Ukraine Country Report
The business environment has suffered from the political instability brought by Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the unresolved conflict in the east. However, further push by the government to implement key structural reforms to improve governance and accelerate economic growth is likely. Ongoing economic weaknesses in Ukraine are likely to increase labour unrest in 2019, especially in the mining and transportation sectors. Cargo movement across the border to Russia is restricted by regulatory bans. Although the government is keen on attracting FDI, including by continued deregulation, insufficient progress in its anti-corruption drive and uncertainty concerning the scope of the reforms are mitigating these efforts.
The continuing armed conflict in eastern Ukraine provides manpower and material for terrorist activity outside the conflict zone. IED attacks against government buildings, police offices, or railway infrastructure are most likely in Kiev and in the large cities in the south and east; attacks against military assets are likely across the country. As the majority of attacks are intended to damage the property, risks of injury and death are mostly collateral. Risks of disruptive cyber-attacks, including against critical national infrastructure, such as energy grids, water supply, metro systems, ports and airports, mostly executed by groups associated with Russia are elevated, especially during the 2019 elections.
Crime rates in Ukraine increased sharply since 2014, partly due to the ongoing armed conflict in the east of the country, presence of armed militias in Donbass and proliferation of arms across the country. However, in 2018 the homicide figure dropped to the lowest level since 1991, while the overall crime rates also decreased. Widespread financial crime includes the rigging of bids for state and municipal contracts, widespread corruption, and money laundering at central, regional and local levels. The line of contact in Donbass is a source of arms trafficking. Separatist-controlled areas in the east are characterised by higher crime levels and severe lawlessness.
Russia occupied Crimea in February 2014 and annexed it in March 2014; any Ukrainian attempts to recapture the peninsula militarily would trigger an open interstate military conflict; therefore, such scenario is unlikely. The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine was still ongoing as of May 2019 along a geographically stable line of contact (LoC) owing to Russia's continued support to the separatist militias in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Although fighting along the mostly stable LoC is likely to continue with dozens of shelling and shooting incidents daily, the likelihood of open and direct Russian involvement in Donbass remains low, as it would risk triggering further Western sanctions against Russia.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Tick-Borne Encephalitis: For stays in rural zones and for hiking enthusiasts (for children over the age of one).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Finally, local weather conditions, such as the torrential rains and floods observed in the west of the country in spring 2010 (Chernivtsi oblast; several deaths; damage to homes; several thousand residents evacuated) and the wave of extreme cold that struck the country in February 2012 (responsible for 100 deaths), can cause significant damage and disrupt the movement of people and goods. Forest fires can also occur in the country; two fires sprung up near the Chernobyl nuclear plant in April and June 2015.
Winter storms commonly produce hazardous conditions (strong winds, heavy snowfall, ice) and cause significant transportation disruptions nationwide between November and February. In January 2018, much of the country saw snowfall of up to 40 cm (16 in), with winds up to 70 km/h (44 mph).
The climate is temperate-continental thanks to the influence of the Siberian High (Siberian Anticyclone). Winter is harsh and snowy in the north and the east and lasts approximately four months. Temperatures are milder along the coast of the Black Sea (in the south). Summers are long and hot with sometimes violent thunderstorms. Autumns are sunny and mild.
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