Sun, sea and sanctions evasion: Where Russians are spending the summer

Sun, sea and sanctions evasion: Where Russians are spending the summer

Even as war rages in Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of Russians are eyeing popular holiday destinations for a summer break — or even a safe haven to wait out the conflict.

While a weaker ruble and growing economic woes means many ordinary families will be spending the warmer months on their dachas or taking a break inside Russia, those with enough cash to travel are wasting little time jetting off to sunny spots across Europe and Asia.

That means countries still willing to take their money are tapping into a lucrative market. But that can come at a cost, and the politics of taking tens of thousands of tourists from a pariah state is already creating trouble in paradise for some popular destinations.

Here are six of the top places Russians are spending their vacations.


As lazy travel writers so often put it, Turkey is a nation that straddles East and West. That old cliché has taken on new meaning since the start of the war in Ukraine, with the NATO member state offering support to Kyiv while at the same time refusing to impose sanctions on Moscow.

Ankara, as a result, has seen much-needed foreign cash flood into the country as Russians look to move their assets abroad. It’s also one of the only European destinations not to have banned flights from Russia: While the EU’s skies are closed, Turkish operators are offering flights from Moscow to sunny destinations like Antalya and Bodrum for as little as €130.

In the first half of the year, Turkey’s tourism revenues grew by more than a quarter, hitting $21.7 billion, statistics released this week show, with as many as 7 million Russians expected to visit the country this year.


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