Crossing the Border Between Russian and Ukraine by Train… (Dec. 2011)

Sveta and I just got back from Ukraine and we had a great time spending Christmas there. One of the things that I like to do is to keep people abreast of any changes by the border guards as I travel. There was a change this time and it was on the Russian side. The Russians had new electronic gadgets to record and scan electronic passports now. Not just one or two of them but all of the border guards I saw had these new devises. The devises were a walkies-talkie, PDA, scanner and who knows what all in one devise. They even had a camouflage case to cover them with…

I know why they are doing this and it makes sense when the rest of the world, including Russia, are going to electronic passports. I have had a electronic passport since my last one was stolen several years ago and the USA replaced it with a scannable version…

It looks like Russia is finally getting closer to having a electronic database on people as they cross the border. They do not have it yet but they are working on it. They still carry a huge book to look up names in and check if you are on a not wanted list in Russia. Sometimes they have to call and have another book brought and they check two books against your name. Looks like sometime in the future Russia will have all that on electronics… :)

But all in all, crossing the border by train into Ukraine is easy and quick. I never have any issues (Knock on wood please!) and have gotten to know many of the border guards and they are really good people…

So nothing very exciting about a border controls this time. New toys and such is the extent of it all…

Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia!


kKEETON @ Windows to Russia…

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