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12 Aug, 2022 05:02

Ukraine threatens Russian tourists

Kiev warns Russian citizens visiting Crimea could face an ‘unpleasantly hot summer break’
Ukraine threatens Russian tourists

The Ukrainian military issued a sinister threat against Russian tourists seeking to travel to Crimea this summer, insisting the region belongs to Ukraine and suggesting visitors might be killed by shelling or air strikes.

The Defense Ministry took to Twitter on Thursday with a post stating that “Unless they want an unpleasantly hot summer break, we advise our valued Russian guests not to visit Ukrainian Crimea,” also appending a video set to Bananarama's ‘Cruel Summer.’

“You had a few options this summer: Palm Jumeirah Beaches, Antalya Resorts, Cuban Cabanas. You chose Crimea; big mistake. Time to head home,” the video says, at one point cutting between scenic shots of the named tourist destinations and explosions erupting at Moscow’s Saki Air Base on the peninsula earlier this week.

The video also included footage of beachgoers in Crimea fleeing blasts, with large plumes of smoke seen in the background as the people scramble to safety.

While Kiev's military strongly insinuated it was behind the explosions, Russian officials have insisted the air base did not come under attack, and that the blasts were caused by an accidental detonation of ammunition. Local authorities confirmed that at least one person was killed in the incident.

Russia’s Travel Industry Association, meanwhile, observed that “according to preliminary information, the explosion happened far away from the tourist zone,” with no casualties among visitors.

The predominantly Russian-speaking peninsula of Crimea was previously part of Ukraine, but joined Russia back in 2014 following a referendum on reunification, which itself came after the Maidan coup in Kiev. Since that time, the Saki Air Base has housed a Russian naval aviation unit assigned to the Black Sea Fleet, according to RIA Novosti news agency.