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Ukraine Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Jun 05, 2014

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Ukraine due to ongoing violence and political instability. Violent clashes continue between pro-Russian groups and Ukrainian forces in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. In addition, Russian military forces continue to occupy the Crimean Peninsula and are present on the eastern border of Ukraine. This supersedes the Travel Warning for Ukraine dated May 8 to provide updated information on the security situation in southern and eastern Ukraine.

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer all travel to the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Armed separatist groups continue to control areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. These groups have established illegal checkpoints and have threatened, detained, or kidnapped individuals, including U.S. citizens, for hours or days. Violent clashes between separatists and Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine have escalated over the past month and have resulted in hundreds of injuries and deaths. Some of these clashes have included the use of armored vehicles, aircraft, and other military weapons. Widespread disorder and looting has been reported in the separatist controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. Additionally, groups advocating closer ties to Russia have taken on a more strident anti-American tone, especially in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. U.S. citizens who choose to remain in conflict areas should maintain a low profile and avoid large crowds and gatherings.

The Department of State also warns U.S. citizens to defer all travel to the Crimean Peninsula, and exercise caution in the southern city of Odesa. Russian forces have occupied the Crimean Peninsula in support of the Russian Federation's claim of Crimean annexation and these forces are likely to continue to take further actions in the Crimean Peninsula consistent with its claim. The United States and Ukraine do not recognize this claimed annexation. The Russian Federation maintains an extensive military presence in Crimea and along the border of eastern Ukraine.

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 and shelter in place for extended periods of time should clashes occur in their vicinity.

Peace Corps Volunteers departed Ukraine on February 25, and remain out of the country at this time. U.S. Embassy Kyiv's Consular Section is open for all public services; however, in light of the ongoing political unrest, the Embassy has restricted Embassy personnel from traveling to areas in eastern Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula. As a result, the Embassy's ability to respond to emergencies involving U.S. citizens outside of Kyiv, especially in southern and eastern Ukraine, is extremely limited.

Ground transportation may be disrupted throughout the country. Drivers may encounter roadblocks that restrict access on certain roads. Commercial air travel, especially to and from the eastern regions of Ukraine, may be delayed or suspended with little or no notice. Commercial air travel out of the Crimean Peninsula is limited to travel to and from the Russian Federation. Travelers should check with their airlines for possible flight delays or cancellations prior to travel.

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Ukraine are strongly encouraged to enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive the latest travel updates and to obtain updated information on security within Ukraine. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

For inquiries regarding U.S. citizens in Ukraine related to the current unrest, please call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444, or email the Department of State at UkraineEmergencyUSC@state.gov. 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). For emergency assistance for U.S. citizens in Ukraine, you may contact the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv at +380-44-521-5000 during regular business hours, or after-hours at +380-44-521-5000. The U.S. Embassy is located at 4 A.I. Sikorsky St. (formerly Tankova) in Kyiv.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens should regularly monitor the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts and Travel Warnings, and Country Specific Information can be found. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. 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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