15:57 GMT24 November 2020
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    Despite being torn by civil war, one thing is bringing Ukrainians from both sides of the ongoing conflict together: both groups continue to choose Crimea as a vacation destination.

    The tourist season in Crimea is now in high gear. Crowds of beachgoers are coming to the peninsula to take in the sun and swim in the sea.

    Since the beginning of 2015, Crimea has welcomed about 3 million tourists, RT reported. Crimea’s authorities have stated that the tourism has increased by almost 20% compared with the last year.

    Unsurprisingly, Russians seem to be the peninsula’s most active visitors. However, Crimean resorts have also remained popular among Ukrainians. Kiev and Donbass residents alike enjoy spending their holidays in the peninsula despite the ongoing Ukrainian conflict.

    "I recently talked with the deputy head of the Kherson Regional Department of the Armed Forces Ilya Kiva. He said that Ukrainians massively spend their vacations in Crimea," Ukrainian politician Dmitry Korchinskiy said.

    "The car numbers show [that the tourists mostly come] from Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv regions and Kiev," he added.

    The Ukrainian authorities, who have recently started to impose penalties on European officials visiting Crimea, are now targeting their own citizens and want to punish them for visiting the formerly Ukrainian territory.

    Korchinskiy has suggested drawing up lists of tourists for the future and breaking off contact with Ukrainians who continue to spend their holidays in Crimea and "create positive statistics".

    "I hope that you, brothers and sisters, stopped your relationships with those friends who had chosen to spend their vacation in Crimea?" Korchinskiy asked.

    Earlier, ten members of a French delegation were banned from entering Ukraine after their visit to the peninsula.


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    tourism, Ukraine, Russia, Crimea
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