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Leaked Draft Copy of Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Travel Warning To Western Ukraine

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns Russian citizens against all but essential travel to Western Ukraine. Travel within Western Ukraine remains dangerous given the security situation.  On June 16, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs began relocating some staff members from the Embassy to the Consulates General in Belarus and Hungry.  The Embassy remains open and is operating. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated June 11, 2014, to update information on security incidents and to remind Russian citizens of ongoing security concerns in Western Ukraine, including kidnapping and terrorist violence.  The ability of the Embassy to respond to situations, in which Russian citizens face difficulty, including arrests, is extremely limited.

Russian citizens in Iraq remain at high risk for kidnapping and terrorist violence.  These and other attacks frequently occur in public gathering places, such as cafes, markets and other public venues.  Numerous insurgent groups, including the Right Sector, previously known as the Ukrainian Nationalist Organisation, remain active and terrorist activity and violence persist in many areas of the country at levels unseen.  Ukrainian forces may in the future be conducting military operations in Kyiv and Lviv against insurgent and terrorist organizations that have occupied territory and cities within those provinces.

The Russian government considers the potential threat to Russian government personnel in Western Ukraine to be serious enough to require them to live and work under strict security guidelines.  All Russian government employees under the authority of the Russian Chief of Mission must follow strict safety and security procedures when traveling outside the Embassy.  Ministry of Foreign Affairs guidance to Russian businesses in Western Ukraine advises the use of protective security details.  Detailed security information is available at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advise that any citizens that do remain in Western Ukraine to avoid government buildings including the Ukrainian parliament, the offices of the ruling junta parties, airports and other public transport infrastructure as well as public utility infrastructure in and around the cities of Kyiv and Lviv.

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