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'Beach Revolution' In Crimea Tearing Down Fences

A Crimean beach
A Crimean beach
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine -- Locals and tourists on Crimea's Black Sea coast are destroying fences put up by local businesses that limit access to beaches, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Two weeks ago, citizens and tourists in the Crimean city of Alupka demolished fences built by the Mountain Sun Sanatorium and injured the clinic's chief physician and security chief.

A week later, a similar incident took place in Polikurivska Slobidka, near Yalta, in which protesters demanded access to the beaches while tearing down a fence at a private beach.

Tourist season in Crimea is currently at its peak with many people from former Soviet republics coming to the peninsula and staying in private houses, avoiding the more expensive spas and hotels.

But beach access for tourists has become more difficult as the spas and hotels put up fences to make their parts of the beaches available only to their guests.

That cut into the number of people renting apartments and has angered the people who traditionally rent rooms to tourists during the summer.