Foreigners warn tourists to stay away from police

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May 4, 2012, 5:36 p.m. | Ukraine — by Kyiv Post

Kyiv Post

Foreigners who come to Ukraine say that the nation's police officers are giving the nation a bad name. A video featuring comments from foreign tourists was uploaded on Facebook by Yulia Belyanevych.

The foreigners said that, after asking for documents, a police officer stole 40 euros from the pocket of one of them. It's a warning for the more than 200,000 foreigners expected to arrive to attend Euro 2012 football championship games between June 8 and July 1. “Police will be the main problem," one foreign man told Belyanevych. "Police haVE stopped me to check my passport and then just robbed me.

Police always stop us because we speak English and checks our documents.I am afraid one day I will forgot my passport and they will take me away.”

The advice from the three foreigners interviewed: “Stay away from Ukrainian police.”

target="_blank">Watch the video here.

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EU DICTATORSHIP May 4, 2012, 6:10 p.m.    

Also fake-police in Brussels, the capital of Europe. “Stay away from Belgian police.”

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GARY COOK May 4, 2012, 6:32 p.m.    

police on maidan the worse i watch from my apartment all night as they take people down the side street to take money from them

but they dont go near you if they are out numbered if you have passport then they ask for money for coffee

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EU DICTATORSHIP May 4, 2012, 7:16 p.m.    

There is a difference between real police with a real badge, and fake police with a fake, copied badge. Also in Brussels fake police with a fake, copied badge.

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rcd1 May 4, 2012, 8:47 p.m.    

I have been traveling quite often in Ukraine since the summer of 2007. I've travelled the country extensively especially in the areas of Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye and Crimea and I've used all modes of travel ( Air, Car,Train). In general police and corruption is a concern and the possibility of being treated unjustly and illegally does exist. I have been stopped and asked for my passport on several occasions (always it seems around airports or train stations) and always for no apparent or valid reason. It is as if the officers were probing or fishing to see what possibilities exist. My fiance is truly like a watchful mother hen and fully keeps me informed and translate everything that is said. I have been fortunate to never experience anything beyond just a passport check and never detained or harassed. I actually feel fortunate and feel more like it was luck rather than something special. I would give three important pieces of advice to foreign travelers.

1. Always have your passport on you when you go out in public. God help you if you do not and you are stopped by the police.

2. Be polite, act civil and respectful. Being a jerk or a smart allec will certainly make the matter worse. Ukrainian Police tend to respect you more when you respect them.

3. Always have the phone number and a clear way of contacting your embassy/consulates office in the case of a emergency. This is extremely important if a serious matter beyond your control does take place. Local Ukrainian police do not want the hassle, involvement or embarrassment of diplomatic or political issues.

Keep these 3 simple things in mind and you should in general have a good visit and experience while in Ukraine. It is a fantastic country full of marvelous and wonderful things and people to see and experience.

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Malcolm Foster May 4, 2012, 8:56 p.m.    

Stay Away from this run down ex? soviet Dump

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Phill M May 5, 2012, 2:15 a.m.    

I got stopped by a bunch of young cops once and didn't have my passport on me. Nor did my friend, who was British-Indian, and looked out of place. I think if I was alone, I would have been left alone. However, the police, as soon as they saw my friend, be-lined to us and asked for our passports. Thankfully, some of my other friends, who were Ukrainian, and whom we just left, were close enough to see what was happened. In the end, we all (my friends and I) got dragged to the police station, where the caption gave a royal chewing out to the cops who dragged us there, and told us rather politely to may sure we have our passports on us.

RCD1's post below sums it up-- keep your passport on you (and a really good copy or two), be polite and respectful (I often said 'hi' with a polite node to police when I walked by, mostly because it was amusing to see their expressions), and make certain you have your embassy's contact information (and, if you have friends in Ukraine, maybe their's as well).

Also, make sure that if you carry a fair bit of cash on you, you split it up into smaller amounts and keep it in different places. I am told that when you pull out a bunch of 1 hryvna bills on a cop who is expecting a decent payout, their expression of disappointment is priceless.... (this is also wise advice when shopping... you pay more sometimes if it seems you have more cash on you).

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