The situation in Crimea remains extremely tense; there have been violent clashes in the past week between demonstrators resulting in some fatalities in Ukraine’s Eastern cities and further protests expected over coming days in cities in the East and South; public protests continue in and around Independence and St Michael’s Squares in Kyiv.
Russian forces and pro-Russian groups have established full operational control in Crimea and the situation remains extremely tense. An illegal referendum is scheduled for 16 March and could increase tensions further. Flights in and out of Simferopol airport are subject to disruption. If you’re using this route, you should stay in touch with your airline. Train and bus routes out of the peninsula are still operating, though subject to unscheduled disruptions. There are reports of road blocks, with passengers being searched but traffic is able to get through. If you’re currently visiting or living in Crimea, you should leave now. If you choose to remain, you should keep a low profile, avoid areas of protest or stand-off and stay indoors where possible.
You should take great care and remain vigilant throughout Ukraine, but particularly in the South and East of the country where violent clashes, including some fatalities, between demonstrators have taken place – in the cities of Donetsk, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa and Mykolaiyv. Such incidents could occur again at short notice. You should avoid all demonstrations and public gatherings.
The situation in Kyiv and other Western cities has calmed considerably following months of violent protest during which nearly 100 people were killed, though public protests continue in and around Independence Square and St Michael’s Squares. There has been some increase in street crime, including muggings, in Central Kyiv, especially after nightfall.