TVP World’s special correspondent to Ukraine Don Arleth interviewed Hennadii Trukhanov, the Mayor of Odesa, to ask him how the people of the city which is under perpetual threat of bombardment and possibly assault are coping with the situation.
Mayor Trukhanov said that he never thought he would witness a war, and it seemed unimaginable that Russia would launch a war against Ukraine and destroy Ukrainian cities. Unfortunately, now every Ukrainian knows what war is. 200,000 people, mostly women and children have left the city, separating families and making it hard for them to stay in touch. But speaking of the refugees, Mayor Trukhanov also thanked Poland and other European countries who have taken in Ukrainians fleeing from the war, having no doubt that when they are able to return home, they will say that they were treated well by their hosts.
Some of the residents who fled have since returned to Odesa, and the city has also taken in refugees from other parts of Ukraine, such as Kharkiv, the nearby Mykolaiv, and the currently occupied Kherson. There are currently at least 31,000 refugees who have registered their stay, although many more have not registered. The municipal authorities are trying to help these people the best way they can, trying to find accommodation and jobs for them, enrolling children in local schools, etc.
Other matters discussed by Mayor Trukhanov included: what he believes the war still has in stock for Odesa; the renewed export of grain through the city’s port and the troubles and perils connected to it; and the economic impact of the war on the city.