London, 24 June 2023 (TDI): The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom has issued a travel advisory strongly advising against all travel to Russia due to the escalating tensions and reports of military unrest in the Rostov region.

The advisory highlights the risk of further unrest across the country and the lack of available flight options for British citizens wishing to return to the UK.

The FCDO urges British nationals in Russia to exercise extreme caution and consider leaving the country by remaining commercial routes if their presence is not essential.

It emphasizes that traveling against FCDO advice may invalidate travel insurance, and consular support is severely limited in areas where travel is advised against.

The ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which began on February 24, 2022, has significantly impacted the security situation within Russia and for those traveling to the country.

Recent reports on June 24, 2023, indicated that forces under the control of Yevgeniy Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner Group Private Military Company, had occupied Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia. Fighting has been reported in the Rostov region, and restrictions have been imposed in various parts of the country.

Travel within and out of Russia has become challenging, as direct flights to the UK or via EU countries are currently not possible. British citizens are advised to check the latest information with airlines or travel providers.

The UK government has implemented sanctions against several Russian companies and individuals, affecting transactions in or connected with Russia.

Furthermore, it is advised that British nationals familiarize themselves with the Russia sanctions guidelines provided on GOV.UK to ensure compliance.

Moreover, the suspension of operations by MasterCard and Visa in Russia has impacted financial transactions. Cards issued outside of Russia will not work at Russian merchants or ATMs, while non-Russian credit/debit cards may not be accepted by Russian businesses. Accessing funds through Russian banks may also be challenging.

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British nationals holding Russian passports should be aware that they may be subject to mobilization or conscription, as the Russian government does not recognize dual nationality and treats dual nationals as Russian nationals within Russia.

The security situation in Russia remains unpredictable, with reports of drone attacks, explosions, and fires in Western and Southern Russia.

Moreover, political rallies and demonstrations can occur, and it is advised to stay vigilant and avoid such gatherings. Short-term travel restrictions may be implemented with minimal notice.

On the other hand, the British Embassy in Moscow remains open, but the consular support available may be limited due to the security situation and the vast size of the country. British citizens requiring consular assistance should contact the British Embassy in Moscow or the Russian emergency services.

The UK foreign office also believes that there are chances of increased terrorist threat in Russia. Therefore, British citizens are urged to remain vigilant and follow local security advice.

British nationals planning travel to Russia are strongly advised to obtain comprehensive travel insurance that provides sufficient cover and to closely monitor FCDO’s travel advice for any updates.