Sanctions over Ukraine thwart Russians' travel plans

STORY: Tatiana and her fiance, Nikolay, wanted to travel to Turkey after their wedding in June. But like many in Russia - they changed their plans...

"We went to a tour agent to book a tour to Turkey. But the tour agent talked us out of it, because now there are a lot of difficulties. Many people return (from package tours), and many of those who travelled there for vacation came back unhappy."

"She told us directly that many Ukrainian women work at the hotel (in Turkish resort), and there could be trouble."

Russia's invasion of Ukraine - which has killed thousands and displaced 14 million people- has not only prompted international sanctions, but has Russians fearing they could face growing anti-Russian sentiment abroad...

Add to that logistical issues and soaring prices ... and it's all made travel abroad for Russians seem next to impossible.

Tatiana and Nikolay will now plan to take their holiday in Crimea.

In fact, many Russians this summer are expected to opt for domestic travel.

MOSCOW RESIDENT, ANASTASIA: "In general, it's a pity that plans to travel abroad, to Europe, and visit a dream city, have been ruined. However, it's always possible to find a great alternative in our country, because we have many beautiful places".

In the aftermath of the war in Ukraine- which three months in, Russia still calls a "special military operation" - international sanctions have, among other things, cut into the country's travel industry. Airspace was closed to Russian planes. Travel to Europe is no longer an option for many Russians because of a lack of direct flights. Even when flights are available, the cost of air travel has skyrocketed.

And MasterCard and Visa credit cards issued in Russia stopped working abroad.

Marina and her husband canceled a trip to London in May, citing increased prices, difficulties with booking and a feeling that she might be confronted with "Russophobia."

"In March we saw what was happening, in the first place, with prices; in the second place, it was impossible already to book through Airbnb, because the service was denied. So, it became much harder to find and book apartments. And to be honest, I already felt anxious about what might happen to planes a nd flights in general."

She and her husband spent their May holidays in the southwest city of Kazan, and travelled there by car.

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