Ukraine Conflict Escalates as More Nations Issue Travel Warnings

After a weekend of increasing conflict in Ukraine, including the presence of the Russian military at the Sevastopol and Simferopol Airports in the Crimean region of the country, the capital city of Kiev is mobilizing troops and calling up military reservists, raising fears of a major conflict to a boiling point.

With the "potential for instability" following the ouster of former President Viktor Yanukovych and the establishment of a new government, the U.S. State Department is still warning U.S. citizens to put off all nonessential travel to Ukraine, and particularly Crimea, according to the Associated Press. (The Department issued an official travel warning more than a week ago.) 

Groups have staged protests, set up roadblocks and occupied government buildings in several cities throughout Ukraine since November 2013. The State Department warned all U.S. citizens in Ukraine, and those considering travel there, to be aware of the possibility of violence.

Other nations, including the UK, Canada and the Netherlands, have also issued travel warnings and advisories against Ukraine, indicating a potential long-term decrease in tourism dollars that could hit the country's economy hard. With new tours from operators like Globus and hotels from global brands like Fairmont, Marriott and Starwood opening in recent years, the country's tourism future seemed bright up until the conflict began. The violence and its effects could have a major effect on the country's appeal for future improvements and developments.