Destinations Magazine

Banned from Foreign Beaches

By Stizzard
Banned from foreign beaches When the French Riviera is off limits, try the Russian one

IN COMMUNIST times a summer break usually meant a trip with workmates to a stony beach or a bracing mountainside—within the Soviet motherland. When the red flag came down, Russians flew off en masse on exotic forays to Turkey or Thailand. Now the pleasure of holidaying closer to home is perforce being rediscovered by an ever-growing category of citizens who, to use a very Soviet term, are nevyezdniye: forbidden, by virtue of their state employment or access to secrets, from going abroad. As the Kremlin’s extreme froideur with the West enters its second year, the number of nevyezdniye Russians may surpass 4m.

That is a change from the early years of Vladimir Putin’s presidency, when the means as well as the right to travel were hailed as benefits of his rule. In Soviet times travel abroad, usually in highly controlled groups, was rare. But after the Soviet Union fell in 1991, most Russians could freely leave, including officers in the army, police and intelligence services. Many opened bank accounts and bought…

The Economist: Europe

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