Update 2022-02-17: According to further media reports, the Russian-backed separatists accuse the Ukrainian government of having carried out artillery attacks on several locations in the Luhansk oblast. According to government sources, however, the separatists violated the ceasefire more than 30 times on Thursday (17 February) alone. Meanwhile, Western governments continue to warn of the danger of a Russian invasion.
2022-02-17: According to media reports, on Thursday (17 February), at least three civilians were injured in an artillery strike against the government-controlled town of Stanytsia Luhanska in the Luhansk Oblast. Additionally, the artillery strike in Stanytsia Luhanska, also knocked out the town’s electricity. Ukraine blamed Russian-backed separatists for the strike, while Russian authorities claim the series of escalating artillery strikes in the east of the country were precipitated by Ukraine.
Heightened security measures and operations of security forces are to be expected. Ongoing armed clashes are to be expected. Travellers are advised to exercise high caution, to strictly avoid operations of security forces, and to follow instructions from security forces.