11 Days of War. 2nd letter from Odesa--Baltimore sister city in Ukraine
Mar 6, 2022   Julia Gorodetskaya 
 
 
 
Today we had several air raid alerts. I didn’t hear any of them, for I was staying in a very deep and paralyzing sleep with no chance to wake up. Of course, the reason for that is not only the unbearable stress, but also the fact that Odesa was not actually bombed. Not really.

Today our defense downed 2 planes, but the only thing Odesans could hear washear - was the very loud sound of air defense guns.

To sleep in clothes on the floor in the corridorin corridor is more than uncomfortable, but it’s nothing compared to what people of other cities had faced by this moment. If there will be no clustercasette bombs, as in Kharkiv, Kyiv and other places, I might survive.  

 

Twelve 12 days ago I wasi was in a theater, but a couple of hours later the life itselfaround became a theater, a theater of unjustified and vile war. On FebruaryIn February 22, right after Putin’s deranged speech proclaiming war on Ukraine, there were several explosions in Odesa. I thought there were fireworks. Later we all found out that those first blasts were from stored military equipmentstorages.

 

First days of the war were just very nerve-wracking nervous. But at the same time they were highly illuminating. For me, at last. As in the times of Euromaidan street protests in 2014, the civillians mobilized. Some of them signed up for the into territorial defensedefence forces, most of them signed up went to provide civilian help. A lot of my friends - writers and poets, opera singers and ballet dancers, conservatory and universityunivercity professors went to city beaches to fill bags with sand.  - this Now sandbags surround constructions are now around every priceless architectural object. A lot of restaurateursrestauranters and private cooks got togethergathered to prepare food for the army. My school teachers whom i haven’t seen for decades along with hundredshunderds of other Odesans went to knit masking nets. Volunteers went to the stores to buy obtainprovide food for the poor and elderly with food in advance. On the 11ththe day 11th of this strange war we can honestly say: the city is functioning well. Even garbage containers are empty and Odesa is clean. But in waiting of a disaster.

 

The most tragic events started when the Russians decided to bomb Kharkiv. American intelligence warned us that there are horrors were being planned,in plannin–g. Some events that would sowseed panic into people’s hearts. But who could have known that we’dll see such horrors! Residential houses bombed were a shockhorrifyare horrifiing even for those who decidedwere ready to stay and defend the country and their cities. I remember the first feeling after the first bombs. By a coincidencecoincedence, the sirens were working in Odesa. I remember puttingputing on my clothesclose and going to one of the most unsafe neighborhoodsneighbourhoods in the city. I wanted to catch some saboteursabotuer, if i couldcan. It didn’t happen, of course. In that neighborhoodneighbourhood - it is called Moldavanka - where I spent first four4 years of my life. I stopped at every memorable place i remembered, saying goodbye to it, crying as I neveri never cried in my life. This situation demanded from me another kind of bravery - the bravery I didn’t seem to have –. Nnot to run from a a place certain to be destroyed. definite destructiondistruction. Still I decided not to flee.

 

Several days have passedpast. I didn’t get used to the bombing and the shooting of civillians. I still can’t couldn’t bearbare the sound of air defensedefence. All psychologicalpsycological techniquestechnics failed. Breathing deeplyBreething, physical activities and communicatingcommutications withto friends didn’t work. But I noticed, that hardworking hard is the answer. And laughter works even better. 

it was reported that 11 leven11 Russian warships came close to Odesa. Our answer:? “Go f*ck yourself Russian warship!” 

Another tank unit coming close to our region? Oh, yes, we have a lot of tractorstracktors to help with that can haul off that mountainmountin of metal. 

 

Today our president, who in one night became a real hero, saidtold that Odesa is going to be bombed. And now I would believe “our boy” with my life, for we who would never expected him to gain such staturerise so high. Four4 Rrussian warships are still very close to the city and can try to dock moor any time. We don’t have enough shelters, and our air defensce system will not survive massive bombardmenting. So what? The best people of the country are trying to do everything they can to shield us from harm. And there are war criminals on the other side. If we die, we die in honorhonour. So let it be. But if we survive, we restore our country and will wait to welcome for all those beautiful people who help us from every country in the world who helped us. 

Click HERE for the First Letter from Odesa

 

 

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