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Russia Launches Tourist Route to Putin's Vacation Spots

Russian tourism authorities have developed a new tourist route that will take travelers to some of President Vladimir Putin’s holiday destinations as the country’s invasion of Ukraine has limited Russians' international travel options. 

The Russian president is known for taking well-publicized vacations in the Siberian taiga, where he is photographed performing various outdoor exploits in an effort to bolster his image of rugged masculinity.

The “Siberian Holidays” route developed by the Federal Tourism Agency (Rostourism) stretches across more than 1,200 kilometers in the Krasnoyarsk region and republics of Khakasia and Tuva, agency head Zarina Doguzova said Thursday at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The first tourists will embark on the eight-day route by car in July, she said. 

"This is an absolutely special route, which really has no equivalents. … It combines incredibly beautiful nature, the very vibrant ethnicities of the Siberian peoples and unique artifacts: Scythian gold, the tombs of the leaders of the prehistoric kingdoms of the middle Yenisey [river] and Buddhist sites in Tuva. We also included a miracle of engineering, the Sayano-Shushenskaya Dam, on the route," she was quoted as saying.

Rostourism is also preparing 24 new domestic tourist routes, with 1.2 billion rubles ($21 million) to be spent on their development.

Among these are the “Tsar’s Road” route between St. Petersburg and Moscow and “The Day Begins Here” on Sakhalin Island. 

Last year, the Proekt investigative outlet reported that Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu have used money from the federal budget to build private mansions for the Russian president's trips to national parks in Tuva, the defense minister's home region. 

Russia has sought to develop its domestic tourism sector since 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic prompted worldwide border closures.

The country is again significantly isolated from international travel following its invasion of Ukraine, which prompted most Western countries to close their airspace to Russian airlines.

Western sanctions have also led Boeing and Airbus to halt the supply of replacement parts to Russia, affecting Russian air carriers' fleets.

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