Ukraine introduced visas for Russian citizens on 1 July.
The government approved a decision to this effect at President Volodymyr Zelenskyi’s request two weeks ago, the CFTS portal reports, citing the BBC.
Ukraine has gradually made it harder for Russians to enter the country since the Russian annexation of the Crimea and the beginning of the war in the Donbas in 2014. Russian citizens were initially required to enter Ukraine with their international instead of internal passports and later subjected to thorough checks at the country’s border, but Ukraine hesitated to introduce visas for Russian citizens until the full-scale invasion.
“We are definitively breaking off all ties with Russia to counter the unprecedented threats to the national security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of our country,” Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on 17 June while explaining the introduction of visas.
Since Ukraine’s embassy and consulates in Russia have closed since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Russian citizens will be able to apply for Ukrainian visas through external visa-application service providers. Ukraine has outsourced these services to the VFS Global company, which will process via application documents in eight Russian cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Rostov-on-Don, and Samara). However, VFS Global’s services are also currently unavailable to Russians because the company has closed its visa application centers in Russia due to the war.
Another way (actually the only possible way for now) for Russians to obtain visas is to travel outside the country.