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10 Aug. 2023

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How many foreigners entered Ukraine during the war: an interview with a representative of the Border Guard Service

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How many foreigners entered Ukraine during the war: an interview with a representative of the Border Guard Service

The dynamics of foreigners crossing the Ukrainian border is constantly changing. Find out how many foreigners crossed the border in both directions and for what purpose, as well as how the number of refusals to enter Ukraine has changed

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It is known that the load on Ukraine's border crossing points has increased significantly in recent months, causing long queues at the border. We decided to ask Andriy Demchenko, a spokesperson for the State Border Guard Service, what share of passenger traffic is made up of foreigners, how the dynamics of traffic to and from the country has changed, and whether the number of denials of entry to Ukraine has increased compared to 2022. 


We have previously told you more about how to plan a trip to Ukraine from a legal point of view. Read the answers to the most frequently asked questions of foreigners from Visit Ukraine lawyers here.


How has the passenger and transport flow to enter Ukraine changed? 


The flow of foreigners who crossed and are crossing the border of Ukraine in 2022 and 2023 is quite dynamic and differs in terms of statistical indicators and traffic dynamics. Of course, the number of foreign nationals crossing the Ukrainian border to enter and leave was affected by the war waged by russia against our country. 

In addition, it should be understood that since the beginning of russia's full-scale invasion, the directions of movement have changed significantly, as the Government of Ukraine has closed the checkpoints on the border with russia, belarus and the Transnistrian segment of the border with Moldova, and also stopped air traffic, which had previously been a very active way for citizens to cross the border of Ukraine.

Crossing operations are now carried out only at checkpoints on the border with the EU and on the Moldovan section, with the exception of the Transnistrian segment.


Has the number of foreigners entering and leaving Ukraine increased?


If we compare 7 months of 2023 and 2022, the overall passenger traffic of foreigners decreased by almost 9%. However, the dynamics of border crossings by foreigners shows that their number entering Ukraine this year and last year remains at the same level - more than 1.3 million people each:

— 7 months of 2022 - the total number of border crossings by foreigners amounted to 2.9 million people, of which 250 thousand more citizens crossed the border to leave Ukraine.

— 7 months of 2023 - the total number of border crossings by foreigners amounted to 2.65 million people, of whom 20 thousand more crossed the border to enter Ukraine.


A significant predominance of foreigners leaving Ukraine was recorded in the first months of 2022 (January, February, and March), but since April last year and until now, more people have been crossing the border to enter.

Despite the overall decrease in the number of foreigners compared to those who crossed the border of Ukraine before russia's full-scale invasion (January 2022 - 720 thousand, February 2022 - 532 thousand, March 2022 - 372 thousand, April 2022 - 301 thousand), since last summer, there has been a tendency to increase the number of crossings of the Ukrainian border by citizens of foreign countries (July 2022 - 366 thousand, March 2023 - 373 thousand, June 2023 - 406 thousand, July 2023 - 449 thousand) with a slight advantage of entry into Ukraine.




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What countries' citizens travel to Ukraine most often? 


Due to russia's aggressive policy towards Ukraine, the closure of checkpoints, reorientation of routes to cross the border of Ukraine, and the termination of air traffic, the number of foreigners crossing the border of Ukraine has changed.

However, in 2023, the largest number of people crossing the Ukrainian border for entry were citizens of Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, whose numbers increased compared to last year, as well as citizens of Poland, Hungary, Turkey, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Israel. 


Has the number of entry denials to Ukraine increased compared to 2022?


Due to changes in the number of foreigners wishing to cross the border, including the closure of checkpoints, suspension of air traffic and changes in the ways of crossing the border of Ukraine, the statistics of refusals to cross the border of Ukraine for foreign citizens is also different. In the first 7 months of 2023, 3.3 thousand refusals were issued to foreign nationals to cross the border of Ukraine to enter our country. This is half as many as in the same period in 2022. 


What are the most common reasons for refusing to cross the border to enter Ukraine?


The main reasons for refusals are entry restrictions, failure to confirm the purpose of the trip, overstaying in Ukraine, etc.


Please note! Currently, traveling to Ukraine is associated with certain risks, and therefore we recommend that you take care not only of the legal aspects of entry, but also of your own safety when planning your trip. An insurance policy covering military risks is the best option to protect your life and health. You can take out insurance quickly and easily online by following the link. Read more about the benefits of this type of insurance policy here.


We remind you! You can get to Ukraine by public transport or by your own car. For the convenience of travelers, we have collected the most convenient routes to get to Ukraine from:

USA — Canada — Poland — Germany — Slovakia — Hungary — Italy — France — the Netherlands — 

the Czech Republic — Lithuania — Switzerland — Sweden — Turkey — Austria — Denmark — Portugal —

Georgia — Bulgaria — India.

You can view bus/train/plane schedules and purchase tickets for a convenient date and time here.


Photo: dpsu.gov.ua




We recommend purchasing it for a safe and comfortable trip to Ukraine: 


Visit Ukraine Insurance - safe travel in Ukraine (insurance covering military risks);

Visit Ukraine Tickets - book bus and train tickets to/from Ukraine;

Visit Ukraine Tours - the largest online database of tours to Ukraine for every taste;

Visit Ukraine Hotels - book hotels for a comfortable stay in Ukraine;

Visit Ukraine Merch - choose patriotic clothing and accessories with worldwide delivery.

Cooperation - cooperation and advertising integrations with Visit Ukraine and Visit World projects.




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