Travel Alerts

Level 4 Travel Advisories Issued For The Russian Federation

Russia travel advisory updated by the US State Department for the Crimea, Chechnya and Mount Elbrus areas
russia red square

Multiple Level 4 Travel Advisories have been issued by the US Department of State for the Crimea and North Caucasus areas of the Russian Federation.

These ‘Do Not Travel’ Advisories were published within a State Department Level 2 Travel Advisory on October 1, 2019. The State Department says visitors to Russia should ‘exercise increased caution in Russia due to harassment and the arbitrary enforcement of local laws.’

This is important news since Russia welcomed about 4.2 million tourists in 2018, reported the Federal Security Service border service. This information indicates an increase of 10 percent in tourism from 2017.

The Do Not Travel Advisories are for the following areas of Russia:

  • Chechnya and Mount Elbrus: The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in the North Caucasus region, as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to the region.
  • Crimea: The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in Crimea as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to Crimea.

Due to the Russian government-imposed reduction on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia, the U.S. government may have delayed ability to provide services to U.S. citizens, especially in the Saint Petersburg area.

The primary U.S. Embassy is located in Moscow, Bolshoy Deviatinsky Pereulok No. 8, Moscow 121099, Russian Federation. 

Furthermore, U.S. citizens, including former and current U.S. government and military personnel, who are visiting or residing in Russia may become victims of extortion. Russian authorities may open questionable criminal investigations against U.S. citizens engaged in religious activity.

And, Russian officials may unreasonably delay U.S. consular assistance to detained U.S. citizens, including denying U.S. consular assistance to detained dual nationals and preventing their departure from Russia.

Russia may also enforce special restrictions on dual U.S.-Russian nationals.

Previously, on August 2, 2019, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel to:

  • within 10km of the border with the Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts,
  • Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan and the districts of Budyonnovsky, Levokumsky, Neftekumsky, Stepnovsky, and Kursky in Stavropol Krai.

The FCO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • within 10km of the border with the Ukrainian Kharkiv Oblast
  • North Ossetia, Karachai-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria (including the Elbrus area)

The U.S. State Department says if you decide to visit Russia, please consider the following action items:

  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on news information.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Have travel documents up to date and easily accessible.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, such as this Traveler’s Checklist.

Russia is an expansive country of 17,125,200 square kilometers in Eastern Europe and North Asia, with over 146 million residents.

Additionally, on June 18, 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said to ensure you are up-to-date on several Routine Vaccinations before visiting Russia. And, a measle vaccination is important since Russia is included in the CDC’s worldwide measles alert issued during June 2019.

These vaccines and related medications can be found at most travel pharmacies in the USA.

Travel Alerts are published by Vax-Before-Travel.


Article by
Dani Reiter