Posted by Ken Kemp on August 21, 2001 at 00:39:25:
In Reply to: Safety in Ukraine posted by Ken on August 18, 2001 at 14:58:24:
I agree with the above postings that you should not be overly concerned about safety whlie traveling in Ukraine.
The US and British Embassies in Kiev post safety notices on their web-sites. I don't want to suggest that you not take their cautious tone seriously, but would suggest that, to get some perspective, you also take a look at the British safety not on travel to Florida. It is, I think, an occupational hazard of such work (i.e., writing safety reports) that one makes things sound slightly more ominous than they are. (I'm sorry, I don't have the URL's for the sites I mentioned handy, but a search engine will surely turn them up.)
One elaboration on theme of using common sense. I took a group of about twenty people to Ukraine in January and several encountered this scam:
Someone approaches you for help finding the owner of an allegedly lost wallet. He lures you slightly off the street, where you are surrounded by his friends and you lose your wallet.
Of course common sense should lead to suspicion of the approach--why would they need your help?--but in the case of a colleague her somewhat earlier, common sense kicked in only after the desire to help got him into trouble. I mention this, not to show how dangerous Kiev is, such scams occur in every city, but just because it seems to be current in Kiev (or maybe just in the Podil) at present.
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