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I'm now in Ukraine, trying to hittchike in Crimea and around Odesa. What you wrote is not correct i think, you said :/ you are occasionally asked for money from drivers /, i think better to say : /you are allways asked to pay from drivers, and occasionally after telling them you are a poor student/traveler, they can maybe give you a lift for free/ We tryed to hitchhike for free in Crimea, to find a driver who dont ask money we usualy had to stop 10 cars before someone want to take us for free, if you say: we dont have money, they say : ok, no money no lift. And the price asked was often taxi price more than bus price, after talking we could sometime get a ride for half of the price of the bus ticket.In Odessa it was the same probleme. We met some ukrainians hitchhikers who told us they get rides for free when its a truck who stop. We was using Russian language in the begining, after we decide to use English to know if drivers behave diferently, but it was the same.