Association of representatives of tourism transformation of Ukraine (“Visit Ukraine”) briefly launched tours of Ukrainian hero cities that suffered from Russian aggression.
These are excursions to Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Kharkiv. They also offered to make a separate tour of Irpen and Bucha.
In social networks, Yuliya Vasilieva published screenshots of the description of these excursions with indignation: “I’m sorry, but this is the BOTTOM. Walk around the places where they killed and raped? Behold… worse than invaders”. Dozens of people supported Yuliya in the comments under the post.
The tours are actually aimed at foreign tourists who, seeing the destroyed Ukrainian cities with their own eyes, will become another witness to Russia’s war crimes, said the founder of Visit Ukraine, Anton Taranenko.
“Currently, we have requests from famous foreign bloggers, top journalists and ordinary foreigners specifically to visit brave cities. They want to see it, like Johnson, Macron, Scholz, Sean Penn, Ben Stiller, Angelina Jolie… These people became the trigger for visiting Ukraine. And I am deeply convinced that the story of any foreigner after what he saw is additional evidence of Russia’s crimes, which it keeps silent and does everything to divert the world’s attention to other topics”Anton Taranenko
Most of the tours have now been removed from the Visit Ukraine website. Only Kyiv, Chernivtsi and Sumy were left.
The Visit Ukraine association has canceled tours to the de-occupied cities of Ukraine.
“Visit Ukraine took into account all the comments and remarks received. We fully support that all tours to de-occupied places in the future can take place after discussion with memory specialists, in compliance with moral and ethical standards and with the permission of local residents”Visit Ukraine
They explained that they added these tours “after numerous requests to visit de-occupied places” so that not only diplomats or stars, but also ordinary people could see with their own eyes the consequences of Russian crimes.
The association admitted that these topics “require more detailed elaboration”, so the tour offers were removed from the site.
From my own point of view, the tours operated to Chernobyl can be seen as similar because they also go to a place that had huge suffering and pain for many people.
For many years people have tried to find the right balance with the tours, and whilst I think Contamination Zone has found pretty-much the right position, there are others who take things more extreme and touristic than we do. For example, one company dresses their staff in Soviet Police clothing, and another sells glow in the dark condoms with a radiation symbol on them. For me, that is too much.
I absolutely think that we must create the possibilities for people to visit these places and see for themselves the results of the invasion and abuses by the orcs, however this must be done right. It is best to take the time to speak to people and find the best way to move forwards.
Since you’re here…
Contamination Zone is a group of people who are united by our love for the Chernobyl Zone. We are a non-profit organisation and every year we raise thousands of euros for good causes in the Chernobyl Zone, such as firefighting equipment, monument restoration, animal welfare and more.