Summary

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:

  • Crimea

  • Donetsk oblast

  • Lugansk oblast

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:

  • Kharkiv oblast

Events in Ukraine are fast moving. You should monitor this travel advice regularly, subscribe to email alerts and read our advice on how to deal with a crisis overseas.

Crimea

British nationals in Crimea should leave now. The FCO is not able to provide consular services to anyone choosing to remain in Crimea.

Russian forces and pro-Russian groups have established full operational control in Crimea. Following an illegal referendum on 16 March 2014, Russia illegally annexed Crimea on 21 March 2014 and tensions remain high.

Ukrainian International Airlines have cancelled all flights to and from Simferopol.

All train and official bus services to Crimea have been cancelled.

There are reports of road blocks, with private vehicles and passengers being searched but traffic is able to get through. If you’re currently visiting or living in Crimea, you should leave now. If you choose to remain, you should keep a low profile, avoid areas of protest or stand-off and stay indoors where possible.

From 4 June 2015, to enter or exit Crimea, foreign nationals will need to provide their passport and a special permit issued by the State Migration Service of Ukraine.

The Crimean sea ports of Kerch, Sevastopol, Feodosia, Yalta and Yevpatoria have been designated by the Ukrainian authorities as closed to international shipping.

Eastern and Southern Ukraine

The security situation in the southern parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in the east of Ukraine remains highly unstable with ongoing clashes between Ukrainian armed forces and Russian-backed armed separatists despite a ceasefire. This has resulted in more than 6,000 deaths and the displacement of over 1.5 million people. Civilians continue to get caught up in the fighting.

On 17 July 2014, Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in the area around Torez in Donetsk oblast, an area under separatist control.

There are no scheduled flights into or out of Donetsk and Lugansk airport.

Other parts of Ukraine, including Kyiv

The situation in Kyiv and western cities is generally calm, although occasional public demonstrations continue in and around the Verkhovna Rada (parliament building) and elsewhere in the city. On 31 August, one police officer was killed and more than 100 others injured in clashes outside the parliament building in Kyiv. You should remain vigilant and monitor the media for information about possible safety or security risks. Public demonstrations can flare up and turn violent with little warning.

There has also been a series of isolated explosions and other security incidents in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson and Lviv. These have included bombs being placed in pubs and cafes and outside banks. In February, 3 people were killed and others injured in a bomb attack on a march in Kharkiv. In Odesa at the end of June, a policeman was shot dead and another seriously injured.

You should take great care and remain vigilant throughout Ukraine. Avoid all demonstrations and take extra care in public gatherings.

The British Embassy in Kyiv is open to the public by appointment only. If you need to contact the British Embassy, please call +380 44 490 3660, or send an email to ukembinf@gmail.com

Around 44,400 British nationals visited Ukraine in 2014. Most visits are trouble-free.

Take care on the roads. There are a high number of traffic accidents, including fatalities. See Road travel

Beware of petty crime, especially in crowded areas and tourist spots or when using public transport. See Crime

There is a general threat from terrorism. See Terrorism

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.