Ukraine Defense Ministry Makes Veiled Threat Against Russian Civilians in Crimea

The ministry said Russian tourists shouldn't visit Crimea unless they want an 'unpleasantly hot summer break'

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry on Thursday made a veiled threat against Russian tourists in Crimea in a video posted to Twitter, which came a few days after a series of explosions at Russia’s Saki Air Base in the peninsula.

The ministry wrote on Twitter: “Unless they want an unpleasantly hot summer break, we advise our valued russian guests not to visit Ukrainian Crimea.”

The video says, “You had a few options this summer,” then goes on to list several tourist destinations. “You chose Crimea,” it says, “Big Mistake.”

The video then shows the series of blasts that hit the Russian air base and fleeing nearby beachgoers who had a view of the explosions.

“Time to head home,” the video says, concluding with the words, “Crimea is Ukraine.”

So far, Ukraine has not officially taken credit for the explosions at the Russian air base, which killed one person, and wounded 14 more. But anonymous Ukrainian officials speaking to the media have claimed that it was a Ukrainian special forces attack, which, if true, would mark a significant escalation in the war.

For their part, Russia has downplayed the blasts, claiming it was an ammunition explosion caused by accident.

The blasts at the Saki Air Base came not long after Ukrainian officials said they were planning to start attacking Crimea and suggested they could use US-provided weapons. The US has asked Ukraine not to use weapons it sends against Russian territory, but the rule doesn’t appear to apply to Crimea since Washington doesn’t recognize the peninsula as part of Russia.

Russian officials have made clear they would view attacks on Crimea as a serious escalation of the war. Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who currently serves as the deputy chair of Russia’s security council, warned that attacks on the peninsula would mean “doomsday” for Ukrainian leadership.

Russia took Crimea in 2014 after the US-backed ousting of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Crimea’s residents, the majority of which are ethnically Russian, voted in a referendum to join Russia. The US has denounced the referendum as a sham, but plenty of polls have been held after 2014 that show Crimeans are happy they joined Russia.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.