Odessa, known as the ‘Pearl of the Black Sea’, has been seriously threatened by the Russian Army during the invasion of the country, but its urban center has been spared from bombing. Now it seems that the conflict has shifted to the southeast and is centered on Kherson and the Donbass. But Odessa remains primed for further bombing as people try to get back to normal life.
Odessa remains within range of the Russian artillery and fleet. The resumption of grain exports and port activities brought the ships back, but this could be interrupted at any time.
Vladimir Vasak struggles to understand the special status of this magnificent city, founded by Empress Catherine II of Russia as an outpost of her Empire in the South.
Today, there is no ambiguity in Odessa. Although most of its inhabitants speak Russian, the city is Ukrainian and shows it everywhere, such as August 24, Ukraine’s Independence Day.
Russian ships are on the horizon, the bay is riddled with mines, but Odessa refuses to despise the Russian threat and proudly displays its colors, the yellow and blue of the Ukrainian flag.
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