Ukraine Travel Warning
by The Daily Lede
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Ukraine. In addition, the Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer all travel – both essential and non-essential – to several regions of Ukraine, including the Crimean Peninsula, the eastern regions of Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Luhansk, and the city of Odesa, due to the possibility of violent clashes between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian groups and the presence of Russian military forces in the Crimean Peninsula and on the eastern border of Ukraine. This supersedes the Travel Warning for Ukraine dated April 16 to provide updated information on the situation in southern and eastern Ukraine. Russian forces have occupied the Crimean Peninsula in support of the Russian Federation’s claim of Crimean annexation and these forces are likely to continue to take further actions in the Crimean Peninsula consistent with its claim. The United States and Ukraine do not recognize this claimed annexation. The Russian Federation has positioned military forces along the border of eastern Ukraine while armed militants in several eastern Ukrainian cities have staged demonstrations, seized government buildings, set up checkpoints, and attacked police and pro-Ukrainian counter-demonstrators. There was also a violent confrontation between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian protestors in the southern city of Odesa on May 2. Armed militants have threatened, detained, or kidnapped some journalists and international observers in eastern Ukraine for hours or days. The situation in Ukraine is unpredictable and could change quickly. U.S. citizens throughout Ukraine should avoid large crowds and be prepared to remain indoors for extended periods of time should clashes occur in their vicinity.