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My brother and I, American citizens, are planning an Eastern Europe trip where we fly into Saint Petersburg, journey through western Russia and parts of Ukraine, and fly back to America from either Poland or Hungary.

Does anyone know if this can even be done? Are there legal issues for travelers traveling either to Ukraine from Russia, or visa versa?

My brother would ideally like to go to Crimea, but I keep assuring him that isn't possible these days. Am I wrong?

Edit: Just so everyone knows, I understand we would need visas to travel to Russia.

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    Visiting Crimea is possible but you'd risk to be denied entry to Ukraine – Neusser Nov 24 '18 at 23:42
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    Crossing the border between Ukraine and Russia by train or car should not be an issue unless your port of entry is Crimea and/or the self-proclaimed Donetsk/Luhansk republics. Visiting Crimea from Russia is very much possible de facto, but difficult de jure and may potentially entail legal ramifications in the future. – undercat Nov 29 '18 at 3:56
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There are currently no direct flights between Russia and Ukraine. You'd need to factor that into consideration.

  • Welcome to the site! We prefer not to give specific recommendations of airlines and so on because they go quickly out of date. Also, the question isn't asking for anything like that: it's only asking about the possibility of travelling between Russia and Ukraine (which your first paragaph addresses), Crimea and possible legal ramifications. There's more information about how the site works in our short tour and help center. I've deleted the off-topic parts of your answer; if you disagree, you can revert the edit from the edit history. – David Richerby Feb 24 at 23:24
  • Hi David, this is not a point regarding specific airlines, but all direct air travel is currently prohibited between Russia and Ukraine. This has been the case since October 2015. bbc.com/news/world-europe-34622665 Regarding the other details, I felt that as a traveller, those would be the tips that could be most useful. Those specific routes have been in place for 15 - 20 years. – Daniel Feb 25 at 10:43
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    Yes, I know the lack of flights between Russia and Ukraine isn't about specific airlines. That's why I left that part of your answer! The routes may be long-standing but pricing information goes out of date and which option is best for any one itinerary is very much a matter of personal opinion. – David Richerby Feb 25 at 11:12
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Your brother does not need to worry about crossing the borders between these countries. But it is worth considering that the entry-exit to the Crimea should be carried out only from the Ukrainian border.

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    This may be the officially American answer, but going to Crimea from Russia is the practial approach. When visiting the Russian embassy they will ask you where in Russia you want to go, and then you answer Crimea. – Thomas Koelle Feb 7 at 14:49
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  1. There should not be any problems crossing Russia-Ukraine boundary.
  2. Except if you visited Crimea previously by going in from Russia. Ukraine normally have no ways of knowing that you did, but if they do, there's threat of legal action or they will just deny entry.
  3. You can in theory visit Crimea from Ukraine as other answer suggests, but AFAIK they will not let you cross border to Crimea. They only let in Ukrainian citizens with urgent needs or so I have heard.

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