Foreign travel advice

Ukraine

Summary

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

  • Donetsk oblast

  • Luhansk oblast

  • Crimea

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.

Eastern Ukraine

The FCO isn’t able to provide consular services to anyone in the parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts not currently under control of the Ukrainian authorities.

The security situation in the southeastern parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine remains highly unstable with ongoing clashes between Ukrainian armed forces and Russian-backed armed separatists. The UN calculates this has resulted in approximately 10,000 deaths and the internal displacement of between 800,000 and 1 million people residing permanently in government-controlled areas of Ukraine. Civilians continue to get caught up in the fighting.

It’s illegal under Ukrainian law to enter internationally recognised Ukrainian territory through a border point that isn’t currently controlled by the Ukrainian authorities. If you do so, you risk arrest or a fine, and you may be subject to a travel ban. International border crossings that aren’t currently under the control of the Ukrainian authorities include all land border crossings into Donetsk Oblast and many or the land border crossings into Luhansk Oblast. A list of open border crossings is available at the State Border Crossing Service of Ukraine

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

Crimea

The FCO is not able to provide consular services to anyone 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.

It’s illegal under Ukrainian law to enter internationally recognised Ukrainian territory through a border point that isn’t currently controlled by the Ukrainian authorities. If you do so, you risk arrest or a fine, and you may be subject to a travel ban. International border points that aren’t currently under the control of the Ukrainian authorities include all air and sea ports in Crimea. A list of open border crossings is available at the State Border Crossing Service of Ukraine. 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 European Union has imposed restrictions on economic relations with Crimea following its illegal annexation by Russia. These restrictions apply to all UK people and companies and include an import ban, a full ban on investment and a prohibition on supplying tourism services in Crimea. Exports of further key goods for certain sectors are also banned.

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

Other parts of Ukraine, including Kyiv

The situation in Kyiv and western cities is generally calm, although public demonstrations regularly take place in and around government buildings such as the Verkhovna Rada (parliament building) and the National Bank of Ukraine as well as elsewhere in Kyiv. Policing of these demonstrations may include road closures. You should avoid demonstrations, 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 small explosions, mainly in the middle of the night, and other security incidents in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson and Lviv. These have included bombs being placed in pubs and cafes and outside banks. There have also been hoax bomb threats, especially in Kyiv.

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 55,000 British nationals visited Ukraine in 2015. 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

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

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.