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Questions and answers:

Kirk asks: An acquaintance of mine is in Konstyaninovka Donetsk. She wants to get to Warsaw. She says there is a bus service called Flybus which can get her there. Is it reliable? I also found another bus service called Infobus which is offering tickets from Donetsk to Warsaw. Are they reliable? Is there any other way for her to reach Warsaw?
Expert's answer:

As of February 2024, Kostyantynivka is controlled by the Ukrainian officials, although it is located very close to the frontline. It means that there are regular buses running from this city to other parts of Ukraine. Infobus site is fine, here is its schedule of Kostyantynivka-Warsaw buses (1-2 transfers).

Our advice is not to send any help before you actually meet the person. As you can see the ticket price is relatively low (50+ Euro), a Polish visa is not required, if the person has a valid bio-metric international passport (20-40 USD to get one). So it should not be a problem for a real person to meet you in Poland, especially if you help afterwards.

A fake person (scammer) will try to get as much money out of you as possible under the pretext of buying tickets, passport, insurance, bribes, etc. and of course the scammer is not going to go anywhere, but will provide reasons why it hasn't worked out and why a little more help is needed for one reason or another.

Steve asks: How much does an Ukrainian citizen pay for having an international passport issued?
Expert's answer:
As of February, 2024, the state fees to issue a Ukrainian biometric international passport are 856 UAH (Ukrainian Hryvnias) or about 23 USD (20 working days) or 1,496 UAH or 40 USD (7 working days).
Falcon asks: Are there taxi services charging 700 euro from Donetsk to Kyiv or is this scam? what are the possible ways to leave Donetsk?
Expert's answer:

This is 100% scam. As of January 2024, Donetsk is controlled by Russia. This means that there are no direct transport links between this city and other Ukrainian cities controlled by the Ukrainian government (Kyiv). The frontline can't be crossed by civilians, there are no checkpoints.

Anyone who says that there are buses, taxis, private cars running from Donetsk across the frontline are lying. The only way to leave Donetsk for a real person is to go to Russia at first, for example, to Rostov-on-Don. From Russia, it is possible to fly to Istanbul, Turkey, for example, or enter the Baltic countries or even return to Ukraine via Kolotylivka-Pokrovka checkpoint in Sumy Oblast, the only one border crossing, which is open.

As we receive similar requests almost every day, our advice is not to send any help to a person in Ukraine, especially in parts of Ukraine controlled by Russia (in this case, in our experience, the chance that this "person" is a scammer is close to 100%), before you are absolutely sure that this person is real. Otherwise you are doing it at your risk.

Sam asks: Are there any Ukrainian names whose origin is related to gambling?
Expert's answer:
It can't be said that the Slavic peoples historically were known as gamblers, unlike, for example, the ancient Egyptians or the Japanese. However, they had high hopes for a Pagan god called Dazhbog (dazh - "give" and bog - "happiness, well-being, wealth"), when they were looking for luck in life. However, children are given such a name very rarely, so it is not widespread.
Bill asks: Can you help me write an address?
Expert's answer:
Here is an example of how to write an address (random address in Kyiv). To: Ivan Serhiyovych Ivanov. Address: 02000 (postal code), Ukraine, Kyiv, Tarasa Shevchenka Ln (street), 13 (building #), 2 (apartment #).
Chris asks: I have an acquaintance in Donetsk. She is saying that the only way out is by using Fastbus.in.ua. She wants me to buy the ticket online. However the site doesn't look very reliable. Looks like a scam. What ways are there to get out of Donetsk and are there any reliable sites from where I can purchase a ticket online? If you could also give me an indication of price it would be great. Her final destination where we planned to meet is in Poland. Thanks in advance
Expert's answer:

Yes, this site doesn't look reliable, received several requests mentioning it before. The most important thing is that there are no buses running from Donetsk, controlled by Russia at the moment, to other parts of Ukraine, controlled by the Ukrainian government, because it means to cross the front line. Anyone telling you that it is possible is deceiving you.

The only relatively safe way for a real person to leave Donetsk is to go to Russia at first, to Rostov-on-Don, for example. From there it is possible to go to the Baltic countries or Turkey and from there to Poland.

I personally would not trust anyone who claims that she is living in parts of Ukraine controlled by Russia, the chance that she is a scammer is very close to 100% in my opinion.

Pete Uk asks: I am looking to rent a 2 bed house in Lutsk. What would be the average rent per month? I then intend to buy a 3 bedroom house. What is the best web site to look at regarding buying a house?
Expert's answer:
Check the following list of houses for long-term rent in Lutsk, not a lot of offers are available, so you can check the list of apartments with 2 rooms available. And here is the list of houses with 3 rooms for sale in Lutsk to get an idea about the prices. You can use Google Translate to automatically translate sites. The list of Lutsk real estate agencies, try to contact them directly to get more info.
Brad asks: Does it make sense that my Ukrainian girlfriend is paying a service for attaining her Visa and should I pay for her airfare to come visit me in the United States?
Expert's answer:
The embassy of the US to Ukraine doesn't provide any visa services at the moment. Ukrainian citizens can only obtain US visas in another countries. There are no civilian flights in Ukraine as well, so again Ukrainian citizens have to leave the country by car/bus/train at first. So if someone asks you to help with these services in Ukraine, then this is 100% scam.
Dave asks: How long does it take for a passport to be issued for Ukrainian to travel to the UK? Are there flights from Ukraine to the UK at the moment?
Expert's answer:

As of December 2023, the state fees to issue a Ukrainian biometric international passport are 856 UAH (Ukrainian Hryvnias) or about 23 USD (20 working days) or 1,496 UAH or 40 USD (7 working days). There are no flights from Ukraine to the UK. No civilian flights are available in Ukraine at all at the moment. The embassy of the UK doesn't issue visas in Ukraine as well. A visa can be obtained in nearby countries.

As we receive similar requests almost every day, our advice is not to send any help to a person in Ukraine, especially in parts of Ukraine controlled by Russia, before you are absolutely sure that this person is real. The first step is to talk to this person directly via something like Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. with a camera turned on.

Only after you have found a person with whom you can regularly speak directly (live video), you should arrange your live meeting in Ukraine (after the war in Lviv or Kyiv) or in nearby countries like Poland (during the war). A real person again can do it without your help, a fake one will find a number of issues why it is not possible or your help is required to do it. Otherwise you are doing it at your risk.

Gabriel asks: Is it possible to travel from Donetsk to Poland? Is this a real bus company (fastbus.in.ua)?
Expert's answer:

As of December 2023, Donetsk is controlled by Russia, which means there are no direct transport links between this city and Poland because it means to cross the frontline and there are no checkpoints at the frontline, which civilians can use. The only way for a real person from Donetsk to get to Poland, is to go by bus to Rostov-on-Don, from there fly to Istanbul and from Istanbul to Poland.

The site mentioned in your request is very suspicious with minimal contact and other information, so I would not trust it. If you check real sites where bus tickets can be booked in Ukraine, if you try to book a bus ticket, for example, from Donetsk to Kyiv, it says "Routes not found", which is true.

As we receive similar requests all the time, our advice is to avoid sending any help to anyone claiming living in parts of Ukraine controlled by Russia at the moment. The chance that you are talking to scammers is close to 100%.

The comments of our visitors

J Gilyanna
Your Site

I have been visiting your site for almost 2 years. Your accurate, proper and direct information given to the people that ask questions is amazing. I myself have asked questions and received very useful information from you.

I have also recommended your site to my friends that are becoming interested in knowing about Ukraine. I would like you to know that we appreciate your candid help. Sincerely, Joseph


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