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Borders within borders – Ukraine

January 6, 2015

A short entry today relating to the borders within borders created due to events in eastern Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula, for those traveling to, through, or from them.

The US has updated its travel advice, which of course whilst aimed specifically at its citizenry, applies to most foreigners in the identified regions to some degree or another:

Jan 5 at 11:42 PM

* The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to eastern Ukraine.
* This supersedes the Travel Warning for Ukraine dated August 29 to provide updated information on the security situation in southern and eastern Ukraine.
* Despite the signing of a ceasefire agreement in September 2014, violent clashes between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces continue in parts of the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, resulting in thousands of injuries and deaths.
* The Government of Ukraine has stated that foreigners, including U.S. citizens who enter Ukraine through separatist-controlled checkpoints, will not be allowed to pass through government checkpoints.
* Russia-backed separatist groups have taken on an increasingly strident anti-American tone. U.S. citizens who choose to enter or remain in conflict areas should maintain a low profile and avoid large crowds and gatherings.
* U.S. citizens should exercise caution in the regions of Odesa, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. In addition, due to a recent increase in low level terrorism incidents, travelers in the cities of Odesa and Kharkiv should exercise extreme vigilance in public places after dark.
* The Russian Federation is likely to take further actions in Crimea in 2015 consistent with their attempted unlawful annexation and occupation of this part of Ukraine.
* In addition, there are continuing reports of abuses against the local population by de facto authorities in Crimea, particularly against those who are seen as challenging their authority on the peninsula.
* The Government of Ukraine prevents foreigners, including U.S. citizens, who enter Crimea directly from any country other than Ukraine, from entering mainland Ukraine.

The highlighted paragraphs are thus, to raise awareness of those who will travel to, through, or from areas of Ukraine that are not currently controlled by the Ukrainian authorities.

In short, there are solidifying borders within borders, and those not entering Ukraine via Ukrainian controlled borders will not be able to pass into the rest of the nation should they enter via “occupied territories” – regardless of nationality or passport held.

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