‘Will they finally understand?’ Tearful Russian tourists flee Crimea after missile strike

Russians flee airbase under Ukrainian artillery fire in February

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Video footage recorded by scared Russian holidaymakers showed long streams of gridlocked traffic heading from the occupied territory towards Russia. Ukrainian defence forces are believed to have launched an attack on a Russian airbase located in Saki, the first such attack successfully carried out since the annexation of Crimea in 2014. The reaction of the terrified tourists, who were filmed observing in abject horror the aftermath of the strike, sparked speculation on whether Vladimir Putin’s propaganda machine will be able to maintain its claims that no war is happening in Ukraine.

Footage recorded by Russian holidaymakers shows a woman and her family in their car trying to escape Crimea.

The camera focuses on a woman who can be seen to be visibly upset, tears streaming down her face as she speaks to the camera.

The camera shows multiple rows of other cars full of holidaymakers trying to escape the region following the strike.

Ukrainian Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs Anton Gerashchenko shared the video on Twitter writing: “100 km traffic jam – people want to leave Crimea.

“Do you think Russians will finally begin to understand that it’s really a war?”

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@JensMarten9 said: “Ukraine bombs military air base, Russian holidaymakers cancel their vacation, return to their main homes and continue with their lives. When Russia bombs targets, Ukrainian citizens become refugees or internally displaced people and mostly need to start from 0.”

@Violetaskiller said: “Crimea is Ukraine! Must be really tough and sad having to bomb your own country. All my respect and admiration for ALL Ukraine Army. They are doing amazing work. Really proud of them. Slava Ukraine!”

@OJingryd said: “A Russian Karen – this is hilarious!”

@EmilStenberg2 said: “Who are the Russians stuck in traffic from Crimea? Can I hope that a majority are from Moscow, where most people haven’t been affected by the war? This would be a nice wake-up call why the war might not be such a good idea after all.”

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@AIH44325390 said: “The woman in the video sounds like a “new resident of Crimea” after 2014. She is crying that she has to leave the house where they felt so good, “like in their own one”. They probably lived in one of the many apartments or houses stole from Ukrainians.”

@SyzymonP90447702 said: “it’s a pity they didn’t blow up the bridge. all the people would have to go back to Russia by Mariupol and see what their country did.”

@CliffSmith3 said: “Please can we get a satellite pic of the traffic jam? Haven’t seen a decent traffic jam since the Russian Army pretended they were taking Kyiv.”

@Johnny219098579 said: “I am sure all RU civilians knew already a war is going on but prefer to look away. Now they also can see and feel it. However, it’s still less than 1% of how the UA civilians are experiencing. When RU are on exactly the same level as UA they probably start acting. WIP.”


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Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told the BBC: “I think when you just look at the footage of two simultaneous explosions not quite next to each other, and some of the reported damage even by the Russian authorities, I think it’s clear that that’s not something that happens by someone dropping a cigarette.”

He added: “First and foremost, Russia has illegally invaded, not just in 2014, but now Ukrainian territory.

“Ukraine, under United Nations articles, is perfectly entitled to defend its territory and take what action it needs to against an invading force.

“So, is it legitimate? It’s absolutely legitimate for Ukraine to take lethal force, if necessary, but take force in order to regain not only its territory but also to push back its invader.

“And that air force base has been used by Russian air forces to bomb Ukrainian targets.

“So I think in anybody’s sort of manual of war it would be a legitimate target.”


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