The Leading Global Portal for Diplomats!    
    Keep in touch with the community Prepare for your new career Take care of personal affairs Chat with diplomats online      
Home > New Posting > Post Reports
Preface Last Updated: 7/10/2003 2:00 AM

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 stood still.

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 and Russia.

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 forces.

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 geopolitical setting.

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 tourist destination.

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 common.

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 operations.

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 generally inexpensive.

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 this restriction.

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 readily available.

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 requirement.


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 pass.

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 Metro system.

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 available.

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 International.

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 shopping around.

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 of charge.

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 usual.

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 installed.


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 operate.

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 auto-sensing.

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


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 ( 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 services.

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 U.S. rate.

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 performed.

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 employees.

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 7:15 AM

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:

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 in Kiev.

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 occupation.

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 unpredictable.

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 assaults.

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 general locale.

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 public.

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 Ukraine.

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 applicants.

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 disputes.

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 efforts.


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, and blinds.

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 systems.

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 shopping.

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 satisfactorily.

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 English-language services.


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 the curriculum.

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: Homepage:


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

7Viktor Zabila

Kiev 02152

TEL/FAX: (380-44) 553-9991

TEL: (380-44) 553-9785

EMAIL: Website:


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 Schools International.

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



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 are available.

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 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

Social Activities

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

Social Activities

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.

Official Functions

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.

Official Functions

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 general.

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 working days.

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 working days.

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 tour. "

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 traveling.

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 city.

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 8:59 AM

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 1964.

All antiques and items of value that you bring with you should be declared immediately upon arrival to avoid problems when you pack-out.

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 unofficial publications.

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 (1959): 1567-85

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. (Summer, 1992).

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 Press, 1998.

Kuropas, M. The Ukrainians in America. Minneapolis, 1972.

Kuzio, Taras. State and Nation Building in Ukraine. Routlege, 1998.

Kuzio, Taras. Ukraine Under Kuchma: Political Reform, Economic Transformation and Security in Independent Ukraine. Saint Martin's Press, 1997.

Luckyj, G. Literary Politics in the Soviet Ukraine 1917-1934. New York, 1983.

Magoisi, Paul Robert. A History of Ukraine. University of Toronto, 1996.

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: Toronto, 1988.

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 2003:

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.

Adapted from material published by the U.S. Department of State. While some of the information is specific to U.S. missions abroad, the post report provides a good overview of general living conditions in the host country for diplomats from all nations.
Share |