The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer all travel to Crimea and the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, and recommends those U.S. citizens currently living in or visiting these regions to depart. This supersedes the Travel Warning for Ukraine dated January 5 to provide updated information on the security situation in southern and eastern Ukraine.
Russia-backed separatists continue to control areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. Despite the signing of a ceasefire agreement by representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE, violent clashes between combined Russian separatist forces and Ukrainian forces continue in parts of the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, resulting in thousands of injuries and deaths. The ceasefire agreement established a de facto dividing line between Ukrainian government-controlled and separatist-held areas of Ukraine, with numerous checkpoints controlled by government and separatist forces. Individuals, including U.S. citizens, have been threatened, detained or kidnapped for hours or days after being stopped at separatist checkpoints. The Government of Ukraine has stated that foreigners, including U.S. citizens, who enter Ukraine from Russia through separatist-controlled territory, will not be allowed through checkpoints into government-controlled territory.
The Department of State also warns U.S. citizens to defer all travel to the Crimean Peninsula, which is occupied by Russia. The Russian Federation is likely to take further actions in Crimea throughout the remainder of 2015 consistent with its attempted unlawful annexation and occupation of this part of Ukraine. The international community, including the United States and Ukraine, does not recognize this purported annexation. The Russian Federation maintains an extensive military presence in Crimea and along the border of eastern Ukraine. In addition, there are continuing reports of abuses against the local population by de facto authorities in Crimea, particularly against those who are seen as challenging their authority on the peninsula. The Government of Ukraine prevents foreigners, including U.S. citizens, who enter Crimea directly from any country other than Ukraine, from entering mainland Ukraine.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to be concerned about the significant threat to civil aviation operating within Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk (UKDV) Flight Information Region (FIR) due to the ongoing attacks by combined Russian-backed separatist forces on Ukrainian forces in parts of the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. In addition, the FAA is concerned that civil aircraft operating in the Simferopol (UKFV) FIR may receive conflicting air traffic control instructions from both Ukrainian and Russian air traffic service providers as the result of the Russian Federation’s purported annexation of this area. As a result, as of 2014 the FAA prohibits U.S. civil aviation from flying in the Ukrainian Simferopol and Dnepropetrovsk FIRS. This prohibition remains in effect. For additional background information regarding FAA flight prohibitions and advisories for U.S. civil aviation, consult the FAA’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices web page.
The situation in Ukraine is unpredictable and could change quickly. U.S. citizens throughout Ukraine should avoid large crowds and be prepared to remain indoors should protests or demonstrations escalate. U.S. citizens should especially exercise extreme vigilance in public places in the regions of Odesa and Kharkiv due to a continuing increase in small scale terrorism incidents.
U.S. Embassy Kyiv’s Consular Section is open for all public services; however, in light of the ongoing unrest, the Embassy has severely restricted the travel of U.S. government personnel to Donetsk, Luhansk and the Crimean Peninsula, and occasionally limits travel to other adjacent regions. As a result, the Embassy’s ability to provide consular services, including responding to emergencies, to U.S. citizens in eastern Ukraine and Ukraine’s Crimean region is extremely limited.
For further information:
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Ukraine Country Specific Information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, located at 4 A.I Sikorsky Street (formerly Tankova) at +380-44-521-5566, or e-mailUkraineEmergencyUSC@state.gov 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +380-44-521-5000.
- Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, at 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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