Roads in Ukraine

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The network of trunk roads (M-highways) (some of which are expressways) of Ukraine is in blue, in green are identified automagistrals (motorways)

Roads in Ukraine (Ukrainian: Авто(мобі́льні) шляхи України, Автошляхи) is a network of automobile roads that includes various types of roadways. The roads are usually categorized into general (public) use, streets and roads within populated areas (i.e. cities/villages), and other including official, private, and special use. The general use roadways are the main traveling routes and some are part of the E-road network. High-speed highways, however, such as motorways or freeways are rare and only available on selected segments of major routes.

The Ukraine's network of roadways was inherited from the Ukrainian SSR, which was part of the bigger Soviet network of roadways. The network consists 99% of roads for public use with 12% assigned as of state importance and 87% - local importance. The whole network of all automobile roads (roadways) consists of some 172,400 km (107,100 mi) out which 164,100 km (102,000 mi) - have hard surface or 95.19%. The existing road network was mostly built in the 1960s and 1970s. For comparison in 1940 the highway network of Ukraine consisted of 270,700 kilometers which only 10.8% contained a paved surface.

Following a big construction project of national roads that started out in preparation to a sport event known as Euro 2012, conditions of roads in Ukraine according to some reports indicate that those roads could be among the worst in Europe.[1] There are some roads that have not been fixed since the fall of the Soviet Union.[1] Some critics point out that not only road conditions, but the road safety is in complete disarray and the level of police corruption has not diminished after the recent reforms.[2]


Section of the E95 M05 highway near Kiev.

After the fall of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991 all road service state organizations within Ukraine were reorganized. The highway numbering system was changed as well by the late 1990s. Today more and more cities install their own beltways or ringways to improve their traffic conditions.

The state agency Ukravtodor that was established as a state corporation in 1990 instead of the Ministry of Roadways of Soviet Ukraine is the state governing body of automobile roads in today's Ukraine. It is supplemented by a project institute Ukrhiprodor which designs objects of road management. Ukravtodor[3] is supervised by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.[4] On February 28, 2002 by the Presidential order there was created a state owned open stock company Avtomobilni dorohy Ukrainy (ADU).[5] The company is directly involved in road construction and maintenance. It consists of 32 daughter-companies in each oblast, Crimea, and the cities of national importance. The annual budget of ADU is around 4 billion hryvnias (end of the 2000s).

In 2015 the World Bank Group approved a US$560 million loan to improve road conditions in Ukraine particularly along the M03 route between Poltava and Kharkiv among others.[6]

In 2016 many of Ukraine's major provincial highways were in very poor condition, with an Ukravtodor official stating that 97% of roads are in need of repair. The road repair budget was set at about 20 billion hryvnias, but corruption caused the budget to be poorly spent and overweight trucks are common place rapidly causing more road damage.[7] In 2017 the Groysman government set in motion a three year large scale renovation of Ukraine's motorway infrastructure.[8] With a 42 billion hryvnia road repair budget for 2018.[8]


5.3 Russian road sign.svg

The state importance roads have three indexes M, H, P, T, each stand for the respective letter of Cyrillic. The state importance roads are utilized by the European E-network of highways.

The M-network of roads which stands for International network along with H-network (National) range from 01 to 23 and consist of two digits. These roads are designed for the major transportation corridors across the country and the European highway system.

The P-network (Regional) of roads ranges from 01 to 65 and also is a combination of two digits.

The T-network (Territorial) of roads are part of territorial road network within the main subdivision of Ukraine (i.e. oblasts of Ukraine) and their index includes a combination of four digits with extra two indices to identify the region where a particular road is located.


5.1 Russian road sign.svg

In Ukraine high-speed divided highways or motorways are called automagistrals which is a generic Russian-type term for high-speed road. Currently automagistrals are not designated into a separate network, instead only segments of automobile roads adopted for automagistrals.

In the late 2000s there were installed first improved highspeed freeways such as the automagistral Kiev - Boryspil (Ukrainian: Автомагістраль Київ - Бориспіль) which connected the capital with its major airport and runs along M03 road and the other one Kharkiv - Dnipro which connected to major cities and runs along M18 road. The Kiev-Boryspil freeway stretches for 18 km (11 mi) and has an ability to allow the traffic volume of 40,000 vehicles on daily basis (24 hrs). Important supplemental feature of the automagistral is an electronic informational system that allows to inform the traveling drivers of any updates on the route. That experimental project was installed in 2007 and cost 40 million hryvnia.

Road characteristics categories[edit]

Aside of classification the roads in Ukraine are categorized by the road's ability to handle a certain degree of traffic. There are five categories with roads of I category split in a and b subcategories. Also all roads of I category are considered automagistrals, however not all of them could be considered as real motorways. Around 2010 there were two major automagistrals: Kiev - Boryspil and Kharkiv - Dnipro. They are categorized as the top roads of category Ia.

Categories IA IB II III IV V
Average traffic intensity (daily) >7,000 >7,000 >3,000-7,000 >1,000-3,000 >200-1,000 <200
Maximum traffic intensity (daily) >14,000 >14,000 >6,000-14,000 >2,000-6,000 >400-2,000 <400
Estimated traffic speed, km/h 150 120 120 100 80 60
Number of lanes (in both directions) 4-6 4-6 2 2 2 1(total)
Width of lanes, m 3,75 3,75 3,75 3,75 3,5 4,5
Width of median, m 6 5 - - - -
Width of an edge reinforced lane on median, m 1 1 - - - -
Width of an edge reinforced lane on roadside, m 0,75 0,75 0,75 0,5 - -
Total road width, m 28,5 27,5 15 12 10 6
Radius of a curvature on a turn, m 1,200 800 800 600 300 150
Maximum lengthwise gradient, per mil 30 40 40 50 60 70

List of International E-road network in Ukraine[edit]

The European routes are part of the International E-road network, routes of which run not only throughout the European continent covering such remote areas as the British Isles, but also parts of the Asian continent regions such as Middle Asia, Caucasus mountains, and Asia Minor. The European routes in Ukraine mostly travel on the Ukrainian International routes network, known as M-network.

International E-road network in Ukraine

In the list below with a green background are identified the main routes. Those are either ones that end with zero (0) or five (5). Note that odd numbers have north-south directions and even numbers - east-west. With the red background are the obsolete routes.

Highway Local routes Length in Ukraine Notes
E38 P65 37 km The shortest
E40 M10 - M06 - M03 - M04 1334 km The longest
E50 M08 - M06 M12 - M04 - M03
E58 M08 - M06 - P54 - M23 - P55 ... (Moldova) ... M16 - M14
E81 P54 - M23 - P55/DN1C 41 km
E85 M19 - M19
E87 M15
E93 Changed to E95
E95 M01 - M05...(Turkey) 692 km ferry service in Odessa
E97 M17...(Russia) 423.6 km Kerch Strait ferry
E101 M01 - M02
E105 M18 M20 777 km
Auxiliary routes
E372 M09 62.5 km
E373 M07 486.5 km
E381 Kiev - Hlukhiv
E391 Hlukhiv (same as E101) 160 km
E471 M06 221 km
E573 M06 26 km
E577 Changed to E584
E581 M16 58.7 km
E583 M21 260 km
E584 M13 - M12 - M04 - M22 507 km


  • Route E471 is completely located within Ukraine.

Transportation corridors[edit]

The European route network creates several important transport corridors known as Pan-European corridors and also including such as Gdańsk-Odessa, Eurasian, Europe-Asia, ChES, and others. There exist a proposition to create a beltway around the Black Sea, traveling through the Crimean peninsula.

Among the Pan-European corridors system, Ukraine houses such corridors as III (Brussels - Dresden - Krakow - Kiev), V (Venice - Budapest - Lviv - Kiev), VII (The Danube river), and IX (Helsinki - Saint-Petersburg - Gomel - Kiev - Chisinau - Bucharest - Thrace).

Border checkpoints[edit]

Country Highway Nearest settlement Region
Russia Russia E101 Bachivsk, Hlukhiv Raion Sumy
E58 Novoazovsk
E50 Dolzhansky
E105 Shcherbakivka
E40 Izvaryne, Krasnodon Luhansk
Poland Poland Shehyni, Mostyska Raion Lviv
Krakivets, Yavoriv Raion
E372 Rava-Ruska, Zhovkva Raion
Ustyluh, Volodymyr-Volynskyi Raion Volyn
E373 Yahodyn
Hungary Hungary E573 Kosyny, Chop Zakarpattia
Slovakia Slovakia E50 Uzhhorod
Maly Berezny, Velykyy Bereznyi Raion
Moldova Moldova Kuchurhan, Rozdilnianskyi Raion
Mamalyha, Novoselytsia Raion Chernivtsi
E584 Platonove, Krasni Okny Raion
E583 Mohyliv-Podilsky Vinnytsia
Romania Romania E81 Velyka Kopanya
E87 Reni Odessa
E85 Terebleche
Belarus Belarus Domanove
E95 Novi Yarylovychi, Ripky Raion Chernihiv

Important projects[edit]

Avtomagistral Kosyny - Kiev 672 kilometres (418 mi).[9][10]

The project was confirmed in 2007 by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as part of the 2007-2011 program of roads development in Ukraine. The route will start on the border with Hungary at village Kosyny (Zakarpattya Oblast) and will connect to E95 60 kilometres (37 mi) south of Kiev (between Vasylkiv and Bila Tserkva). It is foretasted to be IA category road with the minimum of 27.5 metres (90 ft) total road width and four lanes (two in each direction). The route includes its major section Vinnytsia - Kiev[11] which will be the first stage project. It was one of the primary construction projects for the 2007-11. The Vinnytsia - Kiev avtomagistral will be 145 kilometres (90 mi) long with the estimated cost of the project is around $1 billion. It also will include 114 artificial constructions such as bridges. The road is planned to be a toll road with an alternative non-toll road running along. The whole Kosyny - Kiev project is estimated at around $5 billion and will include nine tunnels with a total length of 20 kilometres (12 mi) plus 389 other artificial constructions such as bridges, including 29 road interchanges.

Avtomagistal Dnipro - Luhansk 490 kilometres (300 mi).[12]

The project is estimated at around $5 billion and will include 875 artificial constructions such as bridges and road interchanges (30). It is planned to start the route from E105 near Novomoskovsk with the terminal end at the existing Russian border checkpoint Izvaryne.

Avtomagistal Odessa - Dnipro 559 kilometres (347 mi).[13]
Avtomagistal Yahodyn - Khmelnytsky 350 kilometres (220 mi).[14]
Avtomagistal Vinnytsia - Dnipro 530 kilometres (330 mi).[15]
Avtomagistal Odessa - Reni 261 kilometres (162 mi).[16]
New Kiev Beltway 206 kilometres (128 mi).[17]
Local road T-1410 near Lviv

Roads of local importance[edit]

The local importance roads have three classes as well, but only two indexes T, O. The Raion network of roads does not have a system implemented. The indexes for the local roads are also supplemented by an oblast index where they are located.

Indexes of territorial roads of local importance and total length of all highways per oblast
Index Oblast/City Road length, km Index Oblast/City Road length, km Index Oblast/City Road length, km
01 Crimea 6,605 10 Kiev Oblast 8,490 20 Ternopil Oblast 5,063
02 Vinnytsia Oblast 9,519 12 Kirovohrad Oblast 6,545 21 Kharkiv Oblast 9,551
03 Volyn Oblast 6,199 13 Luhansk Oblast 5,810 22 Kherson Oblast 4,950
04 Dnipropetrovsk Oblast 9,182 14 Lviv Oblast 8,334 23 Khmelnytsky Oblast 7,136
05 Donetsk Oblast 8,052 15 Mykolaiv Oblast 4,831 24 Cherkasy Oblast 6,118
06 Zhytomyr Oblast 8,513 16 Odessa Oblast 8,232 25 Chernihiv Oblast 7,680
07 Zakarpattia Oblast 3,330 17 Poltava Oblast 8,836 26 Chernivtsi Oblast 2,869
08 Zaporizhia Oblast 6,974 18 Rivne Oblast 5,056 27 Sevastopol city
09 Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast 4,160 19 Sumy Oblast 7,281

Note that the list is arranged in the order of Cyrillic(for some unexplained reasons Chernihiv oblast goes in front of Chernivtsi oblast). For example, the territorial highway 22 in Rivne Oblast would be identified as T-18-22 where 18 is the index for the Rivne Oblast. The T-network (Territorial) as the rest of the roads networks of local importance differs per oblast, but the road numbering itself consists of two digits. The Oblast network (O-network), on the other hand, has the same concept of T-network, but the road numbering contains four digits and the code does not have the hyphen as in T-networks. For example, a highway in Kharkiv Oblast would have code O-21xxxx.

Special routes in Ukraine[edit]

Behavior of some special routes in the United States

There are two main technical terms for special routes: pidyizd (ukr. під'їзд) and obyizd (ukr. об'їзд).

  • Pidyizd route is usually an access route that splits from the main route towards an important geographic point such as city, airport, park etc. On the adjacent picture it can be compared to the spur route.
  • Obyizd route is a type of ring road which is not necessarily complete. On the adjacent picture it can be compared to the bypass route, business route, truck route.

Historical routes[edit]

Populated area roadways[edit]

Types of roadways

  • Vulytsia/street, a most common and generic type of a roadway within a populated area with the English counterpart becoming more widely used
  • Shose, a broad road built for high-speed traffic for big distances with limited number of points through which drivers can access it;[18] generally accessible road, especially main road that connects cities or settlements[19]
  • Prospekt, a term for a broad, long, and straight road in big cities
  • Bulvar, a scenic broad road, such as boulevard
  • Naberezhna, a roadway along shore or bank of body of water (i.e. sea, river, or lake)
  • Obyizdna/kiltseva, a roadway around city
  • Provulok, a back street, small roadway such as side street

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Reilly, J. Is this the worst road in Europe? Try this terrifying video from the potholed 'motorways' of Ukraine where drivers hit speeds of 100mph. Daily Mail. 18 February 2013
  2. ^ Sylvester, P. Driving in Ukraine: Beware of Poor Road Safety. World Nomads. 26 Jun 2015
  3. ^ Ukravtodor Regulations ‹See Tfd›(in Ukrainian)
  4. ^ Ministry of Transportation and Communications ‹See Tfd›(in Ukrainian)
  5. ^ ADU official website ‹See Tfd›(in Ukrainian)
  6. ^ World Bank Paves the Way for Safer Roads in Ukraine. The World Bank. November 3, 2015
  7. ^ Dan Peleschuk (16 June 2016). "Ukraine's Broken Road to Europe". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  8. ^ a b Road works booming: Ukraine plans to change its road map within 3 years, UNIAN (16 November 2017)
  9. ^ Avtomagistral Kosyni - Kiev ‹See Tfd›(in Russian)
  10. ^ List of road projects
  11. ^ Avtomagistral Vinnytsia - Kiev
  12. ^ Avtomagistral Dnipro - Luhansk ‹See Tfd›(in Russian)
  13. ^ Avtomagistral Odessa - Dnipro ‹See Tfd›(in Russian)
  14. ^ Avtomagistral Yahodyn - Khmelnytsky ‹See Tfd›(in Russian)
  15. ^ Avtomagistral Vinnytsia - Dnipro ‹See Tfd›(in Russian)
  16. ^ Autobahn Odessa - Reni ‹See Tfd›(in Russian)
  17. ^ New Kiev Beltway
  18. ^ Definition of shose
  19. ^ Another definition of shose