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Many foreign men are tempted to Kiev by the prospect of a relationship with a young and beautiful Ukrainian woman.In most cases these so-called relationships usually begin online, through a dating agency website or social network.Shopping extravaganzas and visits to expensive restaurants are the usual methods of extracting cash.When we venture into Kiev in the afternoon we’ll inevitably see at least one aging foreigner being dragged around the city’s boutiques by a beautiful young girl and their ‘interpreter’.Organized crime does exist, but unless you’re coming to Kiev to open a chain of casinos the mafias are extremely unlikely to take an interest in you.Crimes perpetrated against visitors are generally low level.Taxi scams are also common but can easily be avoided.
In general, Kiev is as safe as most Western European countries.
We have never been stopped in the street by the police and very rarely see others being stopped and having their documents checked.
We personally consider it much better to leave our passports in a safe place than to routinely carry it in person and risk losing them. If you have committed an offence they will usually give you the option of going down the official route or paying a bribe and going on your way.
We personally doubt whether they are as widespread as made out.
In over 10 years of visiting and living in Kiev we have never been the victims of a street scam and have never met anybody who has actually fallen prey to such a crime.