Inside Vladimir Putin’s twisted plan to turn war-torn Ukraine into £24m lavish resorts

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun7,2024

Vladimir Putin is planning to create lavish tourist resorts along the southern coast of Ukraine ravaged by his troops, a report citing Kremlin officials and official documents has claimed.

The southern coast of Ukraine along the Sea of Azov, much of which has been devastated by the unlawful invasion of Russian troops and the conflict that followed, has been pinpointed as one of the areas to become a “resort Mecca” in a map reported by Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.

While the war still rages in Ukraine, Kremlin planners have reportedly already come up with the tagline “a sea of family comfort” to promote the Azov region as a future haven for families – and are hoping to complete the project by 2040.

The Sea of Avoz is bounded by Russia on the east and Ukraine on the northwest and southwest.

The reported plans, on which the Russian government hasn’t officially commented, have been tipped to require an investment of £24billion (2.7trillion rubles) by 2030 and would include new roads linking the occupied territories with Russia, the development of new water sources, hotels, natural areas and a sturgeon breeding programme for fishing.

The newspaper reported planners are prioritising works to stave off the “desertification” in the southern occupied territories – which experts partially blame on the destruction of the Kakhovka dam.

The coastal city of Mariupol, which was largely destroyed during the deadly weeks-long Russian siege in early 2022, would be fitted with a yacht marina, according to the plans shared by the newspaper.

An analysis conducted by the Human Rights Watch organisation found that 93 percent of the 477 apartment buildings in Mariupol’s city centre had been damaged and that 86 of the city’s 89 educational facilities had been targeted by Russia between late February and mid-May 2022.

A report by the organisation released in February said Mariupol had been “profoundly changed” two years into the war, claiming Moscow had begun its project to get the city rebuilt by 2025 – while removing any sign of Ukrainian culture.

Another area reportedly being earmarked for new lavish resorts is Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula Russia illegally annexed in 2014 often targeted by Ukrainian drones and missiles.

Russian tourists continued to flock to Crimea even after the beginning of the war – and authorities continue to claim the peninsula is safe despite the ongoing fighting.

The planned resorts could accommodate up to 16 million tourists a year, the report read, with target markets being countries close to Russia such as Kazakhstan and Belarus.

These alleged proposals were shared a few months after Radio Free Europe reported Russian authorities briefing officials in the occupied Ukrainian territories about plans to develop new tourism infrastructure in the area.

The report was followed by a message shared on the messaging platform Telegram by Yevhen Balytskyi, the Russian-appointed administrator for Zaporizhzhia, in which he announced plans for “a new tourist complex… the project involves the construction of more than 100 hotels”.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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