Between sirens of air raids, checkpoints, neighborhood patrols and persistent fears of Russian attacks by land, sea or air, the historic and cosmopolitan Odesa tries to recover the vacation spirit that characterizes it, as if the city were trying to defy the Kremlin .
“Music is life. When it’s silenced, anything can happen. Music is a way of protecting our minds,” says Olexandr Proletarskyi, a music critic, sitting on a stool in a dark basement near the center of this southern tourist town. Ukraine.
The recent reopening of clubs, beach restaurants and beauty salons in Odessa is not just a show of defiance or economic necessity.
It also reflects growing confidence among locals that the war against Russia is progressing, at least here on the Black Sea coast.
“I think the city is coming back to life; that the fear is fading a little. People believe in our army, that it protects us, and they feel comfortable, safe. I don’t think the Russian army is winning,” explains Alexander Hodosevich, drummer in an instrumental psychedelic band, sharing a table with a group of friends after an hour-long concert at the More Music club.