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Odessa Celebrates Liberation Day

9. April 2010 by Michelle 0 Comments

Odessa's Flag

The third largest Ukrainian city after Kiev and Kharkiv, Odessa is a major industrial, cultural, scientific, and resort center. The city is also a naval base and the home port of a fishing and Antarctic whaling fleet. An ideal location on the Black Sea, combined with the abundance of natural resources, has given rise to many battles over its ownership throughout history.


Odessa’s first occupants are said to have been an ancient Miletian Greek colony, called the Odessos, Ordyssos, or Ordas, who disappeared between the 3rd and 4th centuries. In the 14th century, the area became a Crimean Tatar fortress and trade center called Khadzhi-Bei and was controlled by Lithuanians. In 1764, control was passed on to the Turks, who built a fortress to protect the harbor. It was captured by the Russians in 1789.


By the Treaty of Jassy in 1792, Turkey ceded the region to Russia, which rebuilt Odessa as a commercial port and naval base. The city that developed grew rapidly as the chief grain-exporting center of Ukraine; its importance was further enhanced with the coming of the railroad in the second half of the 19th century. It was a free port from 1819 to 1849, and in 1866 it was linked by rail with Kiev, Kharkiv, and the Romanian city of Jassy. Industrialization began in the latter part of the 19th century.


The city's first workers' organization was founded in 1875. Odessa was the scene of a workers' outbreak led by sailors from the battleship Potemkin in 1905. When Turkey closed the Dardanelles to the Allies in World War I, the port of Odessa was also closed and was later bombarded by the Turkish fleet. Following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, the city was successively occupied by the Central Powers, until the Red Army definitively took it in 1920.


Despite a heroic defense during World War II, the city fell to German and Romanian forces in October of 1941. It was under Romanian administration as the capital of Transnistra until its liberation on April 10, 1944 by the Soviet Army.


Odessa’s Liberation Day is honored by several parades and festivals throughout the city. The Odessa City Council Internal Policy Affairs Department and the Slobodka Culture Center will hold a military movies festival starting today with the showing of the film “Port”. Five other films will be featured on specific dates throughout May 7th.


Are you chatting with any hot Ukrainian girls from Odessa? Find out if they are celebrating Liberation Day or ask them to teach you more about their beautiful city!