Security Alert: Attack on Ukraine

Location: Ukraine

Event: There are reports of Russian attacks on targets in a number of major Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Mariupol, and others. U.S. citizens in Ukraine are advised to shelter in place and take the following actions:

  • If you hear a loud explosion or if sirens are activated, immediately seek cover.
  • If in a home or a building, go to the lowest level of the structure with the fewest exterior walls, windows, and openings; close any doors and sit near an interior wall, away from any windows or openings.
  • If you are outdoors, immediately seek cover in a hardened structure; if that is not possible, lie down and cover your head with your hands.
  • Be aware that even if the incoming missile or drone is intercepted, falling debris represents a significant risk.
  • After the attack, stay away from any debris, and monitor major news outlets for official guidance.

Further Russian military action can occur at any time without warning. U.S. citizens throughout Ukraine are strongly encouraged to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. Know the location of your closest shelter or protected space.  In the event of mortar and/or rocket fire, follow the instructions from local authorities and seek shelter immediately.  If you feel that your current location is no longer safe, you should carefully assess the potential risks involved in moving to a different location.

On February 24, 2022, the Department of State suspended consular operations in Lviv, Ukraine, following the suspension of consular services at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv on February 12, 2022.  U.S. citizens seeking emergency assistance and those who decide to remain in Ukraine should complete this online form and the State Department will respond.  The U.S. government will not be able to evacuate U.S. citizens from Ukraine. Please review what the U.S. government can and cannot do to assist you in a crisis overseas.  U.S. citizens may seek consular services, including requests for repatriation loans, passport and visa services, at U.S. Embassies in the following neighboring countries.

Since January 24, 2022, the United States has been urging American citizens to leave Ukraine immediately, due to the threat of Russian military action.  For those seeking to depart Ukraine by land to Poland, the U.S. government has established a 24-hour Welcome Center in Przemysl, Poland, near the Poland/Ukraine border.  See our Security Alert of February 14 for detailed information on the Welcome Center and contact information.  On February 12, the U.S. Embassy issued a Security Alert informing U.S. citizens of the opening of the Poland/Ukraine land border for U.S. citizens and providing border crossing information.  For land border crossing information please see our February 14 Security Alert – Overland Border Crossing for Departing Ukraine.

Actions to Take:

  • Visit the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv’s webpage to view the most recent safety and security alerts for U.S. citizens.
  • Regularly monitor local and international news and social media news channels.
  • Ensure travel documents are valid and easily accessible.
  • Review your personal security plans and always have a contingency plan in place that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Get a COVID vaccine to facilitate your travel.
  • Enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy to contact you in an emergency.
  • Regularly monitor the State Department’s website for current Travel Advisories.  Read the Country Specific Information for Ukraine. For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.
  • Please see information on What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis.

For Assistance:

  • Complete the Department of State’s online assistance form;
  • Call +1 606 260 4379 (outside the U.S.) or +1 833 741 2777 (from the U.S.); or
  • Email