The beach, where summer residents and tourists sunbathe, is now covered by tunnels. Sand is used in bags used to cover roads or to build glass forts.
When you think of the Black Sea from certain parts of the city, Russian warships are visible.
People in Odessa, a large port with a population of one million and the third largest city in Ukraine, should not be surprised if Russia plans to attack here. Are you sure. Of the cities in southern Ukraine, Odessa is the most economically strategic – an inevitable target for Russian forces already besieging other ports in the east.
The attack on Odessa may have come from a warship. Russian forces may come from the east, which is already under control Gerson Port Advanced north to Mykolive. It may even come from the west, the preferred exit route to the Moldovan border. Russian forces are stationed in the secession area of Transnistria on Moldova’s border with Ukraine.
Over the past two days, Russian warships have been spotted off the coasts of Chernomorsk and Jadoka in Odessa, where the chances of the falls landing are high due to favorable geological conditions, said Alexander Velmoshko, a spokesman for the regional security forces.
The city of Odessa, known for the unique sense of humor of the inhabitants of Ukraine, is thus preparing for the worst.
“Now is not the time for jokes,” says Edward Shevchenko, who works with the volunteer organization Park Kultury, which helps retirees and brought some indestructible food to 86-year-old Olga Liyashenko.
Lyashenko uses a walker, so leaving his house is not questionable. The ground floor of the building where he lived was used to store debris, so it was converted into an airstrikes shelter. But her neighbors in her 80s were not impressed either. “It’s disgusting,” he says.
When the air raid sirens sound, none of the women leave their ninth floor apartment and go to the shelter.
“I grew up in the war,” says Liashenko, born in 1936, who remembers the Romanian occupation of the city during World War II. The iconic Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater was almost bombed, he recalled. The building dates back to 1887, when the city was the showcase of imperial Russia. A few blocks from the beach, now surrounded by sandbags and anti-tank barriers, still stands.
In Kharkiv, in northeastern UkraineLike the mostly Russian-speaking city of Odessa, the Opera House is one of the buildings damaged by the bombings.
“I always cry,” says Christina Podushan, who lives in Odessa. “I have friends in the cities that were attacked. What the hell is going on.”
The coast of Ukraine is particularly focused on Russian forces. The war continues in Mariupol, a major port city on the Sea of Azov near Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. The adjoining port of Berdyansk is now in Russian hands.
Russian forces advanced from the Crimean Peninsula to the northeastern part of Melidopol and to the 300,000 inhabitants of Gershon, 140 kilometers northeast of Odessa.
Although Ukraine has anti-ship missiles to protect its coast, the country’s naval navy is considered a weak point in its defense. When Russia captured a key base in 2014, it lost most of its ships. The ships now in possession have no missiles. The Navy does not have modern warships.
The pride of its navy, Headman Sahidachny, was repaired in Mykolayiv, a port where Russian forces advanced. Defense Minister Olekshi Resnikov wrote on Facebook that the ship’s captain had ordered it to be sunk, saying “it should not be captured by the enemy.”
“It is difficult to imagine a very difficult decision for a brave warrior and his team,” Resnikov said. “But we are going to build a new navy, modern and powerful. Now the main thing is to resist.
Odessa has been preparing to do just that for the past few days.
At 19:00 the curfew order is strictly enforced. Known for its smooth and stunning architecture, Downtown streets are now filled with stone barriers and anti-tank “hedgehogs” made of metal rods. Now all over the city Snakes are the popular response of island border guards – “O Russian warship, frighten you” – Posted Outdoors Across the city.
“The salutation of‘ glory to Ukraine ’has become very common in Ukraine,” says Alexander Slovsky, who managed government funds ten days ago but is now a soldier in the regional security forces. “Not like before. The city is mobilizing. Everyone who wanted to leave left, but a lot of people stayed.
A group of men continue their regular chess game in a small park in the center of Odessa, listening to the sound of explosions in the distance. They will not abandon their homes, they guarantee. But they are afraid of what will come to the city.
Vladislav Wasitinsky-Casimir, 59, who was born in Odessa, said: “Chess is a quiet game that stimulates you to think and be creative.” Better a poor horse than no horse at all.
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