The gray sky, the icy snow, along the clean streets lined with eighteenth-nineteenth-century buildings and structures dating back to the Soviet-era, the city was quiet. Except for the Christmas fairs, there weren’t many people around, the temperature was constantly below 0 degrees Celsius and life flowed underground among shops, trendy restaurants and the subway.
Maryska, the young man who was my guide for the first day, proudly told me: “First of all I would like to start by showing you the photographs of the martyrs who fought for our country during 2014 Euromaidan revolution… Later we can go down in the subway, the stations were built in the 60s as real bunkers, old legacies from Soviet Union…“ he added with a half smile.
Now, after the recent attack by the Russian army, I look back on Ukraine’s troubled history. I remember that I wished to continue my trip to Odessa. I wanted to discover that city so young and completely projected towards the future, to understand those strong and proud people better, their cautious and disenchanted kindness, a light of slight distrust in their eyes.