Driving in Kyiv

Most westerners will find driving along Khrescatyk and several other main throughfares relatively easy. The problem kick in when you try to drive anywhere outside of these well-surfaced and signposted routes.The condition of most roads in Ukraine is basicaly wretched, especially afer the winter thaw. Sometimes the mosaic of potholes almost evokes feelings of aesthetic admiration among drivers, although your car - shook to bits - will undoubtedly disagree. At least most holes do get repaired, eventually...
Another problem is the decrepit traffic lights. They are not at all that bright, and sometimes it is dificult to tell which light is actually lit and which just has the sun shining on it to make it appear lit. Road markings - especially the central line separating one side of road from the other - can often be missing. In this case you should do what the locals do and decide for yourself where the line is. Just make sure that others drivers understand your intentions. Parking is dificult in the city centre, althought it became considerably easier recently when the sidewalks were opened to cars. Certain streets are patrolled by uniformed parking officials who collect payment (prices start at 2Hr per hour) and who will help you to get out of your parking space and back into to the heavy traffic flow.
According to Ukrainian law foreign drivers should carry an International Driving Licence in addition to the licence from their home country. You will need to acquire such a licence in your country of origin. As with just above everywhere in the world, the policy will stop you for any sign of illegal or dangerous driving. Traffic cops have been legally deprived of their traditional right to impose on-the-spot fines, however, and can now only write you a ticket and send the case to court. In some cases a 'donation' can save a lot of time and trouble, but there is currently a highly public campaign going on to eliminate this type of behavior. Meantime significant increases in trafic fines are imminent.