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More than 500,000 Ukrainians spend holidays in Crimea — minister

August 16, 2016, 19:02 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL

According to the ministry for tourism, more than 3.4 million tourists have visited the peninsula this year

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© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS

SIMFEROPOL, August 16. /TASS/. More than 500,000 Ukrainians have opted this year for holidays in Crimea that reunited with Russia in 2014 after a coup in Ukraine, the Crimean minister for tourism told Tass on Tuesday.

These tourists go to Crimean health resorts to receive treatment, Sergey Strelbitsky specified. On the whole, the flow of passengers via the border check points with Ukraine has grown more than twofold year-on-year, reaching 1.7 million people, he said.

"Surveys that our ministry carries out, show that no hindrances, no borders, no obstacles put by Ukrainian officials can prevent Ukrainians from going to Crimea," the minister for resorts and tourism said.

According to the ministry, more than 3.4 million tourists have visited the peninsula this year, which is 27.6% more than in 2015. Health resorts are 78% full, he said.

Crimea, where most residents are ethnic Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014. In mid-March 2014, Crimea re-joined Russia following a referendum. More than 82% of the electorate took part in the vote. Over 96% backed splitting from Ukraine and spoke in favor of reuniting with Russia.

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