A deadly drone strike on Russia’s main bridge to Crimea on Monday sent scores of Russian tourists fleeing the region, leading to traffic jams and panicked messages from vacationers desperate to get out.
Gambling of vehicles leaving the Crimea to the The Kherson region is annexed by Russia extended for 5 km on Monday night, according to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. Live footage broadcast on Russian state media channels showed further congestion building across southern Russia, with citizens claiming to be stuck in their cars for hours afterwards.
About 50,000 Russian tourists were on holiday in Crimea at the time of the attack, which left two Russian tourists dead, according to state media reports. The Kremlin has since blamed the drone strike on Kyiv, which has so far not claimed responsibility for the incident.
Following the incident, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he would temporarily lift a previously declared martial law order in the region, known as a popular holiday destination for Russian tourists.
“I ask residents and guests of the peninsula to refrain from traveling on the Crimean bridge and, for the sake of safety, choose another overland route through the new regions,” said Sergei Aksyonov, the leader of Crimea installed in the Kremlin, on Monday.
Tourists who wanted to flee faced a barrage of obstacles, it seems Counselor of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Anton Gerashchenkoto share Telegram posts apparently from Russian citizens complaining about the chaotic mass exodus.
“Toilets are also bad, petrol stations have closed free toilets, they justify themselves by saying that the influx of people is too big,” one user was allegedly caught in the jam, and people did others complain about the lack. mobile phone service.
In additional posts shared and translated by Geraschchenko, the Russian accounts allegedly lambasted Kremlin authorities for previously promoting Crimea as a safe holiday destination for Russian tourists.
Others had a choice of words for Russians who decided to vacation in Crimea in the first place. “Just yesterday I was thinking about how many people there should be to go on holiday to the Crimea now. Well, the holiday will certainly be remembered now when they go home through the front,” said one comment.
Monday night, Putin promised that the Russian army will “respond” to the attack on the bridge, which he called a “senseless crime” that has “no military significance.”
“Appropriate recommendations are being prepared by the Ministry of Defence,” he said.