State Department Issues Ukraine Travel Warning

kiev, ukraineThe U.S. Department of State updated its February 23 warning to U.S. citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Ukraine during the transition period following the departure of the President from Kiev on February 22 and while a new government is formed.

U.S. citizens in Ukraine, and those considering travel to Ukraine, should evaluate their personal security situation in light of political instability and the possibility of violence, particularly in Kiev and areas of eastern and southern Ukraine, State said.

The update replaces the Travel Warning for Ukraine dated February 20, 2014. On February 20, 2014, the Department authorized the departure of family members of U.S. government personnel from Ukraine. While the U.S. Embassy in Kiev's Consular Section is open for public services, the Embassy’s ability to respond to emergencies involving U.S. citizens throughout Ukraine is limited.

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens who travel to Ukraine to carefully evaluate the risks posed to their personal safety, particularly in the capital city of Kiev and areas in the east and south of Ukraine. While the transition has been largely peaceful, there is still a potential for violence between supporters of different political parties, particularly in eastern Ukraine. 

Since February 18, violent clashes have resulted in multiple deaths and hundreds of injuries to protesters and police, State said.Ground transportation may be disrupted throughout the country. Commercial flights to and from Ukraine are currently operating normally.

The situation in Ukraine is unpredictable and could change quickly, State said. U.S. citizens should avoid large crowds and keep away from the downtown areas of Kiev near Independence Square and government buildings.  U.S. citizens are advised to remain indoors after dark and to be prepared to remain indoors for extended periods of time.