Russians realize the war is not going well. This was a three-day operation that should have left a friendly regime in Kyiv. Instead, vacationing Russians in Crimea are treated to explosions well beyond the front lines.
Now they are getting something else. Russians may not receive tourist visas to the European Union. This is now considered part of the next set of sanctions. According to ABC News, this is starting with Finland and Estonia:
The leaders of Estonia and Finland want fellow European countries to stop issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens, saying they should not be able to take vacations in Europe while the Russian government carries out a war in Ukraine.
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas wrote Tuesday on Twitter that “visiting Europe is a privilege, not a human right” and that it is “time to end tourism from Russia now.”
A day earlier, her counterpart in Finland, Sanna Marin, told Finnish broadcaster YLE that “it is not right that while Russia is waging an aggressive, brutal war of aggression in Europe, Russians can live a normal life, travel in Europe, be tourists.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy went further in a Washington Post interview Monday, saying all Western countries should ban Russian tourists.
Europe is continuing the process of isolation of the Russian Federation. It comes on the heels of more war crimes within Ukraine, including threatening the safety of a nuclear plant.
This is going to affect Russians who have money to travel. These tend to be part of an ever-diminishing middle class who happen to be part of a professional class. The vast majority of Russian citizens have not left home.
Liberals, like those posting on Bell 21, know things are not going well. They write of this where we can read, maybe find some sympathy.
In the Kremlin, even the last stump, overgrown from head to toe with a scab of schizofascism, is obvious that the war of conquest has bogged down, that Ukrainian statehood has not been destroyed, and Ukraine has not been captured. And it won’t work anymore. This is a dead end, from which one way or another, but you have to get out. At least nominally.