Travelling to Ukraine: Tips and Safety Warning

Kiev, Ukraine

It is already established that the political relations between Russia and Ukraine are tense. The ongoing territorial dispute doesn’t look like it’s about to soon reach a resolution.

Many embassies put up advisories on their websites about travelling to Crimea peninsula and eastern districts Donetsk and Luhansk. They are discouraging people from travelling to these areas since political conflicts have taken a toll. Embassies also cannot reach people in these afflicted areas and offer help.

Crimea has an undefined territorial status. Russia’s army is controlling this area, but it still belongs to Ukraine by the international law. Other countries did not recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea and everything is up in the air about this whole issue.  

What we do know is that tourists are not allowed on the peninsula through Ukraine. It is, however, possible to enter Crimea across the Russian border, but according to Ukraine’s authorities, this is currently constituted as an illegal border crossing. In case people do cross this border they can be arrested by Ukrainian police enforcement.

Donetsk and Luhansk districts should also be avoided. Armed conflicts are taking places there since 2014. A high number of deaths is a strong indicator that these areas are not in the slightest stable. Since Ukraine isn’t controlling these areas at the moment, crossing the border through these districts is forbidden by law.

Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, is relatively calm, but demonstrations are a daily occurrence. They are usually located at Maydan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square), in and around government buildings such as the Verkhovna Rada (parliament building), and around the National Bank of Ukraine.

They are peaceful in their nature, but they can always potentially turn violent. Travellers are advised to avoid all demonstrations. Best practice is to follow media coverage and be up to date with the situation in order to avoid any danger.