On Monday, the Ukrainian parliament voted to impose martial law for 30 days in ten provinces bordering Russia, Belarus and Moldova’s “breakaway republic” of Trans-Dniester. Martial law will start at 9am on Wednesday 28th November and run until the 27th of December.

Martial law will include  –

  • calling up reservists,
  • securing government locations and vital infrastructure,
  • and strengthening border defences.

At this stage there is no curfew. Visitors should expect to see more roadblocks and checkpoints. Make sure you carry your passport at all times, as required by Ukrainian law, as well as any other necessary paperwork. Expect delays when travelling. 

Make sure you monitor local media and subscribe to alerts from your embassy. 

Kerch Strait clash

This is the response of the Ukrainian authorities to clashes in the Kerch Strait over the weekend, in which Russia seized three Ukrainian naval ships.


The two Ukrainian artillery ships and a tug boat were passing through the narrow Kerch Strait, from the port of Odessa on the Black Sea to Mariupol on the Sea of Azov. The tug was rammed by a Russian naval ship and all three vessels were seized.

The BBC reports that ‘twenty-three Ukrainian sailors were captured by Russia on Sunday and at least three were wounded.

The actions have been condemned by the United Nations and many governments – see headlines below. Three of the captured sailors appeared in Russian media. The head of the Ukrainian navy has dismissed the videos, saying the ‘three men had given false statements under duress.’

Travel advice

From the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office

From 9am local time on 28 November until 27 December 2018, Ukraine is imposing martial law in parts of the country bordering Russia, the Sea of Azov, the Black Sea and the Transnistria region of Moldova. The oblasts affected are: Chernihiv, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Luhansk, Mykolayiv, Odesa, Sumy, Vinnytsia and Zaporizhia.

Martial law provisions announced on 26 November include:

  • adjusting the mobilisation plan of the Armed Forces and calling up a number of reserves
  • organising the defence of government structures, industrial areas, administrative centres and vital infrastructure, and measures to ensure public order
  • strengthening protection of the border with Russia and the administrative boundary with Crimea

As a result, you may see increased numbers of security forces on the streets of Ukraine’s cities, more frequent checkpoints, and increased checks if you are crossing to/from Crimea, or between Ukraine and Russia. No curfew has been imposed. You should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities. Remember that it is a requirement of Ukrainian law that you should carry your passport with you at all times as proof of ID.

Events in Ukraine are fast moving. You should remain vigilant throughout Ukraine, monitor the media and this travel advice regularly, subscribe to email alerts and read our advice on how to deal with a crisis overseas.

On 25 November, Russia seized 3 Ukrainian navy vessels in transit through the Kerch Straits into the Sea of Azov. Passage of all shipping through the Kerch Straits was temporarily stopped by Russia.

from Travel Advice Summary, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ukraine

Headlines and news coverage

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