I just came back from a 2 week visit to Ukraine.
We flew on aerosvit from JFK to kiev and Odessa and back to JFK from Kiev.In odessa we took the Viking black sea and Dniepr river 11 days tour and then we stayed in kiev for 2 days at Sunflower B&B.
Overall it was quite enjoyable and gave us a good overview of UKraine.
I was suprised about the beauty of the crimean coast(sebastapol and Yalta) and enjoyed the historic sites at Baghche-serail and Yalta.I loved the Native music that we heard in sebastapol parks ,thanks to their 200 year anniversary.
Worst experiences were with taxi drivers.I had learned some critical russian phrases ,which were very handy.But they always wanted to take advantage.
Also the experience with Aerosvit was average at best.They left and arrived on time,but the seats on the plane were very hard and some of the toilets were non functional and most were dirty.
The history of Ukraine is quite sad .They were ruled for many centuries by others,1st the Tartars ,then the mongols and Turcs and finally by the RUssians.
The whole country was destroyed in world war II and rebuilt under the soviet rule in a shoddy fashion.
An example is the bldg ,facing the Opera house in Kiev.
The country is very poor .Many of the young have left seeking opportunities elsewhere.
Many desperate young women become prostitutes to survive.I have to say that young Ukrainian women that you see in the streets are quite attractive.
I had contacted Ukrainehosptality@ukr.net,as a result of a recommendation on this site.They picked me up at odessa airport in a new model car and were pleasant and reasonable.Also our stay at sunflower B&B was very good .Large room ,clean with good AC.
Hotels are just terrible,with ridiculous high rates
I Used cash only .which was easy with ATM's ,every where (exchange rate 1$= 7.61 UAH).No local bank fee
Taxi fare from Kiev city center to airport was $20.