section also
coordinates all aspects of U.S. assistance to Ukraine.
The Administrative Section provides services to over a dozen
agencies under ICASS. In addition to the Management Counselor, there
is a Human Resources Officer, Financial Management Officer, a
Foreign Service Nurse Practitioner, three General Services Officers,
a Facilities Maintenance Specialist, five Information Management
Center Officers, two Community Liaison Officers, and locally engaged
employees. The General Services Office maintains the Chancery
compound, the annexes, a warehouse, the Marine Security Guard house,
and residential properties.
The Public Affairs Section (PAS), comprising a Cultural and a
Press Section, is responsible for one of the largest State
Department public diplomacy programs in the world. In promoting
long-term economic and democratic reform in Ukraine, PAS places
special emphasis on international exchange and training programs for
the next generation of Ukrainians. Since independence, more than
6,000 students have traveled to the U.S. on State Department-funded
exchange and training programs. PAS is also charged with
administering longstanding exchange programs like the Fulbright and
International Visitor Programs. PAS actively supports the Embassy's
media relations and outreach by the Ambassador and other Embassy
officers. An Information Resource Center responds to requests for
information about the U.S. PAS also maintains a library and an
English-teaching center at one of Kiev's leading universities.
The Consular Section's first priority is to protect the rights of
U.S. citizens in Ukraine as well as to provide courteous, efficient,
and prompt service to Americans. This includes the entire range of
emergency and citizen services. Immigrant and Fiancee visas are now
issued in Kiev, and the Consular Section can help in processing
documents for immigrant visas, which are issued in Warsaw. The
second priority is to protect U.S. borders by combating fraud,
corruption, and organized crime, and to reinforce in every way the
value of transparency, fairness, and rule of law. A third priority
is to provide courteous, efficient, prompt, and accurate information
to legal permanent residents of the U.S. and nonimmigrant visa
The Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) provides assistance and
information to U.S. companies seeking U.S. trade and investment
opportunities in Ukraine. FCS provides information about market
needs, opportunities and contacts, and actively tries to ensure that
U.S. business can compete on a level playing field and that
Ukraine's markets are transparent and fair. FCS assists through
government-to-government negotiations and advocacy on trade
The Office of the Resident Legal Adviser (RLA) is responsible for
coordinating and implementing criminal justice and law enforcement
training and technical assistance programs in Ukraine funded by the
Department of State and other U.S. Government agencies. The RLA
office works closely with the Ministry of Justice, Supreme Court,
the Office of the Prosecutor General, the Ministry of the Interior,
the National Academy of Law Sciences, and other agencies in
implementing assistance programs to strengthen Ukraine's borders and
combat organized crime, corruption, economic and financial crimes,
intellectual property rights, trafficking in women and children, and
related criminal activity.
The Defense Attaché Office (DAO) is a Joint Department of Defense
office, providing timely and accurate information to Washington,
D.C., on issues affecting the Ukrainian military. The DAO office
comprises members of each of the four branches of the military and
liaisons with a broad spectrum of representatives from the Ministry
of Defense, Ukraine. They are further tasked with executing both the
Defense Cooperation Plan and the European Command (EUCOM)
military-to-military contact plan with the goal of building strong
and lasting relationships with Ukraine. DAO advises the Ambassador
and Country Team on all military/defense matters including: Warsaw
Pact Initiative, Partnership for Peace, Peace Shield, Sea Breeze,
and operations involving joint peacekeeping efforts in Kosovo.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Mission to Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova has been working to assist
the region in its transition to a broad-based, market-oriented
democracy since 1992. Although each of these countries'
developmental challenges is unique, the Mission's programs are
broadly focused on the areas of democracy and governance, economic
growth, and social assistance. USAID/Kiev has worked with
government, nongovernmental organizations, and implementing partners
to further the processes of democratic development, economic
restructuring, and social sector reform in the region.
The goal of the Peace Corps Program is to enable Ukrainians, and
Ukrainian organizations and institutions, to learn from Western
business and environmental practices and to develop the language
skills necessary for full participation in the global community of
nations. More than 230 volunteers promote sustainable development
through their activities in education, business development, and
environmental protection. Peace Corps volunteers serve in more than
100 cities, in every oblast in Ukraine.
The Office of the Legal Attaché's (the law enforcement entity of
the Department of Justice) first priority is to coordinate
investigations of mutual interest, between the U.S. Government,
Ukraine, and other countries that are a part of the office's
regional responsibility. Its second priority is to develop and
maintain productive liaisons with appropriate Ukrainian law
enforcement agencies in order to effectively support international
criminal investigations. This office coordinates and supports
international law enforcement training seminars for host country
persons with the goal of sharing information and investigative
techniques to further existing collaborative law enforcement
Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 7/16/2003 0:47 AM
Temporary duty personnel stay in attractive hotels or in one of
several Employee Association-managed apartments which are
comfortable, fully furnished, and include a hospitality kit.
Every effort is made to put newcomers directly into their
permanent quarters. If this is not possible, new employees may have
to be housed in temporary quarters (usually a vacant embassy
apartment) or in a hotel until their permanent quarters are
available. If permanent quarters will not be immediately available,
the Embassy will notify the employee in advance.
Permanent Housing Last Updated: 7/16/2003 0:33 AM
Virtually all housing in Kiev is apartments. The Mission acquires
the best properties available. Although kitchens and bathrooms are
modern, most apartments are not comparable to those in the U.S. in
terms of space, storage areas, and layout. Closets are rare and
kitchen cabinets are few. Bathrooms may be large, but have no
cabinetry. In securing new leases, post requires the landlords to
install a wardrobe in every bedroom. Apartment lobbies, elevators,
and hallways and sometimes the exterior of the buildings are often
dingy and dirty, but are improving.
The average apartment consists of two or three bedrooms and one
and half to two or three bathrooms, living room, and kitchen. The
apartment may have a separate dining room, but often it is a single
living/dining space or a kitchen/dining space.
All the apartments are located within a reasonable commuting
distance and have public transportation, shops, and services nearby.
Although post looks for apartments with an assigned parking space,
most apartments have street or courtyard parking on a first come,
first served basis.
Furnishings Last Updated: 7/16/2003 0:40 AM
All apartments except the Ambassador's Residence and the DCM's
apartment are usually furnished as below. As space is limited in
some apartments, some variations may be expected. Draperies may be
hung in some rooms, according to the State/USAID drapery policy. At
least one desk is provided per household, and an entertainment
center may be issued, space and availability permitting.
Living Room: sofa, one or two easy chairs, love seat (if space
allows), end and coffee tables, lamps, bookcase/wall unit, area rug,
Dining Room: dining room table and chairs, china closet,
sideboard or buffet, lamps as appropriate, area rug, and blinds.
Master Bedroom: queen-sized bed, chest of drawers, dresser (if
space allows), night tables, minimum of one wardrobe, lamps, area
rug, and blinds.
Other Bedroom(s): one or two twin beds (as space permits),
dresser, minimum of one wardrobe, lamps, area rug and blinds.
Kitchen: gas or electric range, refrigerator, freezer (if space
allows), microwave oven, washer, dryer, and water distiller. Many
apartments have dishwashers.
Bring such items as paintings and scatter rugs to add an
attractive and individual touch. Employees supply their own linens,
bed pillows, blankets, china, silverware, wastebaskets and bins,
small kitchen appliances, TV, VCR, and/or DVD player (multi-system
recommended), stereo, and personal computing suite. Most kitchens
have limited storage space. See the section on Utilities and
Equipment for discussion of transformers.
Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 7/16/2003 0:45 AM
Electricity is 220 volt, 50 cycles; frequency stability is poor.
Outages are rare, but do happen, usually for very short periods.
Depending on apartment size, three or four transformers are issued
to each apartment. If you will need more than that, you should bring
them. (They can be ordered, if necessary, from Scandinavian or
Western European suppliers.)
As some apartments do not have a sufficient number of electric
outlets, bring heavy-duty extension cords, which are hard to find
locally. Ukraine uses two-pronged outlets, similar to those in
general European use. Since electrical supplies are difficult to
find, bring adapters.
The municipality of Kiev supplies housing with hot and cold
running water from a central system. They turn off the hot water for
at least 1-2 weeks during the summer to service the system, but
embassy-leased apartments have water heaters that operate during
those periods. Heating is radiator heat that is likewise centrally
furnished and controlled; the city of Kiev generally turns it on in
October and turns it off in April. As the individual householder
cannot adjust the temperature, at times it can be uncomfortably hot
or cold. Some apartments have heat-cool split air conditioners to
ameliorate the situation; the Mission also provides space heaters.
All residences have telephones and security video monitoring
Apartments are furnished with a telephone line by the landlord;
toll charges are the responsibility of the occupant. Several
Internet Service Providers operate in Kiev with reasonably efficient
dial-up services, the cost of which is borne by the occupant. A
variety of cable and satellite TV options is available.
Food Last Updated: 7/14/2003 8:26 AM
The selection of food is more limited than in the U.S. However,
most fruits, vegetables, and meats are available year round. The
typical Embassy family uses different sources to obtain food and
drink while in Kiev; beginning with its original consumables
shipment, often followed by an additional shipment halfway through
the assignment. There is a cafe in the Chancery and one at the
Artyom Center both of which provide breakfast and lunch, as well as
catering services to the community. The AEEA also operates two small
commissaries that concentrate on items unavailable locally, in
addition to offering drycleaning, video rentals, photo processing,
printing services, and opera, ballet, and circus ticket sales. All
Mission personnel are eligible to join. A membership deposit of $150
for singles, and $200 for families is required upon joining the
association. In addition, a one time membership fee is payable when
signing up ($40 for singles, and $60 for families). The commissary
also coordinates personal orders with Western duty-free houses such
as Peter Justensen in Copenhagen, Kings Barn in England, and Grocers
Supply International in Texas.
Many Western-style grocery stores have opened in the last few
years, where European brands predominate. Most minimarkets and
neighborhood markets are small and carry a limited range of products
making it necessary to visit multiple sites to complete your
shopping. Many people prefer to use the minimarkets for convenience
shopping while relying on their consumables and the commissary for
the bulk of their purchases. Euro Mart and Cash and Carry, are
Ukraine's answer to warehouse shopping. Both are located not far
from the Embassy. Prices are reasonable, but supply can be erratic
and is geared toward local tastes. Bulk purchasing of wine, beer,
and sodas for entertainment makes Euro Mart and Cash and Carry an
attractive alternative for Americans. Billa, an Austrian-owned chain
supermarket, looks very much like any U.S. supermarket and is
equipped with a butcher, baker, and fresh produce section.
Transportation is required to shop at Billa, and is therefore not as
convenient for the American community. There are several other chain
grocery stores like Megamarket, and LaFurshet.
Local farmers markets are a shopper's delight in spring, summer,
and fall offering a range of fresh and dried fruits, fresh and
marinated vegetables, meat, poultry, cheese, butter, sour cream,
eggs, honey, nuts, home remedies, caviar, and flowers. Although
Ukrainian produce is seasonal, imports make up a large part of
produce for sale at markets that Westerners frequent. The meat is
not aged and cuts differ from those in the West, but it is inspected
and quite good. Local bread is good, inexpensive, and available
twice daily at local bakeries. It is of heavier texture than in the
U.S. and not sliced. Dairy products available in the markets are
made from whole cream and rich in flavor. However, imported tetra
packed milk, from skim to whole, is readily available.
Clothing Last Updated: 6/26/2003 8:49 AM
Clothing needs for Kiev are similar to those in the northeastern
U.S. Winters, however, are more severe and longer, and summers are
shorter, slightly cooler, and less humid. Temperatures average 16°F
(-8°C) in midwinter and 87°F (30°C) in midsummer. Although selection
is limited and prices high, European/American-style clothes are
available in local stores and through new foreign outlets such as
Bennetton and Hugo Boss. Shoe repair is readily available and
satisfactory. Local tailors also sew clothes for less money than you
would pay in the U.S. although material selection and tailoring
results vary. Many personnel use mail-order catalogs to purchase
clothing while in Kiev.
Everyone needs a warm coat with a hood or a separate warm hat,
several pairs of woolen and waterproof gloves, and appropriate
shoes. Bring a good supply of shoes and boots for all types of
weather (tennis, dress shoes, rubber rainboots, and lined,
thicksoled winter boots for children and adults). It is also helpful
if most of your wardrobe is washable, as clothing soils easily in
Kiev. Drycleaning is available locally, with a convenient dropoff at
the AEEA. Most, but not all, fabrics can be processed. Suede and
leather cleaning may not be available.
Men Last Updated: 8/31/2001 6:00 PM
Both heavy and light topcoats are desirable for spring and fall.
Warm waterproof gloves, overshoes, and sweaters are also necessary.
Woolen suits worn in the U.S. are satisfactory for winter here, but
most men may prefer heavier suits and sweater vests during the
coolest months. Lighter weight suits are desirable for summer wear.
Dark suits are worn for representational affairs. Tuxedos, although
not a necessity, are worn at the annual Marine Ball, other balls
throughout the year, and/or New Year's affairs. Several pairs of
good walking shoes, a good warm jacket, hat, sweaters, and durable
washable apparel are recommended for casual wear.
Women Last Updated: 6/26/2003 8:51 AM
Versatile clothing for representational functions, luncheons,
receptions, or the theater is essential. Slacks, skirts, blouses,
and sweaters are ordinary daily wear. Most Ukrainian women dress up
rather than down. During fall and winter women wear woolen clothing
of several weights. Synthetics and blends, preferably washable, are
worn in summer. A raincoat with removable lining and a heavy wool or
down coat are necessary. Fur and sheepskin are both worn frequently.
Thermal underwear, good walking shoes, boots, and warm comfortable
casual clothes should all be part of your basic wardrobe for Kiev.
Children Last Updated: 8/31/2001 6:00 PM
Children need washable, sturdy, wool, corduroy, and other heavy
clothing. A zippered nylon snowsuit is recommended. Waterproof boots
with insulated foam lining, several pairs of waterproof mittens,
long thermal underwear, both heavy- and lightweight pajamas, and
snow pants all come in handy. Since children's clothing available
locally is not of Western quality and limited in quantity, bring a
good supply of clothing and shoes for children or plan on catalog
Supplies and Services
Basic Services Last Updated: 6/26/2003 6:47 AM
Most basic services are available locally. However, the quality
of service varies from poor to excellent depending on the kind of
service requested and the business used.
There are several good beauty shops, photo developers, and
picture framing shops. Tailors and dressmakers are generally
satisfactory. Shoe repair services are good. There are one or two
English-speaking vets who will make house calls for reasonable fees.
Auto service centers can handle most repairs and routine maintenance
Supplies and Services
Domestic Help Last Updated: 6/26/2003 7:03 AM
Employing a Ukrainian to help with the household, babysitting,
and sometimes cooking is common. Even single personnel usually hire
a part-time maid. Families, especially those with small children,
may hire one person for cleaning and one to babysit. It is easy to
find serving and cooking help for representational functions.
Payment and fees are negotiable and reasonably priced.
Finding good housekeepers and babysitters may take time and
perseverance. English-speaking help is hard to find. Cooks who know
American cuisine are hard to find, but some who have worked for
Embassy families can prepare many American dishes. If possible, try
to retain the domestics of your quarters or that of your
predecessor. They will be used to working with Americans, and
training will be easier. The Community Liaison Office keeps a list
of domestics who have been employed by Embassy personnel, along with
recommendations left by personnel upon departure from post. Whatever
help you end up hiring, the Regional Security Office requires that
all household help be registered with their Office.
If you choose to bring domestic help with you to post, contact
the Embassy Human Resources Office well in advance as appropriate
visas must be arranged.
Religious Activities Last Updated: 8/31/2001 6:00 PM
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Catholic Church
hold regular services in Kiev. Catholics of the Byzantine Rite hold
Divine Liturgy at two outdoor locations in the city. Roman Catholic
Mass is celebrated in Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, and English in two
churches downtown. The Baptist community and 3 Synagogues (Orthodox
congregations) in the Podil neighborhood and an Orthodox and a
Reform congregation downtown also hold religious services.
A variety of other churches also offer services: Assembly of God,
the nondenominational Campus Crusade for Christ, Episcopalian,
Interdenominational, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
and the Salvation Army. Many of these churches offer
Dependent Education Last Updated: 6/27/2003 8:24 AM
Kiev International School: The Kiev International School (an
American institution) is a nonprofit, independent, coeducational day
school that offers an educational program for students of all
nationalities from pre-kindergarten (classes for 3-year-olds)
through high school . It has a complete 4-year secondary program.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses, accepted for university credit, are
offered at the high school level. A college counselor on staff will
assist students as they prepare to enter a university. The school
administers the ITBS, PSAT, AP, SAT I, and SAT II tests and is a
certified ETS test site. The school year is divided into three
terms: early September to mid-December; early January to early
April, and early April to mid-June.
Organization - The school is governed by the Board of Directors
of Quality Schools International, the membership of which is formed
as set forth in the bylaws of Quality Schools International. An
Advisory Board, composed of 6-10 people who reside in Kiev, assists
the school in its operation. The school operates with the approval
of the Ukrainian Government.
Curriculum - The school offers a performance-based, mastery
learning educational program with a curriculum similar to that of
U.S. public and private schools. Instruction, leading to individual
mastery, takes advantage of small class sizes and the diverse
educational backgrounds of the students. Instruction is in English.
Ukrainian/Russian studies, Hindi studies, and French are a part of
Faculty - The 32 full-time and 10 part-time faculty members in
the 2002-2003 school year included 22 U.S. citizens, 17 host-country
nationals, and 2 of other nationalities.
Enrollment - Enrollment at the opening of the 2002-2003 school
year was 223 (pre-kindergarten through grade 12). Of the total, 20%
were U.S. citizens, 24% were host-country nationals, and 56% were of
other nationalities. Of the U.S. enrollment, 16 were dependents of
U.S. Government direct-hire or contract employees and 12 were from
U.S. business and foundation employees.
Facilities - The school purchased, renovated, and moved into a
large facility located on Svyatoshinskiy Provulok 3A about two years
ago. The school now has spacious academic classrooms, science labs,
a llibrary/media center, a computer lab, special areas for art,
music and drama, a full size gym, a pool, and large outdoor spaces.
It is about 20 minutes drive from the Embassy.
Finances. The U.S. Government education allowance fully covers
the fee structure at KIS starting with kindergarten.
Kyiv International School, Director
Post Box N334
O4o53, Kyiv, Ukraine
TEL: (380-44) 452-2792
FAX: (380-44) 452-2998
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org Homepage: www.qsi.org
STATESIDE MAILING ADDRESS:
Administrative Officer (Kyiv International School)
Dept. of State
5850 Kiev Place
Washington, D.C. 20521-5850
Pechersk School International: Located on the east bank of the
Dnipro River, Pechersk School offers the full range of International
Baccalaureate Programs. The school received authorization from the
International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization in November 1998 to
officially participate in and offer the International Baccalaureate
Middle Years Programs in grades 6 to 10. In May 1999, the
International Baccalaureate Organization authorized the school to
offer the prestigious IB Diploma Program, which has now been
implemented in grades 11 and 12. IB Diploma graduates earn priority
status at major universities throughout the world. The school is
currently seeking official authorization for the IB Primary Years
Program, which is being offered in pre-kindergarten through grade 5.
The language of instruction is English. French, Russian, and
Ukrainian are offered as foreign languages from kindergarten up. For
American and Canadian students, the school offers the Preliminary
Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT),
and also prepares students of any nationality for Tests of English
as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Organization - The school opened in 1995. The school is nonprofit
and is governed by a Board of Governors with 8-10 current parents.
Enrollment - The school has grown substantially since 1995 and
now has 165 students. The school hosts 21 nationalities of which
Americans comprise the largest single group with 58 students.
Facilities - The school has a well-equipped science laboratory, a
state-of-the-art library media center, an assembly hall, a modern
computer laboratory, regular classrooms, and a special needs and ESL
room. There are ample outdoor play and recreational areas and the
school uses a full-size gymnasium in an adjacent Ukrainian school.
All of the school's computers are networked and have access to a
dedicated Internet line. The school recently purchased and is in the
process of renovating a large facility located on Viktor Zabila #7.
PSI will start the 2003/04 academic year in this new facility.
Faculty. The staff includes 35 full-time teachers and 7 part-time
teachers, including 10 U.S. citizens, 6 Canadians, 9 host-country
nationals, 16 third Country.
Finances. The U.S. Government education allowance fully covers
the fee structure at Pechersk beginning with kindergarten.
Most parents of preschool children at post use Ukrainian nannies
with some English-speaking ability. Most are dayworkers who are also
available to care for children in the evenings. Fees are low by U.S.
standards. The post does not provide a day-care facility.
Pechersk School International, Director Steve Alexander
TEL/FAX: (380-44) 553-9991
TEL: (380-44) 553-9785
EMAIL: alexander@PSI.kiev.ua Website: www.psi.kiev.ua
STATESIDE MAILING ADDRESS:
Administrative Officer (Pechersk International School)
Dept. of State
5850 Kyiv Place
Washington, D.C. 20521-5850
New Hope Christian School: NHCS is an interdenominational
Christian school, which offers a co-educational program from grades
K – 12.
Organization - A local Board of Governors, which derives from the
Campus Crusade organization, governs the school. A committee of
parents functions in an advisory capacity to the Board. The school
operates under the protection of a Ukrainian school for the deaf
with which it shares a campus.
Curriculum - The curriculum includes texts from ABEKA, Bob Jones,
McMillan, Prentice Hall and ACSI. NHCS has an ESL program and
Russian language study is required. Electives include music, art,
PE, drama, newspaper and yearbook. Extra-curricular activities
include soccer, basketball, drama, and a yearly class trip. The
students also are involved in Christian outreach.
Accreditation - NHCS is a member of the Association of Christian
Administration - The school director has had an affiliation with
the school for the past 7 years.
Enrollment - The 2002-200 school year enrollment was 101 students
enrolled in grades K – 12. The students are primarily from
missionary families representing many different organizations and
countries. Americans made up 72% of the student population with 8
other nationalities making up the balance. The school expects to
expand as it opens its doors to include a portion of local and
expatriate families who desire a Christ-centered education in
English for their children.
Faculty - There are 12 full-time teachers and 1 part-time. Twelve
teachers are U. S. citizens, 12 are Ukrainian or Russian nationals,
and 2 are Third Country Nationals. Several of the teachers have been
in place for up to 7 years providing the school with a sense of
continuity and stability.
Facilities - The school is equipped with a library, a computer
lab, and a cafeteria area. Classrooms take up two floors of the
building and there is a large outdoor recreational space that
includes a basketball court, soccer field, and large playground.
Tuition - Annual tuition rates are as follows: Kindergarten:
$3000, grades 1 – 8: $4,400, and grades 9 – 12: $5,5000. There is a
registration fee of $150/year, and $800 for transportation.
New Hope Christian School, Dirk Mroczek Post Office Box 397
Kyiv, Ukraine 01001
TEL: (380-44) 434-9115/433-6373
FAX: (380-44) 434-9115/433-6373
EMAIL: email@example.com EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 6/26/2003 4:41 AM
Few educational opportunities exist in Kiev through Ukrainian
educational institutions, libraries, and traditional education
channels. If you are interested in higher educational opportunities
in Kiev, contact the CLO. Private language and musical instruction
Recreation and Social Life
Sports Last Updated: 6/27/2003 7:26 AM
Popular spectator sports include international soccer at the
Dynamo or Central Republic Stadium. At the Sports Palace you can see
wrestling, boxing, ice hockey, and ice-skating. There are various
sports clubs offering a wide variety of personal workout regimes,
but clubs with Western equivalent facilities are very expensive. The
Marine Security Guard Detachment hosts softball in the summer and
fall months. Other small groups play volleyball, little league and
basketball at the International School gymnasium. During the summer
months, the post community plays volleyball and sails at the nearby
Hydro Park; river cruises along the Dnipro are also very popular.
The Kiev area also has excellent opportunities for jogging, cycling,
hiking and cross-country skiing.
Downhill skiing is possible during the winter months in the
Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine. Several ski trips are
organized throughout the season.
Bring all your own sports equipment and clothing, because at
times these items may be difficult to find locally.
Recreation and Social Life
Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 6/26/2003 8:31 AM
Kiev, with its churches, museums, art galleries, libraries,
historic places and parks, is a sightseer's dream. The city can be
explored on foot, by excellent public transportation, or by boat via
the Dnipro River. Cruises down the Dnipro to towns such as Kaniv,
where National Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko is buried, or longer
cruises to the Black Sea and even the Mediterranean are possible.
Outside Kiev, favorite Ukrainian vacation spots include the
Crimean Peninsula, which has picturesque mountains and a stunning
coastline. Crimea's Yalta, in particular, attracts tourists to its
beaches and historic sites. The beautiful Carpathian Mountains in
western Ukraine are also a frequent travel destination for hikers,
skiers, and those interested in the traditional culture of Ukrainian
ethnic subgroups such as the Huzhels. The Carpathians are also noted
for their traditional wooden architecture, especially the many
wooden churches and chapels which dot the landscape.
Travel arrangements can be made through travel offices at the
Chancery or USAID or any other local travel office. Accommodations
vary, but are generally adequate and inexpensive.
Recreation and Social Life
Entertainment Last Updated: 6/26/2003 8:26 AM
Culturally, Kiev is a rich city. The Kiev Taras Shevchenko Opera
House has a very good opera company as well as a broad repertoire of
ballets. Innovative plays may be seen at the Ivan Franko Theater and
the Kiev Youth Theater. The classics are performed at the Russian
Dramatic Theater. The musical scene varies as well, from symphony
concerts to jazz clubs and folk music.
Walking tours to the many architectural and historical landmarks
are a good way to get a feel for the city. One essential stop is
Babi Yar, the memorial to Kiev's Jews and other Ukrainians who were
slaughtered by the Nazis during World War II. Visit Andriyivsky
Uzviz, a cobblestoned street lined with vendors of Ukrainian crafts,
arts and souvenirs, which descends to Podil from St. Andrew's
Church. Buildings on Andriyivsky Uzviz now house artist's studios,
galleries, cafés, and theaters. This picturesque street is also the
site of the annual spring Kiev Days festival in May. Flea markets
also dot the city with treasures waiting to be found.
The principal hotel restaurants and many new restaurants offer
good ethnic Ukrainian cuisine. Many restaurants throughout the city
offer foreign cuisine including Chinese, Japanese, Serbian, French,
Italian, Argentine, Turkish, American and others. Major hotels also
have cafés, bars, and souvenir giftshops. If you are wandering about
the city you will find any number of cafés and bars to stop in for
refreshments. New restaurants and bars seem to open each week.
There are some English-language book stores but the books are
expensive. Many people use AMAZON.com and other Internet services to
purchase books. A Sunday reader's book club meets on a monthly basis
to discuss books of mutual interest.
There are a few movie theaters that show films in English. With
the aid of a satellite dish, viewing of CNN, BBC, Sky News, and
other channels with English programming is possible.
Recreation and Social Life
Among Americans Last Updated: 8/31/2001 6:00 PM Ample
opportunities exist in Kiev for making contact with the American
community. Embassy personnel entertain frequently. Economic and
commercial personnel can pursue their business contacts through the
American Chamber of Commerce.
Recreation and Social Life
International Contacts Last Updated: 8/31/2001 6:00 PM The
International Women's Club of Kiev (IWCK) offers numerous activities
and opportunities for women from many nations to get acquainted.
Social relationships with Ukrainian citizens are not difficult to
establish, particularly if one speaks some Ukrainian or Russian.
There is no prohibition on establishing social relationships with
Ukrainian citizens. On the contrary, reaching out to make Ukrainian
friends is encouraged.
Rest and Recuperation (R&R) Travel. Foreign Service employees
serving tours of at least 24 months in Kiev are entitled to one R&R
trip to Rome or the nearest port of entry in the U.S. R&R travel
generally is not authorized during the first or last 6 months of a
tour of duty. R&R travel to and from Rome or the U.S. for all
eligible family members is at Government expense. Travelers are
encouraged to book excursions when reduced fares are available.
Since travel regulations and fare schedules are complicated,
employees should consult the Travel Office before making final
arrangements for R&R travel.
Nature of Functions Last Updated: 8/31/2001 6:00 PM
Kiev has a fairly large diplomatic community with missions
representing about 92 nations. Most official functions are hosted in
diplomatic residences and, on occasion, at local hotels.
The majority of representational events at the American Mission
are hosted at the Ambassador's residence. The residence is a newly
restored, spacious house dating from 1808. It is located on
Pokrovska Street in the Podil Section of the city. Apartments of
heads of agencies and heads of sections have adequate space for
official entertaining. Attire for most official functions is a dark
business suit and dress/suit.
Command of Ukrainian and/or Russian is very important for
effective participation in official functions. All Embassy personnel
and their family members will benefit from any study of Ukrainian or
Russian they can arrange before arriving in Kiev.
Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 8/31/2001 6:00 PM
Only officers on the diplomatic list need calling cards. Cards,
nevertheless, are useful for all members of the Mission, as they may
be used on social occasions and for business connections as well.
Cards are also handy for extending or acknowledging invitations,
sending flowers, and leaving notes. There is no single proper style
or format for calling cards. For contact with Ukrainians, Ukrainian
language (or Ukrainian and English) cards can be quite helpful, with
business and home addresses and telephone numbers/extensions. Most
Embassy officers obtain these business cards locally at an extremely
reasonable price through the AEEA commissary.
Special Information Last Updated: 6/26/2003 5:13 AM
Post Orientation Program
You will be assigned an office and community sponsor to provide
information and assistance to you when you arrive. The office
sponsor will meet you at the airport and will see that your
apartment is stocked with enough basic food and household items to
last until you can do your own shopping. If you have special needs
or requests, contact the CLO or your office, and the sponsor will be
notified before they shop. The community sponsor will help
familiarize you with local markets, supermarkets, and public
transportation. He/she may also host a dinner for you, introduce you
to local interest groups and churches, and orient you to the city in
CLO coordinators are a vital part of the Embassy's effort to
assist newcomers. Spouses are encouraged to take part in the
check-in procedure, especially the visit to the CLO.
CLO conducts informal briefing sessions; these provide practical
information on many aspects of living in Ukraine. You will also
receive an information packet with public transport maps, general
tourist literature, and general information. A special orientation
program is held every 6 months. This is an opportunity both to meet
other newcomers, and to hear Embassy representatives outline the
responsibilities of their sections. A cultural orientation is
included with an informal discussion on stereotyping and impressions
of the host country and host-country nationals. When possible, the
evening concludes with a performance from traditional musicians.
The Regional Security Office issues building passes to all
employees and dependents. The RSO also hosts a monthly informal
security briefing that is open to all employees and dependents.
The CLO, upon receipt of notification of your move to Kiev, will
immediately send a welcoming letter and a copy of the Embassy
guidebook "Know Before You Go." The Human Resources Office will send
you "Status of Quarters" and "Welcome Aboard" cables. These serve as
a basic orientation to post. You should feel free to come to the CLO
with any questions, or e-mail the CLO at
Notes For Travelers
Getting to the Post Last Updated: 6/26/2003 2:22 AM
You must obtain a Ukrainian visa before arriving in Ukraine.
Visas are not issued at the airport upon arrival. The Ukrainian
Embassy in Washington, D.C., or the Ukrainian Consulates in New York
City or Chicago, issue visas. Holders of valid diplomatic passports
are exempt from visa fees. Processing time for visa issuance is 10
Many international air carriers serve Kiev, but no American
carrier flies directly to Kiev. Most Mission staff use an American
flag carrier to fly to Frankfurt, Germany, from whence they proceed
to Kiev on a Lufthansa/United codeshare. Connections can also be
made through Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich, London, Brussels,
Prague, Warsaw, Budapest, Moscow, and Copenhagen.
In order to register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, four
passport-sized color photos (4cm x 6cm) for all family members over
7 years old are necessary. The accreditation process takes about 15
In accordance with the existing Customs regulations and laws of
Ukraine, all diplomats assigned to Ukraine must have received their
accreditation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before personal
property clearance can be completed. Therefore, shipment of
airfreight must be timed to arrive in Kiev after the employee's
arrival at post. Post does not have facilities for storage of
effects, which may spend long periods of time in Customs' warehouse
and accrue large storage fees.
All arriving personnel will be met at the airport if the Embassy
receives notification of arrival plans. A standard Welcome Kit,
consisting of linens, basic cooking utensils, and other housekeeping
items, is available in both temporary and permanent quarters.
Customs, Duties, and Passage
Customs and Duties Last Updated: 11/13/2003 5:20 AM
All diplomatic personnel are granted free entry of HHE. Shipments
may arrive duty free at any time during the tour. A detailed
HHE/CNS/UAB descriptive inventory list indicating number of pieces
and gross weight must be submitted before actual receiving of
HHE/CNS/UAB shipment by a diplomat. No diplomatic shipment is
subject to customs inspection of its contents. HHE should be
consigned as follows:
European Logistic Support Office (ELSO) American Consulate
General Noorderlaan 147, Bus 12A 2030 Antwerp, Belgium
For forwarding to: American Embassy/(Agency) 10 Yuria
Kotsubynskoho Kiev, Ukraine Attn: (full name)
The Department of State Transportation Office will send the
original bill of lading to the European Logistical Support Office
(ELSO), Antwerp, Belgium, and a copy to the general services officer
(GSO), American Embassy, Kiev.
Airfreight shipments to Kiev should be marked as follows:
American Embassy 10 Yuria Kotsubynskoho Kiev, Ukraine For: (exact
name of recipient and agency)
There are no specific weight limitations per container. The only
limit is that authorized by your travel orders. HHE containers
should be no more than 3 feet wide, 3 feet long, and 4 feet high.
All airfreight containers should meet the following specification:
maximum weight of 300 pounds and maximum dimensions of 84 inches x
36 inches x 36 inches.
Personally owned vehicles should be consigned as follows:
European Logistic Support Office (ELSO) American Consulate
General Noorderlaan 147, Bus 12A 2030 Antwerp, Belgium
For forwarding to: American Embassy/(Agency) 10 Yuria
Kotsubynskoho Kiev, Ukraine Attn: (full name)
The MFA of Ukraine pre-accreditation notice in writing must be
received prior to receiving a diplomatic shipment.
The original bill of lading should be sent to the ELSO with a
copy to the GSO in Kiev. Note: No personal shipments (HHE, UAB,
vehicle) should arrive at post before the employee. Shipments that
arrive in Kiev before the employee may result in Customs clearance
difficulties and accrue expensive storage charges. Post has no
storage facilities for those purposes.
" Newcomers who bring with them or ship in their UAB and/or HHE
antique items originating before 1950 and are consequently
considered to be of an antique nature, are obliged to declare these
items to the Kiev Regional Customs Authorities. Such items have to
be declared separately and the list should be forwarded to the GSO
Shipping Unit after arrival at post. The declaration will constitute
the grounds for obtaining an official customs permit to export the
items of cultural value brought temporarily into Ukraine and will
avoid export difficulties after the completion of an employee’s
Customs, Duties, and Passage
Passage Last Updated: 7/14/2003 8:34 AM
To enter Ukraine, the traveler must have a Ukrainian visa valid
for his/her date of entry. Immunization and inoculation
certifications are not required.
Under Ukrainian regulations, persons with diplomatic status
assigned to the Embassy have the usual privileges of duty-free entry
for their personal belongings, household effects, automobiles, and
other goods for their personal use and convenience.
Customs, Duties, and Passage
Pets Last Updated: 8/31/2001 6:00 PM
All dogs and cats entering Ukraine must be accompanied by a
certificate of good health bearing the seal of the relevant local
board of health and signed by a veterinarian. This certificate must
be issued not more than 30 days prior to the animal's arrival. A
rabies certificate must accompany the animal through the airports in
Europe. Travelers should check any applicable restrictions with the
airline and additional landing points they are using before
Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 8/31/2001 6:00 PM
Except with specific advance approval from the Embassy, U.S.
Government personnel assigned to Kiev cannot bring any type of
firearm or ammunition into Ukraine.
Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated:
6/26/2003 9:26 AM
The currency of Ukraine is the hryvna. Current rate is $1.00 =
UAH 5.319. However, because the hryvna rate does fluctuate, check
with the Embassy, local banks or hotels for the latest rate of
exchange. Currency exchanges are readily available throughout the
The Chancery, the Artyom Center, and USAID offer accommodation
exchanges. The cashier will cash checks up to $1,000 a week for
permanently assigned personnel. Although traveler’s checks are
preferred for TDY personnel, the cashier will cash personal checks
if accompanied by a copy of TDY orders. A personal checking account
with a U.S. bank is a necessity, as there are no personal checking
systems in Ukrainian banks.
Although Ukraine is still primarily a cash economy, use of credit
cards is steadily increasing. A few ATMs are also available in the
city but, for security reasons, the RSO discourages employees from
using credit cards and ATMs.
The metric system of weights and measures is used.
Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 6/26/2003
Most goods and services in Ukraine are subject to a 20% VAT tax.
Airport taxes are included in the airline ticket price.
To export any antique items and/or works of art, the permission
of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine must be obtained. It is rarely
granted. In addition to samovars, paintings, and rugs, this
restriction applies to collections or separate works of fine,
applied, and folk art; archaeological and numismatic items; musical
instruments; gold, silver, and precious stones; hand-woven carpets;
manuscripts; books published before 1966; and furniture made before
All antiques and items of value that you bring with you should be
declared immediately upon arrival to avoid problems when you
Recommended Reading Last Updated: 7/2/2003 4:57 AM
These titles are provided as a general indication of the material
published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse
Bahry, Romana M. (ed). Echoes of Glasnost in Soviet Ukraine.
North York, Ontario, 1989.
Bohachevsky-Chomiak, M. Feminists Despite Themselves: Women in
Ukrainian Community Life, 1884-1939. Edmonton, 1988.
Boshyk, Yury (ed). Ukraine During World War II: History and Its
Aftermath. Edmonton, 1986.
Chumak, George and Hodges, Linda, Hippocrene Language and Travel
Guide to Ukraine, Hippocrene Books, 1995
Conquest, R. The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and
the Terror-Famine. New York, 1986.
Dzyuba, I. Internationalism or Russification: A Study of the
Soviet Nationalities Problem. London, 1968.
Goldelman, S. Patterns of Life of an Ethnic Minority. Annals 7
Grabowitz, George G. The Poet as Mythmaker—A Study of Symbolic
Meaning in Tara Schevcherko. Harvard, 1982.
Gudziak, Borys A. Crisis and Reform: The Kievan Metropolitanate,
the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and the Genesis of the Union of
Brest. Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 1998
Hamm, Michael F. Kiev-A Portrait 1800-1917. Princeton 1993.
Hunczak, Taras (ed). The Ukraine 1917-1921: A Study in
Revolution. Cambridge, Mass., 1977.
Kamenetsky, I. Hitler's Occupation of Ukraine, 1941-1944: A Study
of Totalitarian Imperialism. Milwaukee, 1956.
Karatnycky, Adrian. The Ukrainian Factor, Foreign Affairs.
Khvylovy, M. The Cultural Renaissance in Ukraine: Polemical
Pamphlets 1925-1926. Edmonton, 1986.
Kohut, Zenon. Russian Centralism and Ukrainian Autonomy: Imperial
Absorption of the Hetmanate, 1760-1830s. Cambridge, 1988.
Kubijovch, Volodymyr (ed). Ukraine: A Concise Encyclopedia.
University of Toronto Press: Toronto, 1988.
Kuromiya, Hiroaki Freedom and Terror in the Donbas: A
Ukrainian-Russian Borderland, 1870s-1990s. Cambridge University
Kuropas, M. The Ukrainians in America. Minneapolis, 1972.
Kuzio, Taras. State and Nation Building in Ukraine. Routlege,
Kuzio, Taras. Ukraine Under Kuchma: Political Reform, Economic
Transformation and Security in Independent Ukraine. Saint Martin's
Luckyj, G. Literary Politics in the Soviet Ukraine 1917-1934. New
Magoisi, Paul Robert. A History of Ukraine. University of
Marples, David. Ukraine Under Perestroika. Ecology, Economics and
the Workers' Revolt. New York, 1991.
Plyushch, L. History's Carnival: A Dissident's Autobiography. New
York and London, 1977.
Reid, Anna, Borderland, Westview Press 2000
Reschetar, John S. The Ukrainian Revolution, 1917-1920: A Study
in Nationalism. Princeton University Press: Princeton, 1952.
Sodol, P. UPA: A Brief Combat History of the Ukrainian Insurgent
Army, 1942-1947. New York, 1987.
Subtelny, Orest. Ukraine. A History. University of Toronto Press:
Wilson, Andrew, The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation , Yale
University Press 2002
Local Holidays Last Updated: 6/26/2003 1:39 AM
The following local holidays will be celebrated at the Embassy in
New Year's Day January 1 Orthodox Christmas January 7 Martin
Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday January 20 President's Day February 17
International Women's Day March 10 Orthodox Easter April 28
International Labor Day May 1, 2 Victory Day May 9 Memorial Day May
26 Holy Trinity June 16 Constitution Day June 30 Independence Day
(U.S.) July 4 Independence Day (Ukraine) August 25 Labor Day
September 1 Columbus Day October 13 Veteran's Day November 11
Thanksgiving Day November 27 Christmas Day December 25
The Embassy is closed on these holidays. If possible, arrival in
Ukraine on these days should be avoided, since many local facilities
are closed. The Embassy is closed for all U.S. Government holidays.