UKRAINE

UKRAINE

UKRAINE

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Name: Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Location: Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev Pechersk Lavra is a historic Orthodox Christian monastery which gave its name to one of the city districts where it is located in Kyiv. Since its foundation as the cave monastery in 1051 the Lavra has been a preeminent center of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Eastern Europe. Together with the Saint Sophia Cathedral, it is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery complex is considered a separate national historic-cultural preserve (sanctuary), the national status to which was granted on 13 March 1996. The Lavra is not only located in another part of the city, but is part of a different national sanctuary than Saint Sophia Cathedral.

Currently, the jurisdiction over the site is divided between the state museum, National Kyiv-Pechersk Historic-Cultural Preserve and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as the site of the chief monastery of that Church and the residence of its leader, Metropolitan Onuphrius. The Kiev Pechersk Lavra contains numerous architectural monuments, ranging from bell towers to cathedrals to cave systems and to strong stone fortification walls. The main attractions of the Lavra include the Great Lavra Belltower, and the Dormition Cathedral, destroyed in World War II, and fully reconstructed in recent years.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiev_Pechersk_Lavra
Name: Motherland Monument
Location: Kiev, Ukraine
The Motherland Monument is a monumental statue in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. The sculpture is a part of the Museum of The History of Ukraine in World War II, Kiev.

In the 1950s, a plan circulated of building on the spot of the current statue twin monuments of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, nearly 200 m (660 ft) tall each. However, this did not go ahead. Instead, according to legend, in the 1970s, a shipload of Communist Party officials and Soviet sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich looked across at the hills by the Lavra and decided the panorama needed a war memorial. Vuchetich had designed the other two most famous giant Soviet war memorials, The Motherland Calls in Volgograd and the Soviet soldier carrying German infant constructed after the war in East Berlin. However, Vuchetich died in 1974, and the design of the memorial was afterwards substantially reworked and completed under the guidance of Vasyl Borodai.

Final plans for the statue were made in 1978, with construction beginning in 1979. The statue was opened in 1981 in a ceremony attended by Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Motherland_Monument
Name: Potemkin Stairs
Location: Odessa, Ukraine
The Potemkin Stairs, is a giant stairway in Odessa, Ukraine. The stairs are considered a formal entrance into the city from the direction of the sea and are the best known symbol of Odessa. The stairs were originally known as the Boulevard steps, the Giant Staircase, or the Richelieu steps. The top step is 12.5 meters (41 feet) wide, and the lowest step is 21.7 meters (70.8 feet) wide. The staircase extends for 142 meters, but it gives the illusion of greater length. The stairs were so precisely constructed as to create an optical illusion. A person looking down the stairs sees only the landings, and the steps are invisible, but a person looking up sees only steps, and the landings are invisible.

Odessa, perched on a high steppe plateau, needed direct access to the harbor below it. Before the stairs were constructed, winding paths and crude wooden stairs were the only access to the harbor. The original 200 stairs were designed in 1825 by Italian architect Francesco Boffo and St. Petersburg architects Avraam I. Melnikov and Pot'e. The staircase cost 800,000 rubles to build.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potemkin_Stairs
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COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO UKRAINE.
FACTS:
Official Languages: Ukrainian
Currency: Ukraine Hryvnia (UAH)
Time zone: EET (UTC+2) / EEST (UTC+3)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +380
Local / up-to-date weather in Kiev (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Ukraine travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Ukraine, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

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It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO UKRAINE.

The unit of currency is the hryvnia denoted by the symbol “грн” (90% of the time) and “₴” (10% of the time). The ISO code is UAH. It is spelt гривня and pronounced hryvnia in Ukrainian and grivna in Russian. Just to make it a little more confusing, Russian speakers in the east often refer to it as ruble and it is sometimes shown as “₴” both before and after the amount and with and without spaces. National Bank actual rates. On Wikivoyage, the notation грн is used, which you will see very often in Ukraine.

It is widely acceptable to pay cash. Locals (especially businesspeople) sometimes carry and pay in cash amounts considered unusually large in other countries. Don’t suspect criminal activity in every such case. The euro and US dollar are generally accepted as alternative forms of currency, particularly in tourist areas.

Cards:

You can use your credit cards (mostly MasterCard & Visa) or cash traveler’s cheques easily. Credit and debit cards are accepted by the supermarkets. But avoid using your credit/debit cards for payments at establishments in smaller towns as retailers are not trained and controlled enough to ensure your card privacy.

ATMs:

Ukraine is a predominantly cash economy. The network of bank offices and ATMs (банкомат, bankomat) has grown quickly and are now readily available in all but the smallest villages. Do check the security of the machine – it would be wise to use one that is obviously at a bank, rather than in another establishment. So, ATMs are common throughout the country and generally work with international cards. They nearly always dispense hryvnia, though you may find some give US dollars. They mostly do not charge fees to foreign cards. (unless you are withdrawing dollars).

Debit cards such as maestro do work in ATMs. Cirrus/Maestro/Plus bank cards could be most effective way to get cash in Ukraine. Not all ATMs indicate that they support the Plus system, but in most cases they do support it if they support Visa. PrivatBank ATMs indicate that they support Plus, but they do not work with North American cards.

BY PLANE:

UIA offers cheap flights that can be booked on-line and can be a time-saving alternative. For example, the flight Odessa-Kiev (one way) is USD180 (including tax and fees) and takes 1.5 hours. However, be sure to book early for the cheapest fares.

BY TRAIN:

Trains are operated by state-owned Ukrainian Railways. Train classes, coaches and ticket system are very similar to Russia and other CIS countries, see Russian train article.

Ukrainian trains are quite old and slow by West European standards, and not very frequent, but they are punctual, reliable and very cheap. For example Kiev to Odessa only has 3 direct services per day, 7 hr & 550 грн by the fastest “Inter-city”, 9-10 hr & 400 грн by the slower “express”. So for a 500-km journey with some half a dozen stops, the trains are averaging about 50 km/h on straight level terrain – the Bullet Train, it is not.

Generally, in Ukraine, for long distance the train is preferred over the bus because of their comfort and because often they are even cheaper. The “Lux” sleeping cars have a two-berth cabin. Second class are cabins with four berths. Third class have six berths through which the aisle passes.

Advance online booking is highly recommended, firstly because some trains are popular and will sell out, secondly because it avoids having to negotiate your journey at a frenetic foreign railway station. For timetables, prices and bookings visit Ukraine Railways or Ukrainian Railways e-shop (these websites are in English, Russian and Ukrainian). Tickets with a little QR code icon should be printed off at home and are good to go. Other e-tickets are just a voucher which must be exchanged in advance for a ticket, at any mainline station in Ukraine. (So don’t buy such a ticket for a journey that starts outside Ukraine.) Do this preferably an hour before departure, because close to departure of a long-distance express, the ticket area will become a frantic maul. Large train stations may have dedicated counters for e-vouchers; eg Kiev does, while in Odessa any window will do. Either way, before queuing look out for the “technical break” times posted on each window.

If you have to buy on the day, write your destination and train number on a piece of paper; desk clerks have little English or German. Large stations have big screens that show tickets available for the upcoming trains.

BY BUS:

There are two major bus companies that run buses from all of the major cities to and from Kiev: they are Avtolux, and Gunsel. Prices run about 100-120 грн for service to Dnipro and Kharkiv.

The major advantage of the bus service is that it leaves from Boryspil and stops in Kiev, so if your destination is not Kiev, its easier than taking a bus to the Main Passenger Railway Station in Kiev. The buses are standard coach buses, serve cold drinks and tea, show movies, and make a stop about every 3-4 hr. They run every few hours.

Avtolux has a VIP bus to and from Odessa that has nice leather seats and is more less non-stop. It departs once a day, takes four hours or so both to and from Kiev and costs about 160-170 грн.

BY MARSHRUTKA:

In addition, just as in Russia, there are numerous of the marshrutka called minibuses. These run on fixed routes and may be licensed as either buses or taxis. You can board one at the start of the route or at fixed stops. Some of them will also stop at any point between designated stops, but this largely depends on the region and even on the driver’s mood. Officially, they are not supposed to drop passengers outside designated bus stops, but in reality they do it quite often. At the start of the route and at fixed routes, you may find a queue you will have to stand in. At other places, just wave your hand when you see one. if there are seats available, the minibus will stop for you. To get off, tell the driver when you reach your destination and he will stop. You need to pay the amount of your fare to the driver. You don’t get a ticket, unless you ask for it. Often it’s not easy to figure out which marshrutka will take you to your destination, as in any city there are literally hundreds of different routes.

BY TAXI:

Taxi is probably the most safe way to get around the city. You want to ask your hotel or restaurant to call you a taxi. Ukraine is largely a referral based economy, and this is how you get quality, safety and good service. Taxis are always busy. Locals will tell you to call in advance. Trying to hail a cab won’t be productive at best and get you in deep trouble at worst.

It might seem unreasonable to hire a taxi to take you 100km to the next city. If you use your hotels referral, you will get a decent rate. It might be twice as expensive as train, but convenient, less time consuming, and secure. Keep in mind, you need a taxi to take you to the bus or train station. Americans will find the buses for long distance travel crowded and uncomfortable.

BY CAR:

It is possible to get around in Ukraine by car, but one must be aware of certain particulars:

The signs are all in Ukrainian (Cyrillic alphabet). Only a few signs (every 200km or so) are written in the Latin alphabet, and indicate main cities. It is recommended you have a good road map (those available are mainly in Ukrainian, but Latin alphabet maps are starting to appear), because place names aren’t well posted on road signs.

You are strongly advised to respect the signs, especially speed limits. Be aware that unlike in Western countries, where limits are repeated several times, in Ukraine, an obligation or a prohibition is often indicated on a single sign, which you must not miss. And even these signs are often far off the road, covered by branches, etc. The police are always there to remind you.

Speed in cities is limited to 50 km/h. However people do drive fast anyway.

Speed in “nationals” (single carriageway countryside roads) is limited to 90km/h (55mph). The poor average quality of the roads already acts as a speed checker.

Speed on highways (motorways) is limited to 110-120km/h (75mph).

Be aware that corruption is widespread among Ukrainian police, and tourists are an especially profitable target. When you are stopped for speeding or other offences, officers might aggressively try and extract ridiculous sums of money from you (€100 and up), offering “reductions” if you pay on the spot (the proposed alternative being some unpleasant and more expensive way, all made up). If you’re asked anything beyond that, demand a written ticket for you to pay later instead. Don’t let them intimidate you. It’s very useful to have an embassy phone number handy for these cases. If you mention that, they’ll let you off the hook quicker than you know it. At any rate, write down the officers’ badge numbers, rank, plate number of the police car, and notify the nearest embassy/consulate in detail, to help fight these corrupt practices.

Fuel is no longer a problem in Ukraine, especially for those who remember travelling to Ukraine during the early 1990s, when petrol was considered precious. Today, there are plenty service stations. There are varying types of fuel, such as diesel, unleaded 95 octane, and (more rarely) unleaded 98 octane; one finds also 80 and 76 octane. Note that if you choose to fill-up in a rural filling station, you will need to pay first, and in cash. Even there many stations do accept credit cards, however.

The state of the roads is a huge subject:

The main roads are OK for all cars, as long as you don’t go too fast. Numerous running repairs have created a patchwork road surface, and it will seriously test your suspension – even on the major dual carriageways.

Secondary roads are passable, but beware: certain zones can be full of potholes and you must treat them with extra care, or avoid them entirely. Roads between villages are often little more than dirt tracks and not metalled.

Road works have been ongoing, but the quality of the roads is shy of Western Europe (with the exception of Kiev).

Be careful when driving in towns or villages. Sometimes animals prefer to walk on the road, and they are a hazard for all drivers. You’re likely to see plenty of animals hit by cars, so be prepared…

Bicycle traffic is not very common, but you will sometimes see an aged man transporting a sack of grass on an old road-bike or a cycling enthusiast in bright clothes riding a semi-professional racing bike. Those are even more likely to be met on well-maintained roads where the pavement is smooth. Also cyclists will use both lanes of the road in both directions equally i.e. you are just as likely to meet a cyclist coming towards you, riding on the verge, as you will travelling in your direction. And almost invariably without lights or bright clothing so be extra careful when driving at night and dawn/dusk.

Also, don’t be surprised to see plenty of horse drawn carts – even on the dual carriageways.

EAT:

Ukrainian cuisine is quite tasty, with similarities to Russian cuisine. Just like other cuisines in the region it uses a lot of fat ingredients, especially in festive dishes. Traditional local food includes “salo” (salted lard) and soups like “solianka” (солянка in Ukrainian, meat soup) or “borshch” (борщ in Ukrainian) a soup made of red beets. Western Ukraine also has a green version of borshch, with greens and boiled eggs. The first, salo, is perhaps something you might not make yourself try – however is a delicious side dish, as for the soups being a must-have dish.

If you are outside a big city or in doubt about food, exercise caution and common sense about where you buy food. Try to buy groceries only in supermarkets or large grocery stores, always check the expiration date, and never buy meat or dairy products on the street (you can buy them at the market but not near the market).

In most towns in Ukraine there are some very good restaurants. Read the menu boards posted by the entrance of every establishment to help you to choose.

You may also find nice places to eat not by signs, but just by the smoke of traditional wood fires. These are often places where they serve traditional Ukrainian food, including very tasty shashlyky (шашлики in Ukrainian). Restaurateurs are very friendly, and, more often than not, you will be one of their first foreign visitors. Next to the “borshch”, you might also ask for “varenyky” (вареники in Ukrainian, dumplings filled with meat, vegetables or fruits) or “deruny” (деруни, potato pancakes). You have to try varenyky with potatoes and cottage cheese in a sautéed onion and sour cream sauce, a fantastic dish. These are just starters, but ones that might fill you up quickly.

You can also use some internet services, which will help you to find any restaurant you want. They usually have a lot of options and English translation making your search easier. These services are free and provide information about major cities. If there is no possibility of internet connection you can ask people about restaurants, but remember that knowledge of English among Ukrainians is low and you can also meet unfriendly people. But in most cases English or other foreign language makes people more amiable.

DRINK:

The Ukrainian speciality is horilka (the local name for vodka) with pepper. Other kinds of vodka are also quite popular – linden (tilia), honey, birch, wheat. Prices range €1-20 for 1 L. Souvenir bottles are available for higher prices (some bottles reach upwards of €35 for 0.5 L. There is a great choice of wine, both domestic and imported. The domestic wines mostly originate in the south, although wines from the Carpathian region of Uzhorod are also quite tasty. Ukraine is also famous for its red sparkling wines. Prices for local wine range €2-35 per bottle of 0.75 L (avoid the cheapest wines, €1 or less, as these are sometimes bottled as house wines but sold as local vintages), however, one can find genuine Italian, French, Australian wines from €50 per bottle and more in big supermarkets and most restaurants. The price of imported wines dropped significantly over the last number of years and trends indicate further reductions in price.

There are a lot of other beverages too(both alcoholic and non-alcoholic). Ukrainian beer is of very good quality. Beer from barrels or kegs (more common in cafes) is often watered down. Canned beer is not very common in Ukraine and sometimes not of the same quality as the same variety sold in bottles. The best beers are brewed by Lvivske, Obolon and PPB (Persha Privatna Brovarnia). Imported beers are also widely available but more expensive – for instance, a bottle of Austrian Edelweiss can cost upwards of €2 while average price of Ukrainian beer is €0.50. All told, Ukrainian beers are very tasty and gaining popularity elsewhere in Europe.

Of non-alcoholic beverages, one should try kvas – a typically Slavic drink made of rye or wheat. During the summer one can easily buy it from designated street vendors. There are a lot of yellow barrels with kvas around the city in summer. It’s better to buy it in bottles due of unknown cleanness of the barrel. Milk drinks, of all sorts, are also available, although mostly in supermarkets. Bottles of mineral water are available everywhere, as well as lemonades, beer, and strong drinks. When seeking to buy bottled water make sure to ask for “voda bez hazu” (water without gas) otherwise you are likely to be handed the carbonated drink.

Never buy vodka or konjak (the local name for brandy) except from supermarkets or liquor stores as there are many fakes. Every year a few die or go blind as a result of poisoning from methyl alcohol, a compound used to make fake vodkas.

In Ukraine it’s possible to buy alcohol produced in other former Soviet republics. The Moldavian and Armenian cognacs are quite good and not expensive. Georgian wines are quite unusual and fragrant, if overly sweet.

Hotels might be a traumatic experience for a westerner anywhere outside the biggest cities. The cheaper the hotel, the larger the chance of some quite unfortunate surprises, especially for those not familiar with the Soviet-style level of service which still remains in many places.

Hostel becoming more and more common in larger cities, especially the ones attracting many tourist. However, do not expect the usual clientèle as you would in countries where backpacking is more common. Hostels in Ukraine are often filled with single mums and kids, working people without apartment in the city, and other ominous but general unthreatening people, which make staying in a dorm an awkward experience.

There are many mid-range (€25-45) options outside Kiev. For instance in Ivano-Frankivsk (near the Carpathians), the going rate is approximately €35 for a suite (bedroom and sitting room) in one such hotel. Many hotels have the choice between renovated rooms/suites (“western style”) and not renovated rooms (East European style). The last choice is more than 50% cheaper and gives you a spacious old fashioned 2 room suite, basic but clean!

There are a number of 5-star hotels in Kiev and one in Donetsk; see guides for those cities for listings. At one such hotel in Lviv, the going rate ranges from €40-60 a night.

Another option is to rent an apartment on the internet before you leave your country. There are many to choose from in Kiev and Odessa.

What many people from ex-Soviet countries do is to go to the railway station, where they try to find people who are willing to rent a room. Prices are usually much cheaper and if there are enough people, offering the room you can make great deals. These deals are usually not legal and they will take you to a corner before negotiating. Make sure they have warm water, and don’t be afraid to say it’s not what you expected when seeing the room.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Ukraine
TOP ATTRACTIONS
PLEASE CLICK / HOVER ON THE IMAGES BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Name: Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Location: Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev Pechersk Lavra is a historic Orthodox Christian monastery which gave its name to one of the city districts where it is located in Kyiv. Since its foundation as the cave monastery in 1051 the Lavra has been a preeminent center of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Eastern Europe. Together with the Saint Sophia Cathedral, it is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery complex is considered a separate national historic-cultural preserve (sanctuary), the national status to which was granted on 13 March 1996. The Lavra is not only located in another part of the city, but is part of a different national sanctuary than Saint Sophia Cathedral.

Currently, the jurisdiction over the site is divided between the state museum, National Kyiv-Pechersk Historic-Cultural Preserve and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as the site of the chief monastery of that Church and the residence of its leader, Metropolitan Onuphrius. The Kiev Pechersk Lavra contains numerous architectural monuments, ranging from bell towers to cathedrals to cave systems and to strong stone fortification walls. The main attractions of the Lavra include the Great Lavra Belltower, and the Dormition Cathedral, destroyed in World War II, and fully reconstructed in recent years.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiev_Pechersk_Lavra
Name: Motherland Monument
Location: Kiev, Ukraine
The Motherland Monument is a monumental statue in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. The sculpture is a part of the Museum of The History of Ukraine in World War II, Kiev.

In the 1950s, a plan circulated of building on the spot of the current statue twin monuments of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, nearly 200 m (660 ft) tall each. However, this did not go ahead. Instead, according to legend, in the 1970s, a shipload of Communist Party officials and Soviet sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich looked across at the hills by the Lavra and decided the panorama needed a war memorial. Vuchetich had designed the other two most famous giant Soviet war memorials, The Motherland Calls in Volgograd and the Soviet soldier carrying German infant constructed after the war in East Berlin. However, Vuchetich died in 1974, and the design of the memorial was afterwards substantially reworked and completed under the guidance of Vasyl Borodai.

Final plans for the statue were made in 1978, with construction beginning in 1979. The statue was opened in 1981 in a ceremony attended by Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Motherland_Monument
Name: Potemkin Stairs
Location: Odessa, Ukraine
The Potemkin Stairs, is a giant stairway in Odessa, Ukraine. The stairs are considered a formal entrance into the city from the direction of the sea and are the best known symbol of Odessa. The stairs were originally known as the Boulevard steps, the Giant Staircase, or the Richelieu steps. The top step is 12.5 meters (41 feet) wide, and the lowest step is 21.7 meters (70.8 feet) wide. The staircase extends for 142 meters, but it gives the illusion of greater length. The stairs were so precisely constructed as to create an optical illusion. A person looking down the stairs sees only the landings, and the steps are invisible, but a person looking up sees only steps, and the landings are invisible.

Odessa, perched on a high steppe plateau, needed direct access to the harbor below it. Before the stairs were constructed, winding paths and crude wooden stairs were the only access to the harbor. The original 200 stairs were designed in 1825 by Italian architect Francesco Boffo and St. Petersburg architects Avraam I. Melnikov and Pot'e. The staircase cost 800,000 rubles to build.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potemkin_Stairs
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
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...WHO ARE WE?

...WHO ARE WE?

…WHO ARE WE?
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My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

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We look forward to working with you and meeting all your expectations.

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