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  #21  
Old 29.04.2019, 16:54
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

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Some of you are way too dramatic, Ukraine is the size of Texas, and more or less as safe. Probably similar amount of arms and militia and most of people are simply nice (like everywhere), so OP shouldn't have any problem. There is enough of info on internet which areas to avoid.



- learn few words in Russian, do not expect many people to speak English

- and heed the advice of ownership of the car, try to have a document in Russian


btw. I passed trough few countries (including Russia) with photocopies of my

documents, as I lost the originals. So scan everything and put it in the cloud.
It would be nice (and respectful) to learn a few words of Ukrainian, rather than Russian, when visiting Ukraine.
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  #22  
Old 01.05.2019, 03:34
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

Belarusian here.



My 5 cents. I would be extra cautious and look around if I went to Ukraine. Also keep mind that Ukrainian roads are poorly maintained, and your trip can end abruptly if you run over a huge pothole. Keep your eyes on the road. Can't comment on Moldova as I have never been there.



Now Belarus and Lithuania. These are pretty safe countries. I suggest that you have some local cash in hand as credit cards may not be accepted in small town. No such problem in Minsk / Vilnius. Take what people said about Belarus in this thread with a grain of salt. Yes, Belarus has an authoritarian government. Does this affect tourists? No, unless you join an anti-government demonstration. Minsk is a beautiful, modern, clean and safe city with a lot of things to do. I am sure that you will be pleasantly surprised.



Feel free to PM me if you have any questions about Belarus.
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  #23  
Old 01.05.2019, 09:48
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

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I have a few weeks free time this summer (2019) and I love visiting places that others tend to fly-over.

So I'm looking to drive through a few countries and I'm hoping someone has done this and can share a bit of their experiences. I'm doing my research now but it would be helpful to hear others experiences and places for me to save time researching.

Countries visiting:
* Moldova
* Ukraine
* Belarus
* Lithuania

Driving how?
* My personal car
* Purchased / insured in Switzerland / licenses plated
* Car registered in Spouses name (spouse will NOT be on this trip)

Me:
* USA citizen/passport holder
* USA & Swiss Drivers license

Route: TBD

Hotel: Camping (no need for hotels)

When: June 2019

Main questions:
* Can I drive my own car into these countries
* Some countries will require additional car insurance, can I buy that at the border crossing - or do I need to purchase prior to departure?
* I think Belarus is the only place I need a Visa. I think I have to go to Bern for that - is that correct?
* Can I expect that Credit cards are accepted in these countries for stuff like: Toll roads, extra insurance for the car, grocery stores, gas stations....


Thanks for the help - I'm very excited to see these countries, I know there is sooooo much more to research but these are my primary questions.
no problem
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  #24  
Old 01.05.2019, 10:13
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

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Also keep mind that Ukrainian roads are poorly maintained, and your trip can end abruptly if you run over a huge pothole. Keep your eyes on the road. Can't comment on Moldova as I have never been there.
Pot holes can be pretty huge anywhere in Eastern Europe. I hit one in Romania once that ripped a huge hole in a tyre and dented the wheel rim.
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Old 01.05.2019, 11:26
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

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Pot holes can be pretty huge anywhere in Eastern Europe. I hit one in Romania once that ripped a huge hole in a tyre and dented the wheel rim.
Would be better if you rented an old tank from the war.
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  #26  
Old 01.05.2019, 11:44
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

And here are the facts:

https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat...orld-factbook/


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  #27  
Old 01.05.2019, 12:34
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

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It would be nice (and respectful) to learn a few words of Ukrainian, rather than Russian, when visiting Ukraine.
From his groan, I see that Sultan of Swing still longs for the good old days of the USSR. Meanwhile, other people know that Ukraine is an independent country, very distinct from Russia, with its own language, Ukrainian, which is only 50% mutually intelligible with spoken Russian, and which happens to be the only official language of Ukraine. It's also the native language of more than two thirds of the people living in Ukraine. Even its new Russian-speaking president-elect supports the compulsory use of Ukrainian in government departments, to promote and protect the Ukrainian identity.

Therefore it would be polite and respectful, not to mention sensible and practical, to learn a few words of Ukrainian, rather than Russian, if you plan to visit Ukraine.
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Old 04.05.2019, 12:52
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

What a joke... Nobody wanted to attack Belarus from Western Europe

It is just a simple rule - you need a permit to be in a border zone. Remember, that border is the last point going out of EU. That means different customs procedures etc. A lot of petrol, cigarettes etc are being smuggled illegally through that border every day. You cannot just wonder around like nothing is happening. There are many stories when mushroom pickers got into big trouble when accidentally went to a border zone or even crossed the border.

And of course, nothing really changed since then. The same rule applies.


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Word of warning: about 12 years ago, traveling through Lithuania and Belarus in search of our family roots, we were almost arrested for being in the border zone (near to Vilnius) without a special permit (that we did not know we needed). These special permits were required as the government narrative at the time was that Belarus was in danger of being attacked by western forces.

We were pressured for hours by different officials, likely for bribes. I started to get worried when my mother, who was experienced dealing with totalitarian regimes, warned us to watch out for the possibility of illegal substances planted in our guesthouse room . Finally, we were saved by a member of our extended family who happened to be the mayor of some villages closeby the small town we stayed in.

That night at his house, the chief police officer of the region called us to apologize and to ask to please not speak to western media about the occasion. I can only guess what would have happened had we not been well connected. On the way back to Vilnius our car was stopped again by an army checkpoint. We all cheered upon crossing the border to Lithuania.

Of course, things might have improved since then
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  #29  
Old 04.05.2019, 18:16
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

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I have a few weeks free time this summer (2019) and I love visiting places that others tend to fly-over.

So I'm looking to drive through a few countries and I'm hoping someone has done this and can share a bit of their experiences. I'm doing my research now but it would be helpful to hear others experiences and places for me to save time researching.

Countries visiting:
* Moldova
* Ukraine
* Belarus
* Lithuania

Driving how?
* My personal car
* Purchased / insured in Switzerland / licenses plated
* Car registered in Spouses name (spouse will NOT be on this trip)

Me:
* USA citizen/passport holder
* USA & Swiss Drivers license

Route: TBD

Hotel: Camping (no need for hotels)

When: June 2019

Main questions:
* Can I drive my own car into these countries
* Some countries will require additional car insurance, can I buy that at the border crossing - or do I need to purchase prior to departure?
* I think Belarus is the only place I need a Visa. I think I have to go to Bern for that - is that correct?
* Can I expect that Credit cards are accepted in these countries for stuff like: Toll roads, extra insurance for the car, grocery stores, gas stations....


Thanks for the help - I'm very excited to see these countries, I know there is sooooo much more to research but these are my primary questions.
Some interesting facts

https://easterneuropeanwoman.com/bel...ey_are_amazing
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  #30  
Old 04.05.2019, 21:17
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

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What a joke... Nobody wanted to attack Belarus from Western Europe
Of course not! But the state propaganda machine was built on the notion of security: life outside of Belarus was dangerous and inside safe and calm because of the constant struggle of the authorities with external and internal enemies.

You can interpret:

’BORDER ZONE - land area....designed to protect the State Border..’ however you like it.

You are right though that the border zone still exists (not only towards EU but also Ukraine) and you still need a permit to be in it:

https://gpk.gov.by/en/border-zone-bo...eign-citizens/
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  #31  
Old 04.05.2019, 23:37
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

Personally, I'd rather drive to Burkina Faso.

Any ideas on how to get there?
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  #32  
Old 05.05.2019, 00:08
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

Another idea would be to goggle local /Ukrainian, Belorussian, Moldovan/ car/motorbike clubs and get in touch with them. They will prove to be of good value when the going gets tough.

You will most certainly get help from them, will get to know new and interesting people. Strength in numbers - they may be the numbers you'd need.

But get ready "to lay the 'polyana'" for them though.
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  #33  
Old 09.05.2019, 01:57
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

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From his groan, I see that Sultan of Swing still longs for the good old days of the USSR

Why not Tsar's Russia then?

The button "report an ignorant victim of Western propaganda" button was not available, so I resorted to a "groan", to make any tourist aware of your fueled by political correctness, yet evenly impractical "suggestion". Sadly your poke about USSR just reinforced that.

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Meanwhile, other people know that Ukraine is an independent country, very distinct from Russia, with its own language, Ukrainian,
As far as 18 years in its "independencde", 83% of the inhabitants of Ukranian territory preferred the Russian language for everyday communication. Nevertheless, Russian is a widely used language in Ukraine in pop culture and informal and business communications.



Speaking about pop culture and television, national TV:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as0ryIlwayg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIkKv6zER3w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO-HMr8JP2s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVQjDxF02sM

Everyone is speaking their language to the face of the other, the judges speak what they want, no signs of disrespect, the crowd is cheering in Russian, and seemingly all convos surpassed the "50% intelligibleness". I am surprised you did not attempt your "sensible and practical" knowledge on Belorussia and Moldavia, where one supposedly has to please the locals with Belorussian and Moldavian(God forbid Romanian!) languages.

Mentioned here "bald and bankrupt", while roaming in and out of Minsk, getting lunched by some Belorussian chicks - used Russian everywhere, which he learned while married to a Belorussian. No word of Belorussian through all the videos, no disrepect towards or questions from the locals either.

To top it off, he even widely conversed in Russian all over Kishinev, and one can hear people speaking Russian on the streets while he's filming around. Or these countries are any less distinct and independent? Getting drunk with Moldavian babushkas in the boonies and conversing in Russian, again.

Boom, roasted. A perfect example of how is it actually very practical and sensible to learn a handfull amount of Russian while travelling all the way from BY to MO. Irrespective of how soft your spot for former republics(or only one for some odd reason) is, Russian language has been around as a communication tool for centuries in what today known as CIS, and will preserve its status quo, as politically incorrect it might get.

Btw, a tourist pays(literally) respect by visiting a country, not by adhering to current political trends. Well, a normal tourist anyway.

As far as false accusations go(longing for the CCCP), I take the opportunity to return you a favor and say, that it is exactly people with your mindset who instigate wars and hate between very similar groups of people, by picking differencies, promoting them and sponsoring "democratic elections" accompanied by other dirty tricks, all over the world. You are welcome.

While we are at it, a short summary of how CCCP felt to an average Ion:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnDxHTaeNX0 - 5:45 onwards, then 15:15



Quote:
Even its new Russian-speaking president-elect supports
how easy is it to trick you, as if you did not know that wanna-be-candidates would say whatever the masses want to hear at that moment in history:

In every Ukrainian election, many politicians, such as former president Leonid Kuchma, used their promise of making Russian a second state language to win support.

The guy himself had a succesful run in Russia as an actor, returned home, portrayed himself as an honest president in a series called "People's servant". Oh, and do I need to mention that he worked/is working for the channel owned by another tycoon? So yeah, Ukraine got a new "president" - tragicomedy ensues.
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  #34  
Old 09.05.2019, 07:04
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

Yes, everyone wants to be Russian in those republics. Sultan of Swing, stop lying.

You're deliberately misinforming people with your piece of Russian propaganda. I thought that was over and that people are smarter these days, but no. It's sad that you (I bet you do) believe in all this shit. Have a good day.


That being said, OP, people won't mind if you speak to them in Russian. Russian language was enforced upon them for decades, so they know it. People are kind and won't pretend you know everything about their history or languages. Besides, a large minority in any of this republics is made up by Russians, especially in Ukraine. Pay attention to the roads, and use your English - even better. We're humble and don't pretend or demand anyone else to learn our language and actually know anything about us in those parts of the world. History took care of that.
Enjoy.
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  #35  
Old 10.05.2019, 00:43
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

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Yes, everyone wants to be Russian in those republics. Sultan of Swing, stop lying.
Not once did I mention a nationatility or denied existence of non-Russian ones in there, all I did was confronting that pretentious nonsense of a suggestion and backed it up with facts/quotes/videos. And you better prove what did I lie about or stop flashing catchy words.

A random video of a scam in Paris: https://youtu.be/n3IX-e7s4z4 , 0:30 onwards
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You're deliberately misinforming people with your piece of Russian propaganda. I thought that was over and that people are smarter these days, but no. It's sad that you (I bet you do) believe in all this shit. Have a good day.
Am I? Again, you either prove your "opinion", or stop throwing accusations. It is way to easy to shrug everything off as "propaganda" that does not fit your biased perception, especially your agenda, that you are trying to push this hard to score your "victimized" points.

What really is sad is that some individuals can't stand how ubiquitous Russian language is, and therefore practical to have while en route in the CIS.
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That being said, OP, people won't mind if you speak to them in Russian. Russian language was enforced upon them for decades, so they know it.
Now this is pathetic. Back then the Russian language was (if not still is) their path to education, culture, trades. Besides, you know, any big country has to be managed in one language, be it Latin, Napoleonic French, or imperial English. Yet it is the flithy Russians which "enforced" the Russian as lingua franca in their empire. It was "enforced" to such an extent, that a good family friend of ours, born and bred on Ukrainian territory, speaks perfect Mova, always spoke it to her mother(who I even doubt spoke any decent Russian), knows a whole host of Ukrainian folklore, studied Ukrainian at school as well as Ukrainian literature etc. Got her degree in nuclear physics in Moscow, in Russian. Where she met another non-Russian national from one of the republics, who spoke even two non-Russian languages natively. Both had good careers as physicians.

So that your lies stop here: any individual was able to maintain their native language in the CCCP, Russian was required to get into the economy. It was one country after all. It is no different today in any other country out there, but hey, who craves for facts when ostracizing Russians is at stake?
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"and use your English - even better. "
OP, just watch "bald and bankrupt" and make up your mind.

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We're humble and don't pretend or demand anyone else to learn our language and actually know anything about us in those parts of the world. History took care of that."
you're so humble, that without the EU knowing it, proclaimed yourselves as the EU on those countless Maidans. laughable. By far it is Western tax-payers taking care of your territory, while you are busy settling in Canada and elsewhere.
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  #36  
Old 10.05.2019, 07:45
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

"Ostracising Russians" "instigating to wars" etc etc lots of crap in your posts on this thread. What's your problem, can't stand the fact that those countries have their own languages apart from Russian ? That was the whole point here which you started to deny. Russian style. (though I have to be fair here - in real life I haven't met Russians denying the obvious, rather the "apologetic" type)

Go away, let this thread be. You can post plenty of videos and links to support whatever point you want to make because everybody can post everything on the internet, but facts are facts (yes, Russian language too is well and alive in those places which kind of contradicts your lies i.e. "ostracising Russian folks" lol)
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Old 10.05.2019, 09:18
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

Well, I for one am jealous of the OP's trip and hope he will post some pictures and stories of his adventures here.
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Old 10.05.2019, 10:51
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

And you don't think any of the current poverty was due to the stealing from the state of assets that used to belong to everyone (and generated income for them) by a few when the USSR broke up?

Of course people preferred it before everything was stolen from them.

Was the USSR so good?
Look at at the state of the once fine countries that were completely ruined by the USSR? Poland, Romania, Czech.R. and so on.
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Old 10.05.2019, 11:40
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

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Well, I for one am jealous of the OP's trip and hope he will post some pictures and stories of his adventures here.
At this point I feel like locking myself in my apartment and never leaving. So many negative opinions all over the place - I'm not sure visiting ANYWHERE is "safe".
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Old 10.05.2019, 12:06
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Re: Driving trip through -- Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus....

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At this point I feel like locking myself in my apartment and never leaving. So many negative opinions all over the place - I'm not sure visiting ANYWHERE is "safe".
The walls of your apartement are made of concrete, which exerts Radon gas which will give you cancer and kill you. Better to go on a roadtrip !
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