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Travel Warning WARNING: Due to the ongoing war, many governments advise against travelling to Donbas. See also war zone safety.
(Information last updated 10 Dec 2023)

The Donbas or Donbass (Ukrainian: Донба́с, Russian: Донба́сс) is a disputed region in Eastern Europe. As of May 2023, the whole region is a war zone claimed by both Ukraine and Russia.



This article intends to describe the practical situation for visitors to the region. It shall not be seen as an endorsement of any point of view in the conflict.

  • Donetsk Oblast
    • Former Donetsk People's Republic
    • The as-of-2021 Ukrainian-controlled part of the oblast
  • Luhansk Oblast
    • Former Luhansk People's Republic
    • The as-of-2021 Ukrainian-controlled part of the oblast


  • 1 Donetsk – former capital of Donetsk Oblast, primarily known for its plant for the production of sparkling wine bottles the classic way
  • 2 Horlivka Horlivka on Wikipedia – coal mining and chemical industry
  • 3 Kramatorsk Kramatorsk on Wikipedia – provisional capital of Donetsk Oblast
  • 4 Luhansk – former capital of Luhansk Oblast
  • 5 Lysychansk Lysychansk on Wikipedia – a major urban and industrial hub of the Donetsk coal basin area
  • 6 Mariupol – a major industrial centre, climatic and mud resort. Part of the Pryazovia area
  • 7 Sievierodonetsk Sievierodonetsk on Wikipedia – has a significant chemical production centre

Other destinations

  • 1 Druzhkovskaya petrified trees (Дружковские окаменевшие деревья) near Kramatorsk – petrified trees outcrop of the Carboniferous period
  • 2 Holy Mountains National Nature Park Holy Mountains National Nature Park on Wikipedia – many archaeological, natural, historical, and recreational sites



Donbas is short for Donets Basin. It has no universal geographic definition, but has usually been seen to include Donetsk Oblast and Luhansk Oblast.

The Donbas was part of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic (see Soviet Union), and of Ukraine since its independence in 1991. The eastern parts of the region, including the capitals Donetsk and Luhansk, have been controlled by separatists supported by Russia since 2014. In February 2022, the government of Russia recognized the Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic days before the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Both the foundation of these republics and the invasion itself were condemned by most of the international community, except a few of Russia's allies. In September 2022, the Russian government held local "referenda" condemned as illegitimate by the international community, leading up to Russia nominally annexing the region on 1 October, together with parts of southern Ukraine.

While both Ukraine and Russia claim the Donbas as part of their country, de facto control is subject to change.

Get in


As the battlefront crosses the region, you need to visit either the Ukrainian-controlled part from Ukraine or the Russian-controlled part from Russia. Check whether this will make visits to the other country difficult in the future (see Visa trouble). As the battlefront may move fast, varying parts of the region are off limits.

Get around


Air travel in the region remains virtually impossible, and roads are dangerous. Even civilian vehicles may be mistaken for troop transports.



The mining and heaps throughout the region create a distinctive industrial landscape.



Help in the reconstruction work. You will want to have made arrangements beforehand.



The region is experiencing a food shortage as a result of the war. If you are to travel to Donbas, bring adequate supplies to sustain yourself.



Stay safe


The battlefront of the Russian invasion of 2022 spans the entire region. As such, expect landmines, artillery fire, and potentially hostile combatants should you find yourself in Donbas.

Go next

This region article is an extra-hierarchical region, describing a region that does not fit into the hierarchy Wikivoyage uses to organise most articles. These extra articles usually provide only basic information and links to articles in the hierarchy. This article can be expanded if the information is specific to the page; otherwise new text should generally go in the appropriate region or city article.