As of July 1, Russian citizens can no longer travel to Ukraine without a proper visa. This removes the visa-free travel policy between the two countries, due to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
At the same time, as Ukraine’s State Border Service explained earlier, the possession of a visa does not confer an automatic right of entry for Russians crossing the Ukrainian border.
The agency specified that non-citizens must meet several criteria for entering Ukraine, including:
- Having a valid passport,
- Having no international arrest warrants,
- Having sufficient financial support for the period of stay in Ukraine,
- Having confirmation of the purpose of the visit.
President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on June 17 that Ukraine is introducing a visa regime for Russians as part of countering unprecedented threats to Ukraine's national security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. On the same day, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted a corresponding decision.
Ukraine severed diplomatic relations with the aggressor country on February 24, the day of the Russian full-scale invasion.
Ukraine will still need to choose a country that will represent Ukraine's interests in granting entry visas to the citizens of the aggressor country, which is being handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The procedure for obtaining a visa will be made clear for Russian citizens following this decision.
July 1 is the 127th day of full-scale war. The invading forces initially tried to advance from the north, east and south, shelling peaceful cities throughout Ukraine using artillery, and bombing them from the air. The Russian missile attacks on the entire territory of the country continue to this day; the occupiers are attacking civilian facilities.
After a series of defeats, the Kremlin has changed the goals of its war in Ukraine several times. Following its failed operation to seize Kyiv and then the retreat of its troops from Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Sumy oblasts, Russian forces concentrated on fighting for the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, two thirds of which were under Ukrainian governmental control before the full-scale Russian invasion.
Other than Luhansk and Donetsk, Kherson remains the only provincial capital under Russian control. Russian forces maintain their hold on parts of Zaporizhzhya, Kherson, and Kharkiv oblasts.
Ukrainian troops are counterattacking in some areas, and Russian troops are continuing to suffer heavy losses.