16 January 2018
The Department of State has launched new Travel Advisories and Alerts to make it easier for U.S. citizens to access clear, timely, and reliable safety and security information about every country in the world. For more details and FAQs about our Travel Advisories and Alerts, please see travel.state.gov/travelsafely. You are receiving this because you are enrolled in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). You do not need to take further action to continue receiving these updates. Before any travel abroad, we encourage you to check our safety and security information for your destination at travel.state.gov/destination.
Russia, Level 3: Reconsider travel
Reconsider travel to Russia due to terrorism and harassment. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory
Do not travel to:
The north Caucasus, including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus, due to civil unrest and terrorism.
Crimea due to foreign occupation and abuses by occupying authorities.
Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Russia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Bomb threats against public venues are common.
U.S. citizens are often victims of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion by law-enforcement and other officials. U.S. consular assistance to detained individuals is often unreasonably delayed by Russian officials. Russia also enforces special restrictions on dual U.S.-Russian nationals. Due to the Russian government-imposed reduction on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia, the U.S. government has reduced ability to provide services to U.S. citizens.
Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Russia:
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.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
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. Review the Traveler's Checklist.
North Caucasus (including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus)
Civil unrest and terrorist attacks 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 gay men 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.
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. The international community, including the United States and Ukraine, does not recognize Russia's purported annexation of Crimea. There are continuing abuses against foreigners and the local population by theoccupation 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.