To ensure tourist flow in the occupied Crimea, Russian state-owned companies have been instructed to provide their employees with holiday package to health resorts of the peninsula, according to the former Head of the Ministry of Resorts and Tourism of Crimea Aleksandr Liev in the comments for "Center for Investigative Journalism."

He claims that after the annexation, 700 thousand Russians visited Crimea in this way in the peak, in terms of tourism, year 2015.

“About 700 thousand people travel to the Crimea not of their own volition. They were sent to the Crimea by the state, public and other corporations. Travelling instructions were given for all areas - to load up the Crimean resorts. In total, this figure was a peak in 2015, and after it continues to drop. It was the maximum that the Kremlin could wring. Then the number goes on reducing.”

He claims that now the number of Russian tourists in the Crimea is by 6 times more than the number of Ukrainian citizens vacationing in the peninsula.

“In 2015 the Crimea hosted 1.5 million people, of which about 200 thousand were citizens of Ukraine, and 1.3 million were citizens of the Russian Federation. In 2016, this figure has remained at the same level - about one and a half million.”

In 2017 the occupants decided to save tourist season in the occupied Crimea in advance with the help of religious rituals. Thus, on Christian Baptism, January 19, in the occupied Yalta, a prayer service was held on the successful holiday season.

Photo: Internet