Many Russian Tourists Are Stranded Abroad With Their Credit Cards Shut Off And Flights Cancelled Due To Sanctions

As the rest of the world watches as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues, also watching are thousands of Russian citizens who were traveling abroad when Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, and are now stranded in far-flung locations as sanctions kick in.

In Thailand alone, Reuters reports, more than 7,000 Russians are stuck in transit without any firm answers to their questions about how and when they can return home. And cancelled flights aren’t their only problems; Russian banks have been removed from the global SWIFT payment system, leaving these tourists with credit cards that don’t work. And even if they do have access to their accounts, the currency roller coaster is impacting just how much money they do have.

Fortunately, some tourists are finding help where it matters most. “We have to be good hosts and take care of everybody,” Tourism Authority of Thailand head Yuthasak Supasorn told Reuters. Other travelers have gotten more creative.

On Sunday, according to France24, 927 Russian tourists boarded chartered flights from Varadero, Cuba, a resort town approximately two hours east of Havana. Another 940 travelers, some of whom had been in the Dominican Republic, were set to leave Varadero on Monday. At the moment, there are approximately 15,000 Russian and 2,000 Ukrainian tourists visiting DR—some of whom seem to be taking the whole thing in stride.

France24 spoke with one Russian tourist, 48-year-old Alexei Nekrashevich, whose main complaint seemed to be that “It’s unfortunate that we had to fly a little early and that we didn’t get enough rest.”

(Via Reuters)