MFA asks Singaporeans to defer travel to 6 Russian regions, reiterates Ukraine travel advisory
The security level has been heightened in Russia's Krasnodar Territory as well as the regions of Belgorod, Bryansk, Voronezh, Kursk and Rostov.
SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Tuesday (Oct 25) advised Singaporeans to defer all travel to six regions of Russia amid the heightened security level in those areas.
MFA also reiterated its advisory against travel to Ukraine, which it issued before Russia launched its invasion.
"In view of the heightened and evolving security situation in Ukraine and Russia, MFA reiterates its advice of Feb 13, 2022, to Singaporeans to defer all travel to Ukraine," the ministry said in a statement.
"In addition, MFA advises Singaporeans to defer all travel to Russia's Krasnodar Territory and regions of Belgorod, Bryansk, Voronezh, Kursk and Rostov, which have recently been placed under medium-response level, just one level below martial law.
"Local authorities in medium-response level regions have been accorded broader powers to, among others, temporarily resettle residents to safe areas; introduce a special regime of entry and exit into these territories and restrict freedom of movement within them; and restrict the movements of vehicles and inspect them."
Belgorod, Bryansk, Voronezh, Kursk and Rostov all border Ukraine, while Krasnodar is linked to Russian-annexed Crimea by a bridge over the Kerch Strait.
MFA urged Singaporeans to remain vigilant, monitor local news closely, take necessary precautions for their personal safety and register with MFA's eRegister service.
Singaporeans in Russia who require consular assistance can contact the Singapore embassy in Moscow at +7 499 241 37 02 during office hours, or +7 906 009 00 69 for emergencies outside of office hours.
They can also call the 24-hour MFA duty office at 6379 8800 or 6379 8855.
Since Russia's forces suffered major battlefield defeats in September, President Vladimir Putin has escalated the war, calling up hundreds of thousands of reservists, announcing the annexation of occupied territory and repeatedly threatening to use nuclear weapons to defend Russian land.
This month, Russia started a new campaign using long-range cruise missiles and Iranian-made drones to attack Ukraine's energy infrastructure before winter sets in.
On Oct 19, Putin announced that he was introducing martial law in the four Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine that Moscow claimed in September as its own territory but is struggling to defend from Ukrainian advances.
Putin also boosted the security powers of all Russia's regional governors, with the Kremlin ordering an "economic mobilisation" in eight regions adjoining Ukraine, including Crimea, which Russia invaded and annexed in 2014.
It placed them in a special regime one step below martial law and allowed for the restriction of people's movements.
Putin said that the "entire system of state administration", not only the specialised security agencies, must be geared to supporting what Russia calls its "special military operation".