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'Siberia is so big, it’s almost more an idea than a place'
Ian Frazier

Stay safe, vacation in Siberia not Europe this winter - top lawmaker

By The Siberian Times reporter
29 November 2016

After US warnings about threat of ISIL, Da'esh and al-Qa'ida attacks around Christmas, senator Franz Klintsevich urges tourists to head east.

Sheregesh: Siberia's most famous mountain ski-ing venue, where the locals defy the cold by coming down the pistes in swimwear. Picture: Vera Salnitskaya

The politician will be taking his New Year break in Siberia, and he urges Russians to do the same, shunning Europe. 

'Russian citizens need to celebrate New Year at home, and it is not some propaganda, but a proposal,' he said. 'I would recommend to do this in Siberia, like me and my family do.'

The 59 year old politician is first deputy chairman of the defence and security committee of the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament. 

Franz Klintsevich

Franz Klintsevich urges tourists to head east. Picture: Facebook

On NTV programme Itogi Dnya, he highlighted recent travel warnings to US citizens as evidence of the threat posed by terrorists in Europe, a popular destination for winter vacations for Russians as well as Americans. 

'The warning that US authorities made has serious grounds,' he said. 'Russian residents who are going to Europe for winter holidays must think: should they be in public places, take part in some events? It is all really very serious.'

He warned: 'As for Europe, it is not a joke. Today European special services have no opportunities to find any information about the exact performers [of terrorist acts] and this raises concerns.'

Altai in winter

Altai Mountains: one of Siberia's great travel secrets for many foreigners, this spectacular range close to Russia's borders with China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan. Picture: Svetlana Kazina

The US State Department on 21 November alerted its citizens to 'heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season'.

Travellers should 'exercise caution at holiday festivals, events, and outdoor markets'.

The warning stated: 'Credible information indicates the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or Da'esh), al-Qa'ida, and their affiliates continue to plan terrorist attacks in Europe, with a focus on the upcoming holiday season and associated events.  

Baikal

Lake Baikal: the oldest, deepest and most mysterious lake in the world, containing  some 20% of the globe's unfrozen freshwater. Picture: I'm Siberian

'US citizens should also be alert to the possibility that extremist sympathisers or self-radicalised extremists may conduct attacks during this period with little or no warning.

'Terrorists may employ a wide variety of tactics, using both conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests. 

'While extremists have carried out attacks in Belgium, France, Germany, and Turkey in the past year, the Department remains concerned about the potential for attacks throughout Europe.'

Oymyakon

Oymyakon: The coldest permanently inhabited village on the planet, in the Sakha Republic, Russia's famous diamond region. Picture: Yuri Yakushin

The senator did not reveal where he would spend his vacation but here are five tips for anyone following his advice - Russian or foreign - who wants to experience the warm welcome and fresh, cool winter by vacationing in Siberia: 

1. Altai Mountains: one of Siberia's great travel secrets for many foreigners, this spectacular range close to Russia's borders with China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, offers unspoilt scenery that more than rivals the world's best known alpine terrain. 

2. Lake Baikal: the oldest, deepest and most mysterious lake in the world, containing  some 20% of the globe's unfrozen freshwater, and more than all the North American lakes put together. Famous for its own seals, much unique fauna and flora, and surrounded by mountains.

Tigre de Cristal

Tigre de Cristal: this is Siberia's answer to Las Vegas, close to Vladivostok on the Pacific coast. Picture: Alexander Khitrov

3. Sheregesh: Siberia's most famous mountain ski-ing venue, where the locals defy the cold by coming down the pistes in swimwear. As an added extra, this part of Kemerovo region is has more sightings of yeti than anywhere in the world.

4. Oymyakon: The coldest permanently inhabited village on the planet, in the Sakha Republic, Russia's famous diamond region. Here at the Pole of Cold temperatures have sank to minus 71.2 C (minus 96 F) in 1924. 

5. Tigre de Cristal: this is Siberia's answer to Las Vegas, close to Vladivostok on the Pacific coast. One of only a handful of gaming zones in the country, it offers a five star hotel welcome plus as much roulette in Russia as you can take. 

Comments (2)

East is the new West. Siberia and the Far Eastern land of Russia offer tremendous destinations and most importantly as authentic as it can get and unspoiled!!
Theodore Terzopoulos, Vladivostok
30/11/2016 11:14
6
0
but most of it, here one still can see and feel REAL snow. not the artificial crap they are spraying all over the alps.
Benedikt, Moscow
30/11/2016 08:55
5
2
1

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