As Odessa prepares for war, the population is divided over which side to take

Odessa, a Russian-speaking port city in southwestern Ukraine and an important strategic target in Russia’s military offensive, is preparing for war. The fighting in the city had not yet begun, but the war had already caused divisions within families and among friends.

Actress Galina Dzhikyaeva joined the efforts to defend Odessa against the Russian invasion, making sure that the Ukrainian soldiers in the city had everything they needed, and says she is proud to see Odessa so united, but this situation in her family is not the same.

Dzhikyaeva’s mother and brother – a police officer – live in Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.

Djikaeva said: “In the early days of the war, my mother told me that it was the Americans who bombed us. My brother should be punished because he is a collaborator and supporter of this. [Russian] She added.

She said: “I do not blame my mother, she is old, but my brother is an adult, able to think; he did not clean the streets, he served in the police.”

However, not everyone in Odessa intends to resist the advance of Russian troops.

What I think of Russia has not changed today, and I do not see Russia as an aggressor. “I think in a month, maybe a little more, military operations will stop and more reasonable people will replace our current commanders,” said Alexander, a resident of the city. “For me, the defenders are the danger, much more than the so-called aggressors.”

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