Odesa’s 4th Popular Assembly, held on February 9, ended with a great march. This time, 1,500 “Westerner invaders” marched through the city’s streets, seemingly confirming the local authorities’ propaganda directed at Odesites in the recent weeks. The marchers held posters depicting famous “Westerners” of Odesa, that is, Europeans who built and developed the city, such as Frenchman Langeron, Greek Marazli, and Spaniard de Ribas. With this event, Odesites tried to stress that it was these “invaders” who brought the city its fame as cultural and artistic center of the country.
On the way, the organizers and presenters of the event Andrii Yusov and Serhii Hutsaliuk told participants via a megaphone of the European city streets’ histories, in particular these of Deribasivska, Rishelievska, and Hretska. The column that stretched for several blocks was enthusiastically welcomed by passersby and residents of houses who waved flags from balconies. Motorists were equally enthusiastic. As it turned out, almost all of Odesa taxi and minibus drivers support the Euromaidan. The march through the downtown Odesa took about two hours and gathered a large number of supporters, including old and new participants of the Euromaidan, artists, musicians (Odesa heard a real western Ukrainian trembita on that day), representatives of opposition parties, and the newly formed Odesa branch of the Right Sector.
As usual, the march ended at the monument to Duke de Richelieu, where its initiators delivered a manifesto. It reads: “The list of Westerners who made a piece of the steppe by the sea into a thriving, bright, elegant, rich city is endless... Some of them were famous architects, like Vlodek, Boffo, Bernardazzi, Torricelli, and Coquelin. Austrian Ferdinand Fellner and German Hermann Helmer made our Opera House into the building which we know and love today. The city became rich thanks to the Westerner merchants Anatra, Rali, and Rodokanaki. Archeologist Blaramberg, writer Olesha, poet Mickiewicz, Decembrist Poggio – this city endured Westerner invasions from its very inception! Odesa is a city of Westerners. We prove it by our present march. We have always been ‘coming’ here to Odesa to enhance and embellish the city, only to be accused of fascism. But you know, we, Westerners, will not surrender Odesa! We, the Euromaidan activists, tell you that Odesa is a Westerner city, a part of Europe. Glory to Ukraine!”