Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–July 22, 2014. The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens in Russia to the ongoing tensions along the border with Ukraine and the potential for increased clashes between pro-Russian groups and Ukrainian forces. This supersedes the Travel Alert dated June 12 to provide updated information on the security situation along Russia’s border with Ukraine and will expire on October 21, 2014.
The U.S. government currently has no information concerning active armed clashes inside Russia or that there are any threats specific to U.S. citizens. However, all U.S. citizens located in or considering travel to the border region of the Russian Federation, specifically the districts immediately bordering Ukraine in parts of Bryansk, Kursk, Belgorod, Voronezh, and Rostov Oblasts and Krasnodar Krai, should be aware that ongoing armed conflict and tensions described in the State Department’s Travel Warning for Ukraine have the potential to jeopardize the safety and security of U.S. citizens traveling or living in those regions
A state of emergency, declared by the Russian government, is in effect in the Rostov Oblast bordering Ukraine. The situation along the border is unpredictable and could change quickly. Armed, pro-Russian groups are reportedly traveling illegally across the border into Ukraine and could increase the potential for clashes in Russia near the border, and pose a heightened risk for kidnapping and hostage taking. There have been some claims of artillery falling on the Russian side of the border. Given the volatility of the situation, U.S. citizens are strongly advised against traveling by land from Russia to Ukraine through this region.
Following the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine, the Federal Aviation Administration has prohibited flight operations by U.S. operators within the Simferopol and Dnepropetrovsk flight information regions managed by Ukraine. The International Civil Aviation Organization has also advised air operators of a potentially unsafe situation in the Simferopol region. U.S. citizen travelers in Russia should be alert to the potential for disruptions to commercial air traffic into and out of Russia and throughout the region, including flight cancellations or changes.
U.S. citizens considering travel to the border region in Russia should evaluate their personal security situation in light of these current political tensions, and the possibility of violence or anti-U.S. actions directed against U.S. citizens or U.S. interests. U.S. citizens who choose to remain in areas where Russia has declared a state of emergency or other border regions should maintain a low profile and avoid large crowds and gatherings.
The Department of State advises U.S. citizens in Russia to avoid all public demonstrations, whether properly authorized by local officials or not, and avoid any large crowds and public gatherings that lack enhanced security measures. U.S. diplomatic facilities in Russia have been the target of frequent demonstrations. Demonstrations related to the conflict may appear anywhere throughout Russia, at any time. These demonstrations may increase the possibility of confrontation and violence. Review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Russia enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment allows you to receive the Department’s safety and security updates, and makes it easier for the nearest U.S. embassy or U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you do not have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Regularly monitor the State Department’s website at http://travel.state.gov, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution, and read the Country Specific Information for the Russian Federation. For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website. Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free from within the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.
The American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow assists U.S. citizens in Russia. The Unit can help you with passport issuance and renewal, absentee voting, notarials, and registering a child born abroad. It also provides emergency services for U.S. citizens in the event of a disaster or in case of illness, arrest, death, or destitution while in Russia.
Appointments are required for all non-emergency services; you can make an appointment by calling the ACS unit at (+7) (495) 728-5577, or you may click here to schedule an appointment online. If you have questions, contact the Unit by writing to [email protected] or visit the Embassy’s website.
Emergency Contact Information in Russia:
U.S. Embassy Moscow:
U.S. citizens with an emergency during regular office hours (M-F 9am-6pm, excluding Russian and U.S. holidays) are welcome to visit the ACS unit at the U.S. Embassy, 21 Novinsky Blvd., Moscow. Tel: (+7) (495) 728-5577 – 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., weekdays.
For after-hours emergencies, call (+7) (495) 728-5000 after 6:00 pm, and on weekends and holidays.
U.S. Consulate General St. Petersburg:
The U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg is located at 15 Furshatskaya Street, Tel: (+7) (812) 331-2600. You may contact the Consulate’s ACS unit by e-mail at [email protected], or by fax at (+7) (812) 331-2646, or visit the Consulate website.
For after-hours emergencies, call (+7) (812) 331-2600 and listen to the recorded message for the Duty Officer’s cell phone number.
U.S. Consulate General Vladivostok
The U.S. Consulate General is located at 32 Puskinskaya Street, Vladivostok, Russia 690001
Tel.: +7 (423) 230-0070, fax: +7 (423) 230-0091
Emergency telephone: +7 914-791-0067 (24 hours)
E-mail: [email protected]
U.S. Consular Agency Yuzho-Sakhalinsk:
The Consular Agency in Yuzho-Sakhalinsk is located at Lada Hotel Suite 210, 154 Komsomolskaya Street, Tel: (+7) (424) 242-4917. You may contact the Consular Agency by e-mail at [email protected]
For after-hours emergencies, call (+7) 914-704-0867.
U.S. Consulate General Yekaterinburg:
The U.S. Consulate General in Yekaterinburg is located at 15 Gogolya Street, Tel: (+7) (343) 793-001. You may contact the Consulate’s ACS Unit by e-mail at [email protected] or by fax at (+7) (343) 379-4515, or visit the Consulate’s website at http://yekaterinburg.usconsulate.gov.
For after-hours emergencies, you may call the Duty Officer at (+7) (917) 569-3549.