There's never a bad reason for traveling, and hopping on a flight to Ukraine is certainly one way to search for your friend in the country. If that's impractical, then there are other methods you can use to locate your friend overseas. Facebook is a quick-and-easy place to search and it's expanding at a rapid rate in Ukraine, or you could take a look at a city-specific White Pages.
Find Your Friend on Facebook
Until recently, Russian websites VKontakte and Odnoklassniki were the most popular social media platforms in Ukraine. Since the Ukraine government banned these sites, millions have turned to Facebook as their preferred social platform; around one fifth of the Ukrainian population now has a Facebook account. If your friend has a public profile, simply typing her name into the search bar should bring it up. If you click the "People" icon on the left side of the page and then "location" from the drop-down menu, you can narrow your result by country or city.
Find People on Google Plus
If you have a Google+ account, you can use the "people" tab on the left-hand side of the page to find Ukraine citizens by name. Unfortunately, you can't reliably narrow results based on location, but you could type the city or country into the search box to narrow your results. For example, you might type "Andriy Shevchenko Kiev." Other options include searching by employer or job description. If you know where your friend works or worked, for example, type the employer's name into the search function. This should pull up the profiles of everyone with a Google+ account who works at that company. Send someone a message and ask if they know your friend.
Use the Phone Book
Ukraine has a limited, unofficial White Pages directory. It works exactly the same way as a U.S. phone directory, but the results are not at all comprehensive compared to what you would find in the U.S. You'll also need to know the person's city, or be prepared to run a lot of searches, to find a match. To perform a Ukraine address lookup, navigate to SpravkaRU.net – there's an English language version of the site – and click the tab for "Ukraine." From the drop-down list, select the person's last-known city of residence. Enter the person's first and last name and see what turns up. If your friend is listed, you should get a telephone number and address.
If you're prepared to spend money to find your friend, you could hire an international or Ukraine-based detective agency to do the searching for you. These agencies are permitted to search civil records and court records that the public generally cannot access. You'll need at least some identifying information such as the person's name, date of birth, approximate age, city of residence or where he went to school. As always, the more information you can give to the search agency, the easier it will be for them to find your friend. Since language may be an issue, make sure you know what services you're getting before you buy.
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- Check with your telephone provider before placing a call outside of the country. Additional rates may apply.
A former corporate real estate lawyer, Jayne Thompson writes about law, business and personal finance, drawing on 17 years’ experience in the legal sector. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Birmingham and a Masters in International Law from the University of East London. Her work has appeared on numerous legal blogs including Quittance, Upcounsel and Medical Negligence Experts. Find her at www.whiterosecopywriting.com.