UK Government advises British nationals to leave Russia (2024)

British nationals have been urged to consider leaving Russia in the wake of Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

'If your presence in Russia is not essential, we strongly advise that you consider leaving by remaining commercial routes,' the Foreign Office said in a statement on Saturday.

Travellers or citizens currently in Russia were advised any direct flights back to the UK would be complicated by the fact Moscow banned UK airlines from flying in or out of the country on Friday, February 25.

British nationals have been urged to consider leaving Russia in the wake of Vladimir Putin 's invasion of Ukraine. Pictured: A British Airways aircraft waits on the tarmac in Moscow's Domodedovo airport

As flight corridors over mainland Europe remained as busy as ever, the skies over Ukraine, Belarus and Russia were notably quiet or empty altogether on Saturday March 5

Those aiming to leave Russia are instead advised to book a connecting flight through the Middle East or Turkey to then travel back to the UK.

On Monday, the British government advised its citizens against all travel to Russia due to a lack of available flight options and increased economic volatility.

The statement read: 'The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all travel to the whole of Russia due to the lack of available flight options to return to the UK, and the increased volatility in the Russian economy.'

It comes as the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency announced all foreign-bound flights were to be grounded on Saturday.

As Russia slipped further into global isolation, it was announced that all foreign-made aircraft were to cease flights operating abroad effective from Sunday.

As Russia slipped further into global isolation, it was announced that all foreign-made aircraft were to cease flights operating abroad effective from Sunday

'If your presence in Russia is not essential, we strongly advise that you consider leaving by remaining commercial routes,' the Foreign Office said in a statement on Saturday


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It is unclear how many British expats currently reside in Russia, with estimates ranging from anywhere between around 6,400 to more than 22,000.

The news comes in the wake of the Department of Transport announcing it had barred Russian commercial and civilian aircraft from the UK skies following the invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, February 24.

The DfT issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) announcing its ban would affect all aircraft 'owned, chartered or operated by a person connected with Russia'.

This encompasses commercial aircraft, such as those operated by Russian flag carrier Aeroflot - but also private planes used by oligarchs.

The Kremlin responded just a day later by banningUK flights to and over Russia in retaliation to a British ban on Aeroflot.

Russia's aviation authority said: 'A restriction was introduced on the use of Russian airspace for flights of aircrafts owned, leased or operated by an organisation linked to or registered in the UK.'

Russian owned aircraft were banned from UK airspace from midnight until May 23, the Civil Aviation Authority has announced. Pictured: An Aeroflot plane pictured at Kazan International Airport

The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and MailOnline UKRAINE REFUGEE APPEAL

Readers of Mail Newspapers and MailOnline have always shown immense generosity at times of crisis.

Calling upon that human spirit, we are now launching an appeal to raise money for refugees from Ukraine.

For, surely, no one can fail to be moved by the heartbreaking images and stories of families – mostly women, children, the infirm and elderly – fleeing from Russia's invading armed forces.

As this tally of misery increases over the coming days and months, these innocent victims of a tyrant will require accommodation, schools and medical support.

All donations to the Mail Ukraine Appeal will be distributed to charities and aid organisations providing such essential services.

In the name of charity and compassion, we urge all our readers to give swiftly and generously.


Donate at

To add Gift Aid to a donation – even one already made – complete an online form found here:

Via bank transfer, please use these details:

Account name:Mail Force Charity

Account number:48867365

Sort code:60-00-01


Make your cheque payable to 'Mail Force' and post it to: Mail Newspapers Ukraine Appeal, GFM, 42 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY


US readers can donate to the appeal via a bank transfer to Associated Newspapers or by sending checks to HQ at 51 Astor Place (9th floor), New York, NY 10003

UK Government advises British nationals to leave Russia (2024)


UK Government advises British nationals to leave Russia? ›

Leaving Russia. FCDO advises British nationals to consider leaving Russia. If you do not need to be in Russia, we strongly advise you to consider leaving. You cannot fly directly from Russia to the UK or through EU countries.

Is it safe for British citizens to travel to Russia? ›

FCDO advises against all travel to Russia.

Can UK citizens move to Russia? ›

You will need to visit one of the Russian visa application centres to complete the visa application process. In the UK, the main application centres are located in London, Manchester and Edinburgh. To prepare for your appointment, you will need to fill in a visa application form.

Can Russians still enter the UK? ›

Importantly, the UK does not offer visa-free travel to Russian nationals. This means that if your passport shows that you are Russian, you will need a UK visa for Russian citizens, where you must apply for entry clearance in advance.

How long can a Russian stay in the UK? ›

Once your Russian spouse's spouse visa has been granted, they will be allowed to stay in the UK for two and nine months under “leave to remain.” This period can be extended for the same period of time, and after a total of five years, your spouse can apply for permanent habitation, also known as “indefinite leave to ...

Can Americans go to Russia right now? ›

Russia - Level 4: Do Not Travel.

Is it safe for an American to travel to Russia right now? ›

Avoid all travel to Russia due to the impacts of the armed conflict with Ukraine and the risk of terrorism. The armed conflict in Ukraine has led to armed incursions and shelling in areas close to the Russian-Ukrainian border. Drone strikes, explosions, and fires have occurred further into Russia's interior.

Can an UK citizen buy property in Russia? ›

Foreigners can opt to buy a property in Russia and obtain a residence permit. This type of residence permit allows foreigners to live in Russia and even do business without restrictions. In the first phase, a temporary residence permit is issued in Russia, when purchasing a property.

How many Russian citizens live in UK? ›

The 2001 UK census recorded 15,160 residents born in Russia. The 2011 census recorded 36,313 people born in Russia resident in England, 687 in Wales, 2,180 in Scotland and 349 in Northern Ireland. The Office for National Statistics estimates that 73,000 people born in Russia were resident in the UK in 2020.

How hard is it to get out of Russia? ›

In 2022 the number of Russian citizens applying for asylum in all 27 EU countries had tripled compared to pre-pandemic levels of early 2020. Leaving Russia is relatively easy, as long as you have money and have not been called up to the army. But finding a permanent place to stay is hard.

Can my Russian wife come to the UK? ›

UK Spouse Visa Key requirements

you must have met each other in person ( in UK / Russia) and be legally married (under Russian or British law, unless you are applying as an unmarried partner [alternatively] apply for a UK Marriage Visa or a UK Fiancée visa both have different requirements. );

Is it possible to fly to Moscow? ›

Main Airports in Moscow

Moscow has three large airports. Flights arriving here booked through Expedia will land at one of the larger two: Moscow Domodedovo Airport (DME) or Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO). Both are located close to the city. Between them, they process over 70 million passengers a year.

Is it safe to travel to Finland right now in Russia? ›

We continue to advise exercise normal safety precautions in Finland. All land border crossings with Russia are closed indefinitely (see 'Travel)'. We advise: Exercise normal safety precautions in Finland.

Is it safe for Americans to travel to China? ›

The safety numbers do a good job of telling China's story. Numbeo, which crowdsources its rankings, says that China is one of the safest countries in the world. It's ranked 19th, ahead of countries like Denmark and the Netherlands which American travelers have named some of the world's safest places.

How much is a Russian visa for UK citizens? ›

If you want to apply for a Russian visa on your own the easiest way is to apply through the authorized Visa Application Center. The standard visa will cost you £101.40 (single entry) which includes the £38.40 administrative fee.

Is it safe to travel to Kyiv right now? ›

Ukraine - Level 4: Do Not Travel.


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