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Greek FM Dendias Leads Mission to Odesa as City is Hit by Air Strikes

Odesa Dendias Ukraine
Odesa is preparing for a Russian attack. Credit: Video screenshot/France 24

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias visited the strategic port of Odesa, Ukraine on Sunday as Russian forces have launched airstrikes at the city.

Dendias delivered humanitarian aid, met members of the Greek Diaspora and assessed the condition of premises inextricably linked with Greek history, such as the Museum of the Filiki Etairia.

“I am here today, representing the Greek government, but also the entire Greek society, to transfer aid, first here, in Odessa. Humanitarian aid for the Greek Diaspora, but also for the entire population of the city,” Dendias said after his visit to the Greek Consulate General and the Museum of Filiki Etairia.

He also announced that from today the Greek consulate in Odessa will be open again and thanked the Consul General Dimitris Dohtsis and his associates for the way in which they perform their duty.

“The consulate will help the distribution of humanitarian aid, will help create evacuation corridors for the Greek Diaspora if needed from any part of Ukraine through Odessa and will underline our historic presence in this city,” he stated.

The Filiki Etairia Museum in Odesa is a beacon of Hellenism, housed as it is in the very place where the Greek War of Independence was conceived and planned.

The former Kresnij Pereulok Street home of Greek businessman and national benefactor Grigorios Maraslis (1831-1907), the mayor of Odesa between 1878 and 1895, was where the secret society — much like the Sons of Liberty in the American colonies– hatched the plans that would come to fruition in the Revolution.

It was in this home that the founders of Filiki Etairia (Φιλική Εταιρία), or the Society of Friends —Emmanuil Xanthos, Athanasios Tsakalov and Nikolaos Skoufas — vowed to revolt against the Ottomans who had ruled Greece for almost 400 years.

The visit of Dendias comes as Odesa is hit by Russian missiles

The visit of Dendias comes as explosions were heard in Odesa on Sunday morning.

Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, has confirmed on his Telegram channel that “Odesa was attacked from the air” by missiles, some of which he says were “were shot down by air defense”.

An AFP news wire reporter heard explosions in the port city at 06:00 local time, followed by at least three thick columns of smoke and flames visible in an apparently industrial area.

The target of the strike has not yet been confirmed.

ITV News Correspondent John Ray, reporting from the city, said the target appears to have been a fuel storage depot. “Clearly we’re a long way from Russian troops, but not Russian airpower which has Odesa well within range.

“This city, on the Black Sea, is of vital strategic importance to the Russians and the Ukrainians – it is Ukraine’s main link, from a maritime point of view, with the outside world”.

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