Russia Travel Advisory

Travel Advisory
June 28, 2021

Russia - Level 4: Do Not Travel

O K E N H U T C

Do not travel to Russia due to terrorism, harassment by Russian government security officials, the embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, and the arbitrary enforcement of local law. Reconsider travel due to COVID-19 and related entry restrictions.

Do Not Travel to:

  • The North Caucasus, including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus, due to terrorism, kidnapping, and risk of civil unrest.
  • Crimea due to Russia’s purported occupation of the Ukrainian territory and abuses by its occupying authorities.

Country Summary: U.S. citizens, including former and current U.S. government and military personnel and private citizens engaged in business, who are visiting or residing in Russia have been arbitrarily interrogated, and threatened by Russian officials and may become victims of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion. All U.S. government personnel should carefully consider their need to travel to Russia.

Russian security services have arrested U.S. citizens on spurious charges, denied them fair and transparent treatment, and have convicted them in secret trials or without presenting evidence. Russian officials may unreasonably delay U.S. consular assistance to detained U.S. citizens. Russian authorities arbitrarily enforce local laws against U.S. citizen religious workers and open questionable criminal investigations against U.S. citizens engaged in religious activity. Russian security services are increasingly arbitrarily enforcing local laws targeting foreign and international organizations they consider “undesirable,” and U.S. citizens should avoid travel to Russia to perform work for or volunteer with non-governmental organizations.

Russia enforces special restrictions on dual U.S.-Russian nationals and may refuse to acknowledge dual nationals’ U.S. citizenship, including denying access to U.S. consular assistance and preventing their departure from Russia.

The rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are not guaranteed in Russia, and U.S. citizens should avoid all political or social protests.

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Russia a due to COVID-19, indicating a high level of COVID-19 in the country. There are restrictions in place affecting U.S. citizen entry into Russia. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC’s specific recommendations for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 and related restrictions and conditions in Russia.

Terrorist groups, transnational and local terrorist organizations, and individuals inspired by extremist ideology continue plotting possible attacks in Russia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

The U.S. government’s ability to provide routine and emergency services to U.S. citizens in Russia is severely limited, particularly in areas far from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and U.S. Consulate locations due to Russian government limitations on U.S. staffing and the suspension of consular services from the U.S. consulates.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Russia, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an Advisory Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) advising exercise extreme caution flying into, out of, within, or over those areas of the Moscow Flight Information Region (FIR) and the Rostov-na Donu (URRV) FIR within 100NM of the boundaries within the Dnipropetrovsk (UKDV), Ukrainian Simferopol (UKFV) and the Kyiv (UKBV) Flight Information Regions. For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Russia:

  • See the U.S. Embassy's web page regarding COVID-19.
  • Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
  • 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 (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Russia.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations and a plan to contact family to let them know you are safe. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

North Caucasus (including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus) – Do Not Travel

Terrorist attacks and risk of civil unrest continue throughout the North Caucasus region, including in Chechnya, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Stavropol, Karachayevo-Cherkessiya, and Kabardino-Balkariya. Local gangs have kidnapped U.S. citizens and other foreigners for ransom. There have been credible reports of arrest, torture, and extrajudicial killing of LGBTI persons in Chechnya allegedly conducted by Chechen regional authorities.

Do not attempt to climb Mount Elbrus, as travelers must pass close to volatile and insecure areas of the North Caucasus region.

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

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Crimea – Do Not Travel

The international community, including the United States and Ukraine, does not recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea. There is extensive Russian Federation military presence in Crimea. The Russian Federation is likely to take further military actions in Crimea as part of its occupation of this part of Ukraine. There are continuing abuses against foreigners and the local population by the occupation authorities in Crimea, particularly against those who are seen as challenging their authority on the peninsula.

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.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to the security information and FAA information. 

Travel Advisory Levels

Information for Vaccinated Travelers

The CDC's latest guidance on international travel for vaccinated people can be found here.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Moscow
Bolshoy Deviatinsky Pereulok No. 8
Moscow 121099, Russian Federation
Telephone
+(7) (495) 728-5000 or +(7) (495) 728-5577
Emergency
+(7) (495) 728-5000
Fax
+(7) (495) 728-5084

Russian Federation Map