Russian sites were aflutter with fake stories claiming that Crimea was experiencing a tourist rush from Ukraine. Russia’s security service, the FSB, reported that in the course of three days (April 28-May 1) nearly 20 thousand people entered the peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. The majority of visitors, the FSB pointed out, were coming to Crimea for vacation.

These fake stories were circulated in Crimean media such as Sevastopolskie novosti, and Krim Inform, but also in Russian official state media, TASS, and even the Ukrainian site Korrespondent.

Website screenshot RIA
Website screenshot Komsomolskaya pravda

According to the Ukrainian Border Service the actual number of Ukrainians visiting Crimea is actually much smaller. Border Service adviser Oleh Slobodyan writes on his Facebook page that less than 10 thousand people crossed into Crimea over a period of six days (April 28-May 3, two thousand less than the previous week.

FB screenshot Oleh Slobodyan

Compared to last year, the number of Ukrainians visiting Crimea for the May holidays (May 1-2) fell by 60%, Slobodyan pointed out.

Since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, its media regularly publish fakes claiming record numbers of Ukrainians are vacationing on the peninsula.