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Ukraine invasion and Transit Without Visa in Russia

Ukraine invasion and Transit Without Visa in Russia

Old Mar 4, 14, 11:26 pm
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Ukraine invasion and Transit Without Visa in Russia

Well, this is great. No sooner did I book a flight from Zagreb to Beijing on Aeroflot than Russia invaded Ukraine. Now the political fur is flying, and I have to worry about whether I will be able to transit Sheremetyevo without a visa next month.

Unsurprisingly, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aeroflot are both unresponsive to my tweets. I think Russia has more to lose by suspending transit without visa than they have to gain, but this doesn't mean they won't. I have a 3 day window in Seattle where I might be able to get a Russian transit visa, but that's sticky... I don't want the Russian embassy to have physical possession of my passport when I need it for a flight to Europe on the 19th. Too many things could go wrong.

Does anyone have their ear to the ground in Russia and want to hazard a guess as to what might happen? At this point I'm inclined to throw caution to the wind like I usually do when I travel. My luck is bound to run out at some point but hey--it hasn't yet.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 1:00 am
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Ukraine invasion and Transit Without Visa in Russia

Wow. There are so many factual inaccuracies here amid all the hyperbole and absolute bollocks, it's hard to know where to start. Suffice to say, nothing has changed in reality to affect the practicalities of your trip, so carry on.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 1:52 am
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I don't see any connection between the invasion of Ukraine and your ability to transit without a visa. The US has invaded many countries throughout history, and this has never resulted in suspension of transit without visa.

Do you hold a Ukrainian passport? If so, then perhaps there might be issues. But otherwise, I don't see anything to worry about.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 7:23 am
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Unsurprisingly, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aeroflot are both unresponsive to my tweets.
Quote of the year!
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Old Mar 5, 14, 8:36 am
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If you go walkabout in the Crimea, they may even give you a Russian passport, which would end all your visa issues... (reports of Russian soldiers this week handing out passports to legitimize their 'protection of Russian nationals' in the region)
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Old Mar 5, 14, 1:53 pm
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Originally Posted by mandolino View Post
Quote of the year!
Too funny

OPs post was intentionally satirical, right??
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Old Mar 5, 14, 7:42 pm
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To the extent there are any unresolved issues to OP's concerns, I'll move this to the Russia forum. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, TravelBuzz.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 7:46 pm
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The US has invaded many countries throughout history
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Old Mar 5, 14, 10:12 pm
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I don't think you have a problem here.
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Old Mar 6, 14, 7:25 am
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Originally Posted by emma69 View Post
If you go walkabout in the Crimea, they may even give you a Russian passport, which would end all your visa issues... (reports of Russian soldiers this week handing out passports to legitimize their 'protection of Russian nationals' in the region)
Crimea was part of Russia until the Soviets symbolically gave it to the Ukraine in the early 1950s because Khrushchev loved the Ukraine and wanted to kiss and make up for Stalin's games in the area that gutted the Tatar/Muslim population and reduced the non-Russian, Ukrainian population there.

Ukrainian passports in the main are fine for travel to/via/from Russia too.

US passports in the main are fine for travel to/via/from Russia as well.

Since the shenanigans in Kiev and the rest of Ukraine hit in recent weeks, Ukrainians have to wait a lot longer to get a Ukrainian passport.

Russia maintained a legal right for unilateral security operations in Crimea due to various arrangements made during also the USSR period and even after the USSR break-up and those memorialized agreements were executed by Russian and Ukrainian leaders at those times.

A lot of the people in the US pontificating on what is going on in that part of Europe have no clue about the ground realities and even less about the historical and legal realities involved. The place is popularly divided, with a large portion of Ukrainian citizens feeling a great deal of affinity for Russia and way less affinity for the (mainly) "western" Ukrainians.

By the way, the most famous Ukrainian on FT is the founder of Whatsapp. The app is very popular in the Ukraine too. Why the NSA doesn't do a survey of the sentiments of Ukrainians based on that and have the Executive and Legislative branch talking heads run with it? Who knows.

In may ways, Kiev and the Ukraine is at the historical heart of the notion of Russian imperial history -- you can thank the Mongols for that.

Last edited by GUWonder; Mar 6, 14 at 7:37 am
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Old Mar 10, 14, 4:43 pm
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What is up with using the in relation to Ukraine? I understand you are not Ukrainian yourself? What ground realities you are talking about? The invasion? It is a fact.

Russia has no legal right to invade Ukraine, especially because it is one of the guarantors of the Ukrainian territorial integrity according to the 1994 accord. Even if 99% of Crimean residents considered themselves ethnic Russians, Russia would still have no legal right to invade another country. To me it seems that it is you who has no clue about ground realities in Ukraine.

I really do not understand what Crimean "Russians" want to gain from being annexed by Russia, as their only "oppression" was the requirement that they learn Ukrainian language in school. They enjoyed free press and TV, freedom to assemble and a very broad autonomy within Ukraine. I guess their hatred toward everything that is Ukrainian must outweigh all that they will lose in Putin's Russia. But I digress...
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Old Mar 11, 14, 2:43 am
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I really do not understand what Crimean "Russians" want to gain from being annexed by Russia,
Russian pensions are about 3x Ukraine ones and backed by stronger currency. Believe it or not, that is a positive for many people, even non-Russian-speaking Ukrainians. Not a justification for invading or welcoming invaders - but I'm just saying it's not so black and white.

Regarding "the" as in The Ukraine, The Crimea, The Argentine, The Lebanon etc - this is an ageing English language convention with no political implication , rather like modern French still does, ( see "l'Australie" etc) and can't be compared to Russian or Ukraine which doesn't use definite articles anyway. Still, some people will bend over backwards to be offended by anything.
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Old Mar 11, 14, 5:37 am
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Pensions
Federal employees' wages (possibly also municipal ones)
Ability to move and work anywhere in Russia
No need to learn Ukrainian (might not be a big deal for you, but wars have been fought over lesser issues)

None of the above justifies an invasion, obviously, but people living on $150 a month might or might not have a different opinion.
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Old Mar 11, 14, 1:08 pm
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Originally Posted by König View Post
I really do not understand what Crimean "Russians" want to gain from being annexed by Russia, as their only "oppression" was the requirement that they learn Ukrainian language in school. They enjoyed free press and TV, freedom to assemble and a very broad autonomy within Ukraine. I guess their hatred toward everything that is Ukrainian must outweigh all that they will lose in Putin's Russia. But I digress...
There was no secession movement in Crimea or civil unrest until very recently. The push for this comes from not from Crimea, but from Russia itself and Russian 'tourists' visiting Crimea t stir up trouble:
...As pro-Russia demonstrations in 11 cities have suddenly erupted where significant populations of ethnic Russians live, the apparent organization of the demonstrators, appearances of Russian citizens and reports of busloads of activists arriving from Russia itself suggest a high degree of coordination with Moscow.

Last edited by Xyzzy; Mar 11, 14 at 1:21 pm
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Old Mar 11, 14, 6:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Temedar View Post
Pensions
Federal employees' wages (possibly also municipal ones)
The prices on everything will go up significantly, in part because everything Crimeans get (water, electricity and food) is delivered from the mainland. Will Russia bring those things by ferries? You should add to that the possibility of Ukrainian tourists ignoring Crimea and causing a huge loss in revenue. It won't be offset by more Russian tourists coming because of the security situation and future instability.

Ability to move and work anywhere in Russia
Hmm... You hope to replace Central Asian gastarbaiters by Crimeans?

No need to learn Ukrainian (might not be a big deal for you, but wars have been fought over lesser issues)
Sure, Ukrainian is my native language, so no big deal. I do not see it as a big deal for Crimeans either because they were not forced to study all subjects in Ukrainian. They were simply required to learn official language to be able to communicate in it.

None of the above justifies an invasion, obviously, but people living on $150 a month might or might not have a different opinion.
The difficulties caused by many inconveniences that I described above would offset some increases in pensions and wages. Is Russia ready to subsidise Crimean population for years to come?
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