In Ukraine, “Ukrzaliznytsia” began selling railway tickets with open dates to the occupied Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk and Mariupol, occupied by Russian troops. Currently, it is impossible to use the Crimean ticket, as trains to the region do not run due to Russia’s occupation of the Crimean peninsula and Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. What these tickets are needed for and when you can use them, read in the material Crimea. Realii.
Ukraine stopped railway connection with Crimea in December 2014. At that time, the peninsula was occupied by Russia for nine months. Large-scale militarization began in the region and mass repressions against Ukrainian citizens unfolded. At that time, Ukrzaliznytsia explained that they could not ensure the safety of passengers and staff in the territory not controlled by Ukraine under such conditions. Thus, the railway connection of the Crimean peninsula with the mainland of Ukraine was terminated.
The sale of train tickets to Simferopol resumed in the conditions of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine after the first successful results of the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces in the southern direction.
“With a dream of Simferopol”
Since December 2014, the final stations of Ukrainian trains going in the Crimean direction have been Kherson and the Novooleksiiivka station of the Kherson region, which is the closest to the peninsula. Currently, this village is occupied by Russian troops, who have been advancing en masse from Crimea since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.
After the Armed Forces were able to push back the Russian troops from the right-bank part of the Kherson region and liberate Kherson, Ukrzaliznytsia decided to remind that the restoration of railway communication with Crimea is possible after it returns to the control of Ukraine.
In an official announcement, the Ukrainian railway operator announced that “in honor of the liberation of Kherson” and “with a dream of Simferopol” together with UNITED24 (a fundraising platform to support Ukraine, launched by the Ukrainian authorities during the full-scale invasion of Russia – ed.) starts selling tickets for the first trains to de-occupied Ukrainian cities.
Routes are opened after the liberation of a city or region from temporary occupation
“The routes are opened after the liberation of the city or region from the temporary occupation. 12 hours before the flight, information about the carriage, place, date and time of departure of the train will be sent to the e-mail address that you specify when issuing the ticket.” – the message says.
Tickets from Kyiv to Simferopol for three flights are currently on sale.
It will be possible to get them to the Crimea by a special train “Train to Victory” (the name of the project is a play on words and can mean both “The drive to win” and “The desire to win” – ed.), which Ukrzaliznytsia launched in August.
One of his carriages is decorated in his honor Yevpatorian Bohdan Ziza, who was arrested and is on trial for splashing yellow and blue paint on the facade of the Russian administration building in Yevpatoria. Human rights activists call his persecution politically motivated.
“Faith in the Armed Forces and Ukrainian Crimea”
You can buy a train ticket to Simferopol and other Ukrainian cities still occupied by Russia through the Ukrainian service concert.uawhich is a project partner.
Tickets currently cost two thousand hryvnias for a compartment and five thousand hryvnias for a suite.
All tickets are for charity, according to the organizers. With the funds from their sale, “Ukrzaliznytsia” promises to buy transport to connect the cities and towns of the de-occupied territories with the nearest railway junctions.
A thousand tickets were sold a few hours after the start
The “Tickets to Victory” project symbolizes “hope for the speedy de-occupation of Ukrainian cities, faith in the Armed Forces and that all of Ukraine will be liberated,” its authors explain.
The greatest demand was recorded for tickets in the Crimean direction, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Digital Transformation reported Mykhailo Fedorov.
“In a few hours after the start, a thousand tickets were sold! And the sales leader Simferopol. Such is the strong faith in the Ukrainian Crimea,” he said.
“A story about hope that cannot be lost”
One of the first holders of a ticket to Simferopol was a journalist, Crimean woman, author of publications Crimea. Realii about the situation on the Crimean peninsula Oleksandr Yefimenko.
This ticket is a story about hope that can never be lost
“I liked this idea, it’s brilliant for me, because I’m from Sevastopol. As a Crimean and a person who is ready to fight for her home, I, of course, think about how to return there, having my basic rights, feeling safe and living under the Ukrainian flag. And this ticket is a story about hope that can never be lost,” the journalist told Krym.Realiya.
Oleksandra Yefimenko said that she still has a railway ticket for the “Dzhankoy-Kyiv” train dated December 28, 2014, which never left due to the suspension of transportation between Crimea and mainland Ukraine.
Currently, the possibility of returning to Crimea, according to Oleksandra Yefimenko, seems more realistic to her than before Russia’s full-scale war with Ukraine.
“This ticket is a source of very painful memories for me. And now my “Kyiv-Simferopol” ticket with an open date is a relevant answer to those tickets that failed to travel in 2014. Now, for the first time in eight years, I feel that the chance to return home with the basic rights of a Ukrainian woman with a Ukrainian passport is real. I really want it to come true and the ticket I bought came in handy,” she says.
Among the buyers of tickets to Crimea are activists, volunteers, journalists of Ukrainian mass media and business representatives. But few have yet publicly announced their purchase. Most of the ticket holders to Crimea currently remain unknown.
This is not the first Ukrainian action that reminds of Crimea and the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Previously, the Ukrainian authorities issued military bonds, some of which were named “Crimea” and “Sevastopol”. As of the beginning of November, it is reported that “Crimea” bonds bought by 6.4 thousand citizens of Ukraine.