The Odessa Review #3

Page 1






# 03/ July 2016

Publisher: Hares Youssef

Editor in Chief: Vladislav Davidzon

Managing Editor:

Regina Maryanovska-Davidzon

Editor at large: Peter Dickinson

Associate Editor: Alexandra Koroleva

Senior Editor: Julia Makarenko

Assistant Editor: Katya Maslova


Stas Dombrovskiy, Ulyana Dovgan, Aleksandr Galyas, Vadim Goloperov, Nikolai Holmov, Volodymyr Gutsol, Iliya Kaminsky, Boris Khersonsky, Ute Kilter, Irina Kyporenko, Mila Kudryashova, Ludmila Khersonskaya, Brian Mefford, Yulia Malikova, Katya Maslova, Kateryna Morozova, Vadim Neselovskiy, Sergei Ostashko, Maryna Perepelitsa, Elena Ralashek, Hanna Thoburn, Dmytro Sikorsky, Oleg Shestopalov, Alexandr Topilov, Alexandra Tryanova, Alexandr Velych, Peter Zalmayev

Design & Cover: Alex Noio


Vyacheslav Zulkarnayev, Ilya Sukhodolsky


Katja Bakurova, Dmitry Kharenko, Nelya Artemenko, Ivan Sytyj, Oksana Kanivets, Pavel Fedorov


Sasha Geifman, Oleg Andreyev, Katya Slonova, Vyacheslav Zulkarnayev

Advertising: COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR: Julia Makarenko email: Tel.: +38 (048) 796-40-26 Mob.: +38 (067) 488-13-40 ADVERTISING MANAGERS: Viktor Nikiforov, Olga Petrova email: Tel.: +38 (048) 796-40-23 LOGISTIC MANAGER: Olga Lumerovskaya email: Tel.: +38 (048) 796-40-24 PROJECT MANAGER: Aleksandra Mokhan email: Tel.: +38 (048) 788-92-10 OFFICE-MANAGER: Natalia Solyanik email: Tel.: +38 (048) 796-40-21


The Odessa Review Editorial Office 47, Nizhynska Street 65023 Odessa Ukraine Tel.: +38 (048) 796-40-21

Monthly circulation: 10 000

Printed by:

« Ot A do Ya » printing house, 38/40 Kollektorna Street 02121 Kyiv Ukraine

Registration information: The Odessa Review is registred with the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice as a print media title. Licence N°: OD1801-672R

All materials published in The Odessa Review are the intellectual property of the publisher and remain protected by Ukraininan and international copyright laws.









From the Editor in Chief. Letter from the Publisher.

June-July Events. OIFF Statistic. OIFF Guide.

The Latest News from Odessa.







ODESSA PERSONALITIES Jazz Improv, Odessa-style. Yurka, Kuzya, Shishman. Leonid Utesov: Was He Really Playing Jazz? Interview with Aleksey Gogokhiya.




Eurovision 2017: Odessa’s European Debut? Ukraine’s Toponymic Revolution. Interview with Pavel Vugelman.

Odessa Philharmonic Hall. Daydreaming about Odessa’s Soho: The Revival of the “Devolanovsky” Descent.

Brief Tales of Odessa’s Musical History. Tracing the History of Odessa’s Rock Movement. Made in Odessa: On Six Musicians with Odessa Roots. Classical Music’s Pedagogue: Stolyarsky.

Eulogies for Yuri Kuznetsov. An Excerpt from “By The Black Sea”. James Bond is from Odessa. My Path to Bruno Schulz, the Messiah from Drohobych.









Ukraine’s Triumphs at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Twilight of the Gods, or, the Last Role of Vera Kholodnaya. Interview with Kateryna Molchanova.

The Interpid and the Dashing 90s at The Odessa Museum of Modern Art.

Franзoise Oz: Art Through Fashion. Alyona and Alyona. The Evolutionary History of the Barbara Bui Design House.

Odessa Investment: Opportunities and Obstacles.









The Odessa Peaks.

Beautiful Pivdenny Bug: Eco-tourism, Rafting and Fishing. How One can Sample the Taste of Bessarabia. Odessa Hotels.

Odessa Restaurants. Breakfasts to Try. Trendy Cocktails. Light Breakfast.

What a Country !? Tales by Boris Khersonsky.







Where to Find the Magazine.

Musician Rozhden Anusi Muses on his Favorite Place in Odessa: The PSrec Art Space.

134 ODESSA IN PHOTOS Nelya Artemenko.



From the Editor in Chief By Vladislav Davidzon

This summer issue of The Odessa Review is devoted to music and film. The musical patrimony of Odessa is well known throughout the world and one can read more about the musical history of the city in the letter penned by our intrepid publisher, Hares Youssef. Likewise, the city was known as the Hollywood of the Soviet Union and has a glorious record of accomplishment in creating classic films. We look forward to seeing you at the Odessa Film Festival which is to be held between July 15th and 22nd. There is a particular upsurge in musical events being held all over the city as soon as the weather allows for it. The Odessa Philharmonic’s legendary conductor Hobart Earle also just held his fantastic ’Black Sea Music Fest’. Mr. Earle is a friend of the magazine – and was the subject of a very long and enchanting interview in our inaugural issue – has been playing a myriad of concerts in Kiev, Lviv, Kharkiv and Odessa

The Odessa Review took part in the musical festivities as well recently. This accomplished man has also just celebrated his 25th anniversary as the Philharmonic’s principle conductor! The Odessa Review took part in the musical festivities as well: we imported the French tradition of holding a midsummer night’s ‘Fete de la Musique’, that is a ravishing all night outdoor musical festival. It was a great treat and and we look forward to annually bringing it to the city’s summer cultural program.


We are no less proud of this issue than we were of the previous two. There is a fantastic history of Odessa’s place in Soviet and post-Soviet rock and roll, reminiscences of Leonid Utesov and Yuri Kuznetsov, as well as historical pieces about the legendary Stolyarski music school. We are also offering a historical panorama of Odessa’s place in cinema history. Along with a fantastic piece about James Bond (yes, he was from here). There is also a movie guide for the upcoming film festival. See you at the movies!




Letter from the Publisher By Hares Youssef

This is the first summer issue of The Odessa Review, and what a summer it promises to be! Summer in Odessa is one of the most poetic and enchanting times of the year and thus the season routinely gives birth to lyrical stirrings of the soul. So, perhaps it should not really come as a surprise that the dual themes of this issue will be music and film. Odessa is famous for the thousands of famed musicians who were born here or have roots going back to the city. Odessa was home to great violinists such as David Oistrackh; pianists like Sviatoslav Richter; singers like Leonid Utyosov. There were eminent composers like David Nowakowsky and Kostyantyn Dankevych. The names of native sons Nathan Milstein and Shu-

Summer in Odessa is one of the most poetic and enchanting times of the year and thus the season routinely gives birth to lyrical stirrings of the soul ra Cherkassky have made the city famous in the annals of musical history. The Stolyarsky School of Music vied with Moscow to be the greatest music academy in the Soviet Union (we write about it in this issue). The history of conducting on Odessa’s great stages runs from the greats like Leonid Mogilevich and the legendary Kurt Sanderling to Ukraine’s most beloved expatriate musician, the Philharmonic’s conductor Hobart Earle.


In keeping with this remarkable musical tradition, we at The Odessa Review too the lead as the prime organizers of Odessa’s first annual ‘Fкte de la Musique’, an all-night outdoor musical festival that filled the city up with music. Traditionally, the festival takes place over one day – all over Europe – and into the evening, featuring musicians playing on every street corner and public space of the city, thus filling it with the joyous sounds of music. First organized by French president Franзois Mitterrand’s storied minister of culture Jack Lang in the late 1980’s, the idea for the festival circled all over Europe, with hundreds of European cities offering similar programs. It was a great evening, people listening to music that was played by 12 different groups who had arrived from all over Ukraine to take part. Sadly, one of Odessa’s greatest musicians will not be here with us to celebrate this magical evening. At the beginning of May, Yuri Kuznetsov, Odessa’s great Jazz man and music festival head succumbed to the cancer he had been fighting publicly and valiantly. Kuznetsov was a stalwart presence in Odessa’s music scene and a foundational stone of its intellectual life. A number of Odessa’s greatest poets have written odes to his memory, which are included in this issue’s poetry portfolio. Play it again, Maestro!

Odesa 39, Kateryninska street +38 (048) 722 77 77

Odessa Calendar

June-July Calendar of Events Odessa International Film Festival

JULY 15 – 23 The biggest event of the summer! The international competition lineup includes films from all over the world, many of which will be screened for the first time. This year’s festival focus is “Art-Mainstream”, that is, films which fea-ture a high artistic quality but at the same time are accessible to a wide range of audiences. Since 2012, the audience has been the main arbiters of the Odessa International Film Festival – the grand prize winner is decided based on the audience voting results. The international jury judges the nominees in the “Best Film”, “Best Director”, and “Best Actor” categories with a careful eye. Other programs featured in the festival include retrospectives, showcases of the newest films from selected countries, exclusive premieres, and screenings of classic cinema hits.

JUNE 27 AT 10PM 5’nizza

JUNE 28 AT 6:30 Zaporozhets za Dunayem


We have been waiting for this for a long time – finally, our favourite reggae duet 5’nizza reunites on stage! “IBIZA” NIGHT CLUB ARCADIA BEACH


The first Ukrainian National Theater, where, for the first time in Ukrainian history, folkloric music and dance were presented on the theatrical stage. This classic work is presented as a comedic opera, full of soulful Ukrainian humor, colorful folk characters, and beautiful traditional melodies woven into

The hits of France’s most famous vocalists – Lara Fabian, Edith Piaf, Joe Dassin, Yves Montand and many others will be preformed. A magnificient symphony orchestra will complement the singing by the star soloists: actor, musician and singer Joel Virgel, and X-Factor finalist, talented and charismatic Darya Kovtun. ODESSA PHILHARMONIC HALL 15 BUNINA STREET

Odessa Calendar JUNE 30 AT 10PM Svetlana Loboda

The vibrant, charismatic and sexy singer has won over audiences with her talent and scandalous performances. Her concert is a summer highlight you can’t miss! “IBIZA” NIGHT CLUB ARCADIA BEACH JULY 1 AT 4PM “Odessa in Sketches” Exhibit opening

JULY 1 AT 7PM Akh Astakhova

The Odessa public will finally be able to enjoy the powerful and atmospheric performance of the unique young poetess Akh Astakhova. The combination of her deep and melodic verses with musical accompaniment imbue her performances with true magic. Despite drawing polarized reactions from critics, as many truly unique artists tend to, Astakhova’s popularity is well-illustrated by her sold-out audiences. ODESSA PHILHARMONIC HALL 15 BUNINA STREET

The band performs a mix of klezmer music with hooligan folklore from Moldavanka. Each live performance welcomes guest participation and, of course, is filled with authentic Odessa humor. PLYAZHNIK CLUB 13TH STATION OF THE BIG FOUNTAIN

JULY 2 AT 7PM Fantayev&Kabanov

JULY 2 AT 10PM Sati Kazanova

JULY 1 AT 8PM “Albert, or the Highest Form of Execution”

This is the first exhibition of works by the Urban Sketchers Odessa group, which is dedicated to creating sketches and studies of our beloved city. Urban Sketchers Odessa is in turn part of the international Urban Sketchers group. All over the world, this volunteer organization unites artists who love to draw the cities where they live or travel to. Sketchers draw what they see directly and in real time, creating a totally authentic impression. The members use different mediums, have varying styles, but all of the artists respect and support each other’s work, sharing sketches online and at exhibits – sharing their perception of our world one drawing at a time. ODESSA BLESCHUNOV MUNICIPAL MUSEUM OF PERSONAL COLLECTIONS 19 POLSKA STREET *EXHIBITION LASTS UNTIL JULY 17TH

This dramatic play is focused on Albert Virozemsky, a swindler and a thief. In order to avoid the death penalty, he has agreed to sell his soul to the devil. But for one reason or another, the contract signed in blood failed to work – and on a certain autumn day of year of 1641, Albert is burned at the stake in the middle of the Lviv Rynok Square. GREEN THEATRE SHEVCHENKO PARK JULY 1 AT 10PM Felix Shinder and “Money Forward”

The noble lords and ladies from the black and white chess kingdoms will meet at the great ball to forget their wars and disagreements and come together for one day to enjoy music, games, and socialize. Balls are a place to meet new people, and share wonderful dances with them. Aristocracy, honor, and beauty come to mind when thinking of this grand event! BRISTOL 15 PUSHKINSKA STREET

Take an amazing trip through the musical traditions of India! Lose yourself in an ocean of Eastern melodies and drift in a meditative bliss to enchanting Hindustani rhythms. You will hear the magical sounds of the sitar, table drums, flutes, lyres, and cymbals – played by the world-famous musicians Aleksey Kabanov and Alik Fantayev. Aleksey Kabanov (Oleksa Lavrsky) is a talented composer and musicians who has performed with Ukrainian stars like Oleg Skripka, Mariya Burmaka, “Mandry”, “Haydamaki”, “Yo’Gurt”. Alik Fantayev is a renowned jazz drummer, whose musical abilities encompass styles from traditional Latin music to free jazz to ethnic percussion. Before the show, guests are welcome to enjoy a dinner of authentic Indian cuisine. The concert will be taking place under the open sky. CULTURE YARD 36 FRANTSUZKY BOULEVARD JULY 2 AT 8PM VII Odessa Chess Masquerade Ball

Sati Kazanova is a Russian singer, former soloist of the Russian girl group “Factory” (2002 – 2010), and TV host. On July 2nd, she brings her exciting show to Odessa! “ITAKA” NIGHT CLUB ARCADIA BEACH JULY 2-17 Odessa Sea Festival

The festival’s main aim is to showcase the special and unique atmosphere of the city. Theater and creative performances, competitions, exhibitions, master classes, lectures, meetings with musicians and writers, performances by a naval orchestra and many other things await the festival’s guests. A unique water program will be included as well: a yacht parade, performances of aqua bikers, surfers, amateur fishing competitions, competitions in water and beach sports and other spectacular events.

“It’s the birthday of the cooperative! We are two years old” The self proclaimed gangster folk group from Odessa is having a concert!


Odessa Calendar JULY 5-11 Ballet festival

JULY 7 AT 6.30PM Family Scenes

JULY 7 AT 10PM Vremya I Steklo

teams and companies to work more successfully. The topics include Agile, Scrum, User Experiences, DevOps, Lean Techniques providing new trends and proven methodologies. AZORA, VISTE-ADMIRALA AZAROVA STREET

JULY 8-10 Silent Nights “Kiev Modern Ballet” is a theater of young people, young bodies, young eyes. Day by day, these young actors come to production rehearsals with a desire to transform themselves from one performance to the next, from role to role.” Rada Poklitaru is the artistic director of the theatre. July 05, 19:00 Karmen. TV. July 06, 19:00 Romeo and Juliette: Shakespeariments July 07, 19:00 Swan Lake: Modern Version. July 08, 19:00 Bolero, Rain. July 09, 19:00 A Long Christmas Lunch, Women in Re Minor. July 10, 19:00 Giselle. July 11, 19:00 Giselle. ODESSA NATIONAL ACADEMIC OPERA AND BALLET THEATER 1 CHAIKOVSKOHO LANE JULY 6 AT 7PM Looks like Happiness

Anna Yablonska’s play “Family Scenes” is a story about love and war. Love, which can unite and ruin fates. War, which can ruin human lives, but paradoxically, can sometimes help create understanding. The audience becomes not only viewers, but participants in the drama. The themes presented in the play are many: the pain of a soldier returning home from war, the collision of two generations, human values which transcend boundaries – and amid this, the story of a child. A child forgotten and abandoned by the adults in its life. A merciless analysis of the society in which we live, where war has become the norm and the alienation between people has reached its peak. V. S. VASILKO ODESSA ACADEMIC MUSIC AND DRAMA THEATER 15 PASTERA STREET JULY 7-10 Kobzov “Golden Magic Trick”

“What is happiness like”? – two women, Claude and Margo, embark on finding an answer to that question. The heroines’ meeting, their journey together and the trust and worry that it creates proves that the women need each other. Fate will lead them to a split in the road... will each one go her own way? And was this meeting really a matter of chance? V. S. VASILKO ODESSA ACADEMIC MUSIC AND DRAMA THEATER 15 PASTERA STREET


“Golden Magic Trick” is an annual international festival of circus art established by Nikolay Kobzov in 2011. Four days, more than 30,000 viewers, 280 actors from 15 countries, 40 of the most popular circus acts and performances. The festival is considered among the five most important circus arts events in the world. KOBZOV CIRCUS

The young Ukrainian pop stars heat up the Ibiza dance floor with their latest hits! “IBIZA” NIGHT CLUB ARCADIA BEACH JULY 8-9 Summer BuildStuff

Summer BuildStuff is an innovative confrence that shows the best of engineers and builders in this incredibly important field. There will be many workshops, panel discussions with over 15 speakers. Over 350 people are expected to attend. It will be an amazing educational and relaxing weekend at one of the most popular summer destinations in Ukraine – Odessa. On July 8-9, 2016 – get out of the office into a seaside event full of professional lectures, technical sessions, beach games, umbrella drinks, and wonderful sunset. Hang out all weekend with top speakers from around the world. Present your own session at the Open Space, join workshops and collaborate with attendees! Keynote events at BuildStuff include: • Geek Stuff – this covers everything that non-developers might find hard to understand. The events include practices working with different programming languages and technology in order to find the most valuable solutions for your company’s projects. • Organizational Stuff – this topic covers best practices that help

On July 8-10 in Odessa, the seaport’s yacht-club will host the 7th annual Festival of Silent Cinema and Modern Music – “Silent Nights”. This popular event began in 2010 by Ivan and Yuriy Lip Charitable Fund and remains as the only Ukrainian celebration of silent cinema. This year’s movies mainly focus on women’s rights from the 1920s-30s. The greatest silent films will be accompanied with live music, leaving a beautiful interpretation of classic movies. MOORING OF YACHT-CLUB OF MORVOKZAL JULY 8 Ada Rogovtseva

A recital with the famous actress – a representative of an entire era of Ukrainian theater and cinema, Ada Rogovtseva. GREEN THEATRE SHEVCHENKO PARK

Odessa Calendar JULY 8 AT 7PM Brassiere On-line

A scandalous premiere! It starts out as a husband and wife plan to spend some time together, how it ends is the subject matter of this explosive comedy about marriage and relationships. The relatable jokes are sharp and hilarous. The stellar duet of Polina and Vasily Golovanov portrays the ins and outs of family life and its most painfully funny moments! Laughter and a great mood are guaranteed! BEIT GRAND JEWISH CULTURAL CENTER 79 NEZHYNSKA STREET

JULY 8 AT 10PM Assai

Assai present a new album which will reflect upon the musician’s own experiences and those shared with the listener. Each concert is a new and intriguing experiment, both for the musicians who create new musical rhythms and for the listeners, who are invited to dissolve in the audiovisual atmosphere of comfort and warmth. PLYAZHNIK CLUB 13TH STATION OF THE BIG FOUNTAIN JULY 9 AT 6.30PM Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

The spirit of our ancestors lives deep inside our souls – one must only listen to feel this eternal unity. But, as we are all continuations of our ancestors, we also inherit their sins. At the center of the story is, of course, the love of Ivan and Marichka – touchingly tragic and fatalistic. A story in which both the love and the humankind’s hatred comes to light. V. S. VASILKO ODESSA ACADEMIC MUSIC AND DRAMA THEATER 15 PASTERA STREET

JULY 9-10 Natsu Nami

The International Festival of Eastern and Western Media Culture “Natsu Nami” is near! Fans of movies, shows, anime, comics, games and cosplay are invited to enjoy the exciting twoday program. This year’s theme – flight and wings of all forms and the sizes! ODESSA PHILHARMONIC HALL 15 BUNINA STREET

JULY 9 AT 7PM ShockolaD

Having participated in many music festivals (Jazz Bez, Fliugery Lvova, Jednist, Alfa Jazz Fest among others), ShockolaD is one of the more successful Ukrainian bands playing the “world music” genre. Their music is a combination of different styles, improvisation, one of a kind ideas and motifs based on Ukrainian folklore (Schedrik, Spivanochka, Kupala) The members of ShockolaD weave together diverse concepts which at first seem incompatible, and do this so organically that each one of their concerts is imbued with sincerity and passionate emotion which touches every member of the audience. ShockolaD invites you to attend this special and mystical musical ritual. CULTURE YARD 36 FRANTSUZKY BOULEVARD JULY 10 AT 10AM “Sea Sunday” Picnic: presented as part of the Odessa Sea Festival

JULY 9 AT 11AM Cocktail Bar Fest

“Ukrainian Decameron” is a bright nativity in which happiness and pain, laughter and tears, life and death are all intertwined, existing on the threshold of a different world. This is a mysterious and mystical, unknown Ukraine that seems familiar, but is in fact so far from us. The life of a Ukrainian village with its songs, jokes, and vodka collides with a different world, one where it is nothing special to talk to Death, converse with demons, or fly through the night sky. The play is memorable with its live orchestra, authentic songs, and unique staging. The viewer sits on the stage, facing where the audience would normally be, while the spectacle unfolds before them! V. S. VASILKO ODESSA ACADEMIC MUSIC AND DRAMA THEATER 15 PASTERA STREET

JULY 10 AT 9PM Gus Gus

On July 10, a cold wind from Iceland blows into the hot Odessa night! See you at Ibiza club! “IBIZA” NIGHT CLUB ARCADIA BEACH JULY 15-17 Pivdenfest

This is the first and only Ukrainian Cocktail Bar Festival. Many bars in the city are preparing their best for this exciting large-scale event. There will be more than 200 types of cocktails and 45 professional bartenders serving guests. The best of the city’s bar culture will be there along with free tastings, local celebrities and live performances from Odessa’s best DJs and musicians. ODESSA FILM STUDIO 33 FRANTSUZKY BOULEVARD

“Sea Sunday” aims to create a holiday for sailors and their families to show gratitude and celebrate love, patience and family values. Join this picnic and thank the sailors and other service people who work for the betterment of the country. VICTORY PARK JULY 10 AT 6.30PM Ukrainian Decameron

The musical festival Pivdenfest will be held at the Hydroport Aerodrome just outside of Odessa. This year’s lineup will include Ukrainian and foreign bands. Besides enjoying close to a hundred featured bands, festival-goers will be able to watch an aviation show, see the city of Odessa from a birdseye view, and the thrill-seekers will have an opportunity to practice parachute jumping! “HYDROPORT” AERODROME


Odessa Calendar JULY 16-17 Sova Picnic: Retro

sic blends pop, soul, jazz, and rock; the winner of Eurovision 2016 – the one and only Jamala! The victorious diva brings her unforgettable performance to Odessa. ODESSA NATIONAL ACADEMIC OPERA AND BALLET THEATER 1 CHAIKOVSKOHO LANE JULY 16 AT 7PM Master and Margarita

themselves. The aim is to gain a knowledge of oneself, so that it is no longer necessary to wear a mask. However, the intended experiment is to immerse the viewer. They must try to find themselves throughout this dramatic perfiormance. It will not be an easy task but one must try. ODESSA NATIONAL ACADEMIC OPERA AND BALLET THEATER 1 CHAIKOVSKOHO LANE

the performance and the quality of Ukrainian fashion, as well as foreign designers showcasing collections. OTRADA BEACH CLUB 1 VITSE-ADMIRALA AZAROVA LANE JULY 22 Mike Kaufman-Portnikov – “Jacob’s Ladder” – a Jazz play

JULY 20 AT 7PM Ideal Family

Take a vibrant trip into the past at Sova Picnic: Retro. This lively celebration will feature sleek vintage cars, warm music on vinyl, vintage fashion from the 1950s-60s, and many other retro-styled festivities. Bring a picnic or enjoy the food court which is featuring some of Odessa’s best vendors. Sova events have been celebrating individuality through unique events since 2008. Make sure to register online and show up in classic 1950s garb. OTRADA BEACH CLUB JULY 16 AT 7PM Valery Zhidkov

Unique, original, brilliant. Powerful emotions overtake the audience when the truly mystical performance of Bulgakov’s novel unfolds on the stage. Director Valeriy Belyakovich’s carefully thought out staging, choreography, opulent costumes, laser effects, masterful lighting and sublime acting have synergized to achieve the seemingly impossible: bringing Bulgakov’s masterpiece to the stage without losing any of the original’s magical essence. ODESSA REGIONAL ACADEMIC RUSSIAN DRAMA THEATER 48 HRETSKA STREET JULY 17 AT 7PM Freedom-ballet. “SHKAF” (“Wardrobe”)

The famous comic and screenwriter, the “Tambov wolf” himself, is coming to Odessa with his oneman show. ODESSA PHILHARMONIC HALL 15 BUNINA STREET JULY 16 AT 7PM Jamala

Without a doubt, the single most awaited concert of this summer! One of the most vivid, independent and unique Ukrainian stars; a singer and composer whose mu-


Imagine that you are extremely wealthy, but also – extremely lonely… could it really be possible to attempt to cheat fate ad “buy” happiness? Can Love, Friendship, Family and even Life itself be bought and paid for? The hero of our story, a respectable but very lonely gentleman named Alexander, decides that it would be easier to simply purchase love than to seek it in the traditional way. Will an actress, a prostitute, and an unemployed and unknown artist help him find his way? V. S. VASILKO ODESSA ACADEMIC MUSIC AND DRAMA THEATER 15 PASTERA STREET

A virtuoso pianist, composer, and musical pedagogue, Mike Kaufman-Portnikov has already created several projects in the unique “jazz-theater” style. Each one of his concerts is an inseparable synthesis of original and time-tested jazz pieces with compelling literary material and a vivid video accompaniment. The play “Jacob’s Ladder” was written especially for Mike by Karine Arutyunova, a Kyiv writer and artist with Jewish and Armenian roots. The play itself is a sort of journey through time – told through the sounds of a grand piano. CULTURE YARD 36 FRANTSUZKY BOULEVARD JULY 23 AT 11AM Summer Gesheft Garage Sale

JULY 21-22 Summer Weekend by Odessa Fashion Days

Lena Kolyadenko’s dance troupe “Freedom Ballet” presents their new production, intriguingly entitled “SHKAF”, or “Wardrobe” in English. Each one of the dancers movements is a well-choreographed gesture. Each step is not merely a dance, but a representation of a part of life that is filed with intrigue, passion, drama, improvisation, love, and beauty. You will see fourteen dancers experiment with stunning movement, light and music. They try on various characters and turn every ritual into a energetic farce. They portray an innumerable lineup of lives, never once repeating

These fantastic cruise collections of clothes, shoes and accessories from the Ukrainian designers. Summer Weekend is designed to evaluate

We expect this summer to be hot in every meaning of the word! We are looking forward to the Summer Gesheft Garage Sale where we hope you will join us in celebrating the festival’s 5th anniversary! On July 23rd and 24th, the celebration will take place at Odessa’s Otrada Beach Club – a stunning dancefloor right at the edge of the Black Sea! A view of the sea, beautiful manicured gardens, greenery all around, evening concerts and the unique Gesheft Garage Sale Festival atmosphere will not fail to enchant you! Most importantly, the festival will also host the largest design-market in Ukraine – featuring seasonal discounts!

Odessa Calendar Come celebrate with us – and toast for five more years! OTRADA BEACH CLUB 1 VITSE-ADMIRALA AZAROVA LANE

JULY 29 AT 10PM Tatiana Amirova Concert

JULY 23 Pushkin Klezmer Band

Pushkin Klezmer Band is a Jewish orchestra from Kyiv. It consists of musicians with very different backgrounds – from Ukraine, Moldova, and Russia. Their music is an inimitable mixture of Jewish, Moldavian, and Gypsy motifs. A century ago, this kind of music was the musical “lingua franca” for the cultures coexisting in Bessarabia and southern Ukraine. Today it has become a part of the “world music” genre, and Pushkin Klezmer Band have done much to revive its popularity! Although they enjoy great success at weddings, they also perform at clubs, concert halls and festivals – but always with the same infectious danceability! CULTURE YARD 36 FRANTSUZKY BOULEVARD JULY 28 AT 10PM Boombox

This Ukrainian cult band’s songs can be found in almost anyone’s playlist. Their hits climb to the tops of the charts, and their concerts always end with the entire ausience singing along! “IBIZA” NIGHT CLUB ARCADIA BEACH

Tatiana Amirova’s bubbly personality and charisma is evident in her live performances. She recently performed at Odessa’s Day of Music and successfully captivated the crowd. She adds elements of soul, funk and jazz to the Jewish and original songs she performs. Come enjoy the musical stylings of Tatiana Amirova and dance a little! PLYAZHNIK CLUB 13TH STATION OF THE BIG FOUNTAIN

their own anniversary. A two-hour live performance by DukeTime, accompanied by an LED and color light show on the biggest stage in the city will immerse you in a wonderful atmosphere of favorite melodies and harmonious vocals. Throughout the performance, various songs from the most diverse genres in over 10 languages will be interpreted – world hits, jazz standards, classics, rock, and of course – beloved Odessa favorites! All of this will be performed 100% acapella! ODESSA NATIONAL ACADEMIC OPERA AND BALLET THEATER 1 CHAIKOVSKOHO LANE JULY 31 AT 10PM Onuka

JULY 29 AT 9PM Rozhden

Rozhden Anusi, popular author, artist, and music producer is having a summer concert in his hometown, Odessa. This city gave him the first inspirational spark to start music, including the hit song “You Know”. His lyrics are sincere, poignant, and straightforward. This concert will be the first time he presents his new album that features the popular single “Stay Here”. The album has never been shown anywhere. CALETÓN CLUB DOLPHIN BEACH

The creator and face of ONUKA, Nataliya Zhizhchenko, formerly performed as part of Tomato Jaws and KOOQLA. In her new project ONUKA she is the vocalist, composer, author of the lyrics, and the main creator. Two other women back Nataliya on percussion and keyboards. In its expanded form, the band will also feature two trombones, French horns, and the traditional Ukrainian bandura. “IBIZA” NIGHT CLUB ARCADIA BEACH

JULY 30 AT 7PM DukeTime

AUGUST 2-6 Moloko Theater Festival

This will be a grand summer concert on the stage of the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater!DukeTime is celebrating 10 years of acapella! Odessa’s best voices have prepared a few surprises on the occasion of

This summer, much like every other summer, Odessa gathers a variety of colorful and extraordinary personalities, artists of different genres and directions under its sunny sky. Following this tradition, the Odessa Cultural Center will also invite a plethora of

guests – not just people, but entire theatrical troupes! After all, this summer marks the 9th International “Moloko” Theater Festival, which will represent theaters from Europe, Ukraine, and Belarussia. Odessa viewers will be treated to a dizzying range of genres, from serious dramas to circus performances. What’s more, every single show presented at the festival will be premiering for the first time ever. The festival represents well-established theaters as well as young, up-and-coming groups who have been carefully selected by the festivals discriminating jury! ODESSA CULTURAL CENTER 2B VASYLYA STUSA STREET

AUGUST 4-7 Korneychukovsky Festival of Childrens’ Literature The Korneychukovsky Festival is

aimed at helping the growing generation develop a love of reading and creativity, a taste for art and literature, and finding new literary talent among young aspiring authors. The festival program unites readers of all ages and everyone interested in or connected to literature: writers, publishers, artists, editors, librarians, teachers, critics, and journalists. A large variety of children’s books will be offered, and experts can recommend books which stimulate and challenge kids’ minds as well as help develop positive qualities like honesty and kindness to others. The atmosphere of Korneychukovsky Festival is filled with kindness and warmth. DERIBASIVSKA STREET


Odessa Calendar

What’s on in Kyiv Red Hot Chili Peppers and Muse within U-Park Festival JULY 8 AT 4PM

The summer’s music calendar just got funky. Legendary rock-funk group, Red Hot Chili Peppers will be performing at the U-Park festival in Kyiv. Not every large American band of this caliber makes time in their tour schedule for Ukraine, so this is truly a special event. Their new album, The Getaway (produced by Deadmau5), proves to be a departure from their typical eccentric slap – bass style to a more fluid sound with spacey guitar riffs. Do not fret; bassist Flea will still hit the bass like his life depends on it and the band will perform all its hits from its classic albums (Californication, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, and Stadium Arcadium etc). In fact, the three singles from the new album have already garnered mass popularity. The Chili Peppers will be fronted by three opening acts: The Kills; fronted by the fierce Alison Mosshart, best known for her work with Jack White in The Dead Weather. The British rock band, Nothing But Thieves has only been around since 2012, but their refined rock sound makes it seem like they’ve been working together for decades. Lastly, there is local Ukrainian talent representing the festival – The Hardkiss. The band came close to representing Ukraine in the Eurovision contest. Overall, this talented and energetic lineup will easily please any music aficionado. An event not to be missed! Olympic National Sports Complex 55 Velyka Vasilkivska Street


Odessa Calendar JUNE 29 AT 7PM “Love stories...”

JULY 8 AT 3PM Splin Live In Concert

Russian rock legends SPLIN return to Ukraine after a several-year hiatus. Since their last visit to Kiev, they have recorded several new music videos and presented their 12th studio album, “Resonance”. NATIONAL COMPLEX “EXPOCENTRE OF UKRAINE” OF VDNKH 1 AKADEMIKA GLUSHKOVA AVENUE JULY 8-10 Atlas Weekend 2016

This performance includes six independent short stories with plots that are distinct, yet focused around the same theme – love and its dramatics, subjects we don’t often speak about out loud. The performance is based on the works of Polish playwright Zbigniew Ksyondzhik. LESYA UKRAINKA NATIONAL ACADEMIC THEATER OF RUSSIAN DRAMA 5 BOGDANA HMELNYTSKOHO STREET

The hottest event of summer – “Atlas Weekend 2016” will take place on VDNKh. A music-fest under the open sky awaits you, with performances from the best Ukrainian and foreign musicians: Boombox, BRUTTO, Druha Rika, Pianoboy and others. Sports zones, special performances, food courts and dozens of activities are also all available to guests! NATIONAL COMPLEX “EXPOCENTRE OF UKRAINE” OF VDNKH 1 AKADEMIKA GLUSHKOVA AVENUE

JULY 12 AT 7PM Everyman

The hero of this moral play is a nameless character, a representation of Everyman. He is popular, successful and happy when Death unexpectedly comes to his doorstep. Forced to leave his successful and carefully planned out life behind, he embarks on his final journey. His goal is to find someone, anyone who can put in a good word for him to Death. A cornerstone of British drama, “Everyman” asks – is it only in death that we are able to gain an understanding of our own life? “KYIV” CINEMA 19 VELYKA VASILKOVSKA STREET JULY 29 AT 12PM Carpathian Alliance Metal Festival 2016

The festival will span three days, from July 29th to July 31st. From 12:00 to 18:00, guests will be entertained by an authentic historical reenactment of a knights’ tournament. From 18:00 to 01:00, the musical part will showcase Ukrainian metal bands! PEOPLES’ FRIENDSHIP PARK.



3 4 7 8 15 19























32 4























A Guide to the Seventh Annual Odessa International Film Festival By Ulyana Dovgan

Deciding what films to see at the 2016 Odessa International Film Festival might be tricky. Of course, most would be interested in seeing as many films as possible, but as any festival goer will tell you: that plan never works out. This guide is intended to help with picking which of the many noteworthy films on offer are the best for you, as well as other useful bits of information about this year’s OIFF.

mine the festival’s victors in the National and International Competition Programs. There are many qualities that a film must possess to impress the sophisticated jury, but authenticity and style are not the least of them. A movie that truly has both is My Grandmother Fanny Kaplan directed by Olena Demyanenko, starring Kateryna Molchanova and Myrslav Slaboshpytskyi. Shot in both Kiev and Odessa over many delays caused by disruptions in the film’s financing, the film was worth the wait. Lead actress Kateryna Molchanova first attracted critical attention for her role in My Mermaid. My Lorelei which was presented at OIFF in the summer of 2014. That same summer, Myrslav Slaboshpytskyi received international recognition for his film The Tribe, which won three major awards, including the Grand Prix at Cannes. Paradoxically, the film got even more national support when Ukraine gave it the cold shoulder. In 2014, Ukraine selected The Guide over The Tribe for its Academy Award submission for Best Foreign Language film. The Guide did not get nominated, which led many to believe that The Tribe should have been nominated for an Oscar instead. The current contender, My Grandmother Fanny Kaplan, was not in the running in any Cannes competition, yet it will still be a great bastion of Ukrainian pride at the festival. The International Competition Program presents films from Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, Greece, Qatar and others. This great sampling of foreign films will provide audiences with new

One of the most exciting events of the summer season is the Odessa International Film Festival (OIFF). This cinematographic adventure invites film aficionados to not only experience the motion pictures that triumphed festivals such as Cannes, Venice and Berlinale, but also to celebrate new and noteworthy works made by Ukrainian actors, directors and producers. This year, the OIFF will commence on July 15th and continue through the 23rd. Afterwards, the jury will deter-



perspectives from places that they may not otherwise have a chance to visit. The key decisions regarding these films’ successes will be carried out by Christopher Hampton, the screenwriter who won his Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Stephen Frears’ Dangerous Liaisons.

Within the non-competition, the Gala Premieres and the Festival of Festivals categories, there are several films which were hailed as gems at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Spain’s Julieta, directed by Petro Almodovar, is a practiced riff on the master’s classic themes of complex mother-daughter relations. The Neon Demon, directed by Nicolas Wininding and starring Elle Fanning, Keanu Reeves, and Christina Hendricks, is another film which has been getting attention for its attention obsessed characters and hard edged aesthetics. Toni Erdmann, directed by Maren Ade – an up and comer from Germany, is a light-hearted and touching film already earning the praise of critics, which has won the FIPRESCI award. The social drama I, Daniel Blake directed by Ken Loach was the winner

Perhaps one of the most remarkable and most beloved events of the annual OIFF is the open air screening which take place on the Potemkin Stairs Like the competition programs, the documentary film category is saturated with worthy entries this year. Among these is Kholodny Yar, a documentary by director Alina Gorlova, which is presented in both the National Competition Programs and the European Documentary Competition. This picture explores patriotism’s effect of forging soldiers out of civilians and the conditioning that is needed to make someone lay down their life for their country. Another good work is My Friend Boris Nemtsov, an Estonian and Russian co-production directed by Zosya Rodkevich, gives a nod to director Aleksei German and his 1984 film, My Friend Ivan Lapshin. The original sought to portray the horrors of Stalin’s great purge of the 1930s through the death of the eponymous Ivan. On Februrary 27, 2015, Nemtsov’s life was cut short by a political assassination. While focusing on Nemotsov’s strong political views and work on behalf of the opposition, Rodkevich created a compelling portrait of a man around the time of his death.



of the Palme d’Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. The British fan favorite director had previously won the award for The Wind That Shakes the Barley in 2006. This victory has made him one of only eight filmmakers to have won Cannes’s top prize twice. Perhaps one of the most remarkable and most beloved events of the annual OIFF is the open air screening which take place on the Potemkin Stairs. Just last year, audiences were captivated by Man with a Movie Camera (1929), the feature-length modernist classic from Ukrainian director Dziga Vertov. It was beautifully accompanied by the music of the British composer Michael Nyman’s band. Nyman, who earned widespread accolades for his score for Peter Greenway’s films, conducted the band during the event. This year’s OIFF brings a novel surprise with a screening of the inimitable silent film Sherlock Holmes (1916). Original copies of the reel were found just last year and will be presented with the musical accompaniment of classic film composer Donald Sosin. Another noteworthy film that will be screened at the classic-oriented Ukrainian Retrospective is The Sentimental Policeman, directed by the Ukrainian director Kirla Muratova, which took home the Silver Bear at the 40th Berlin Film Festival. Beyond exposing audiences to incredible works of cinematography, the OIFF also holds a summer film school complete with lectures, guest speakers and judges. One of this year’s participants will be Eva Neymann who garnered attention for her picture House with a Turret, an autobiographical rendition of the life of the Soviet writer Friedrich Gorenstein. The film was later hailed as a major project for its honest portrayal in depicting the trials of war. That film allowed Neymann the opportunity to work on a pet project: a scrupulous production of The Song of Songs, based on a short story written by Sholem Alocheim, which was the grand winner at the 2015 OIFF festival within both the National and International Competition Programs. There is a plethora of films to see at this year’s OIFF, in fact, many more than are mentioned in this guide. There is something to please every festival attendee. Be prepared and enjoy.

Ulyanna Dovgan is a writer in Odessa 21

Odessa Calendar


Odessa Calendar


Odessa News

YanAir Introduces Odessa-Georgia Flight Services The airline YanAir marked the start of the June summer season by unveiling direct new services linking Odessa International Airport with the Georgian destinations of Tbilisi and Batumi. The flights began on the 4th of June and are serviced by Boeing-737s. Flights from the Georgian Black Sea resort of Batumi depart weekly for Odessa at 12:05 on Saturdays, with the flight in the opposite direction departing Odessa each week at 11:00 on Sundays. From the 29th of June onward, an additional weekly Odessa-Batumi service will be added, with flights scheduled to depart on Wednesdays. Weekly flights from Odessa to the Georgian capital depart on Saturdays at 18:15, with the return flight departing Tbilisi at 22:05. Every effort has been made to make these flights comfortable, with all passengers offered meals and buffet services. For further information please visit or call the airline hotline: +38-044-2069877.

New Direct Flights to Albania

The press service of the Odessa International airport has reported the opening of a new charter flight. Starting from the 23rd of June, passengers will be able to depart from the Odessa International Airport to the Tirana Airport in Albania. The flights will occur once every ten days, on Tuesdays or Thursdays. This direct charter flight service is provided by Bravo airlines, and the program will be in place throughout the tourist season. Tirana is the capital and the largest city of Albania, as well as the main air gate of the country. The coast of the Adriatic and Ionic seas is famous for it’s white sand beaches. A bonus for Ukrainian tourists is that travel to Albania does not require a visa.


Odessa News

Belgian Food Processing Plant Opens in Odessa Region A new factory which will manufacture margarine and dry foods opened in the Usatovo village of Beliayevskogo region on March 19th. Construction of the factory began in 2015. The Belgian company Puratos, which has been operating successfully in Ukraine for over 10 years, is the main investor with the total amount of investments totaling EUR 7 million. The new factory is equipped with modern technology and maximum automatization. The factory represents a new step in the company’s development and a step towards solidifying relations between Belgium and Ukraine according to Luke Jakobs, Belgian Ambassador to Ukraine. The factory’s production power is estimated at 12,000 tons of product per year, about 40% of which is planned for export.

Odessa Inventors Create Space Cargo Drone Odessa’s HubLab workshop-laboratory team, working together with two students from the Kyiv Polytechnic University, have received an award for their concept of a space drone capable of moving above the surface of Mars. The flying research platform with the working title PRIM 115 is intended for the transport of research equipment, data gathering, and placing objects on the surface of the red planet. During a hackathon, the young scientists independently calculated the basic characteristics of the drone – weight, dimensions, and maximum flying altitude. They also determined the aerodynamics and electricity usage necessary for working in the Mars atmosphere, created a prototype of one of the mechanical nodes, and submitted the concept to the judges of the jury. As a result, having won first place, the HubLab team received a chance to realize their project. The National Space Agency of Ukraine has promised to provide all the necessary resources for the realization of the idea and to help with its implementation


Odessa News

SME Support Center to Open in Odessa

The EU and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development have signed an agreement regarding the opening of 15 centers of support for small and medium businesses in Ukraine. The agreement was signed by the head representative of the EU in Ukraine, Jan Tombinsky, and the director of the EBRD in Ukraine, Shevka Adjuner. Centers have already opened successfully in Kyiv and Lviv. In June a regional business support center opened in Kharkiv. Next on the list is Odessa. Planned locations for future centers include Ivano-Frankivsk, Rivne, Khmelnitskiy, Vinnitsa, Chernigiv, Kirovograd, Poltava, Dnipro, Kramatorsk and Zaporozhye. The centers will be giving special attention to businesses in the agricultural, energy, and ecology sectors, as well as public services and infrastructure. An important part of the EU4BUSINESS program is the creation of a credit fund that would guarantee loans of up to EUR 100 million, which would allow entrepreneurs to obtain the credit resources necessary for development.

MareNigrum to Explore Ukrainian Black Sea Coast The MareNigrum research vessel will enter the Black Sea for the first time during summer 2016 to conduct deep-water research along the coasts of Ukraine and Georgia. The press service of the sea port has stated that scientists will conduct research regarding the ecological condition of the Black Sea, screenings for new organic pollutants, large-scale research of sea debris, collect data to update the catalog of Black Sea dolphins and investigate deep-sea life forms. This research will help promote the implementation of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement in the sphere of ecology, as well as the Directive on Sea Strategy and the Water Frame Directive of the EU. Joint Black Sea research is conducted within the framework of the “Improvement of Environmental Monitoring of the Black Sea� project (EMBLAS). The general purpose of the project is preservation of the Black Sea environment.


Odessa News


Odessa News

The City of Odessa and the Odessa Review’s First International Race Odessa’s International Half Marathon 2016 took place on June 26 and was an outstanding portrayal of the best of the city. The city’s history began a new course with a route of 21.0975 kilometers running through the city streets. The participants started their run from the legendary Odessa Opera House, raced through historical city center, along the Health Road by the seaside and broke the tape back in the center of the city. The event garnered 1,100 participants with 150 children atheletes among them. Yurij Gricak, the winner in the men’s category, covered the distance of 21.0975 km in 1:07:34.6. Among the women, Elena Fedorova sprinted through the tape getting ahead her closest opponent by two minutes. The race had a wide spread of participants from 15 different counties, including the United States, Norway, Moldova, Lithuania, Belarus, Azerbaijan. A misunderstanding did occur on the five-kilometer route distance: participants accidently strayed off the route and ran a greater distance. Despite

this, the organization of the marathon was professional and a success for the city. The organizers of the event, Run Ukraine, worked well together with their team of partners and sponsors to provide the best. The Odessa Review participated in Odessa Half Marathon, and not only as a media partner, but as a runner represented by our sports writer, Volodymyr Gutsol. He beat his personal best by covering the 21.0975 km in spite of the abnormal heat that day. He hopes that everybody will participate in next year’s marathon or in other running competitions and to always outdo themselves.

France to Bring Lavender Back to Odessa

The growing of lavender plants and production of lavender oil has a rich history in the Odessa region. Now French businessmen are in talks with the Odessa City District Administration to revive this production. The investors indicated right away that they will be utilizing the ‘inconvenient’ fields which are not as useful for agriculture, so as not to pose a threat to local farmers. The essential oils obtained from lavender are widely used in the perfume, cosmetics, liquor industries, as well as having many uses in baking and as a spice.


Odessa News







once a week

twice a week

Online ticket booking: +38 (044) 206-98-77



Jazz Improv, Odessa-style By Sergei Ostashko

Yuri Kuznetsov, Odessa’s great Jazz man sadly passed away in May of 2016. The Odessa Review is commemorating Kuznetsov through the words of his friend Sergei Ostashko. The two friends got into some amusing trouble two decades ago.

They say that everyone knows each other in Odessa, and when you walk down its streets this seems, indeed, to be true. One of my friends had this to say about the situation: “It’s not that the city is small, it’s that the layer is thin”. For those who don’t recall Soviet terminology, “layer” is the nickname given by Lenin to the intelligentsia. As part of that “layer”, I had been acquainted with Yura Kuznetsov for a long time, albeit rather nominally at first. Our conversations were usually limited to pleasantries and speaking about the weather. We only began to develop a real friendship close to the ‘Yumorina’ (Odessa annual comedy festival which takes place in April) in 1997. Back then, I was

At the entrance we were confronted by two shady characters. One was short and scrawny, but obviously the leader. The other was a hulking guy, taller than me and as wide as Yura and I put together the head of the festival’s press office, and Yura – as everyone called him – was the musical curator. It would be easy to assume reading this that our high positions within the city’s comedy “elite” was what brought us together, but that was not the case. Yura had always


been a very jovial person, and I was a fan of telling a good joke myself. Our mutual antics and the way we played off each other brought mirth to our staff. At one point there, we had the idea to write down our jokes for the sake of posterity, but later we realized the futility of that plan – our jokes were funny ‘here and now,’ but not funny ‘there and then’. Our

friendship grew even closer after one particular funny incident – although it did not seem that funny to us at the time. In 1997, the Yumorina festival had as its base of operations a large third-floor apartment in the very center of the city. The windows looked out onto the City Garden, and the entrance was on Gavannaya Sreet. In order to enter this lair of humor masterminds, you’d have to first go up to the second floor before crossing a hallway-bridge to the neighboring wing of the building. Afterwards, you would take a sharp turn and climb up a steep stairway to the very top floor. The apartment was usually crowded, but on that day, right on the eve of the festival, everyone had dispersed for the day. It was around lunch time, so we went


to the “Spartak” hotel restaurant on Deribasovskaya to partake in their incredibly delicious blintzes. After lunch, Yura and I headed back to the apartment. At the entrance we were confronted by two shady characters. One was short and scrawny, but obviously the leader. The other was a hulking guy, taller than me and as wide as Yura and I put together. Of course, neither one of their faces showed the slightest trace of intellect – in fact it was rather hard to refer to them as “faces”. Their countenances were rather something between a human face and an animal’s snout. The pair was obviously trying to act like locals, but their Baltic-Moldavian accent gave them away. The smell of Moldovan red wine wafting off of them offered an important clue as well.

– “What are you two whispering about?” – the tall one asked suspiciously. The veins on his forehead bulged out from the mental effort required to construct such a long and complex sentence. – “Just trying to remember where exactly we put the money”, – Yura was quick on his feet. We reached the second floor without incident, crossed the metal bridge into the neighboring wing like prisoners under convoy, and right before the major turn I stopped dead in my tracks, turned towards the gangsters and in a peaceful tone asked them this quintessential Odessa question:

– “So, where are you guys from?” – “Uh… Moldava”, – the big one began to mumble and instantly got a stern shove from the leader. – “What, you can’t tell? We’re from Moldavanka.” – “Oh! What street? I’m very familiar with that area”, – I continued tensely feigning interest, all the while straining to hear Yura struggling with the lock. – “From… uh…” – the short one strained every last one of his brain cells. – “From the…what’s his name... Lenin Street”, – the big one finished his sentence for him. At this moment I heard the apartment door open and then close behind me, and sighed in relief.

– “You have a smoke?” After my pack of cigarettes made its way to the shorter thug’s pocket, it started to become clear that we weren’t going to get off that easily. – “Now hand the money over!” – the taller one commanded. It was clear that this line was assigned to him specifically due to the intimidating effect of his size. Things were definitely taking a turn for the worse and I began thinking of escape strategies. Sure, we could take the little guy in a fight, but the huge one might pose a problem. Besides, I knew that Yura had to play the next day and so could not risk injuring his hands. It was then that I came up with a truly brilliant, so to speak, jazz improvisation. – “We don’t have any with us, it’s all upstairs.” – “I stalled.” – “Then let’s go upstairs – the short one commanded and we ascended up the stairs.” As I let Yura pass me, I inconspicuously passed him the keys and whispered: – “After the turn in the hall, I’ll stall them – you run upstairs and call the police!” Yura took off.



I managed to keep this charade up for an impressively long time, seeing as my survival depended on it

– “Let’s go.” – “Where’s that second guy?” – the hulk asked, dumbfounded after making the turn and seeing an empty staircase. – “What guy?” – I played dumb meticulously. – “The one that was with you.” – “Who was with me?” – I continued playing dumb. – “The other guy! With the braid!” Yura’s hairstyle at that time (it has not changed much through the times, actually) featured a rather unique five centimeter braid. – “Oh, the one with the braid!” – I “remembered” – “He left already.” – “Where did he go??” – “He went to get the money. Didn’t you say you wanted the money? Didn’t you see him walk past just then?” – “When??” – “Just then, when we were talking about Moldavanka.” I managed to keep this charade up for an impressively long time, seeing as my survival depended on it. I kept trying to buy more and more time, but it was obvious that the game was coming to an end. Right as the scrawny ringleader became enraged and pulled a switchblade out of his pocket, to my immense relief I heard the thunderous sound of policemen’s’ boots on the metal bridging. Back then, the police respond-


ed quickly… Seizing the moment, I kicked the hand holding the knife and shoved the man away from me as hard as I could. He tumbled away past the bend in the hall, landing right at the policemen’s feet. The giant was still standing there, and I think the only thing that spared me his wrath was his abject stupidity. While he strained his faculties, attempting to figure out where his friend went and what just happened, the policemen apprehended him as well. After the incident, Yura and I decided not to tell anyone so as not to worry our families. We only let the cat out of the bag about two weeks later, when I came over to visit Yura in his apartment on Deribasovskaya with a bottle of cognac in hand, and over that bottle we got to re-living former escapades. After that, Yura got behind his piano and improvised a

three-hour concert for me. Well, it probably wasn’t so much for me as it was for his wife Natasha – an attempt to calm her down after hearing the story of our recent adventure.

Sergei Ostashko is a journalist who lives in Odessa.




Yurka, Kuzya, Shishman By Oleg Shestapalov

In memory of Yury Kuznetsov, 1953-2016

Play, play my old friend, don’t stiffen, don’t fade. Chase the blood of your arteries, tell us about fear, about love. Pianissimo here, and here full stop. Now you are tired. Have a rest, pour a drink. Get drunk with your beer, turn a clown and deceive us. Just wait, just you wait. Only play and live. Only live and play, don’t die. Don’t die. But it hasn’t turned out that way, it turned another way, he has died. It’s a month since he is not here, and I hear different pieces of his music in my head, I see multi-colored pieces of life right in my head, I have collected these pieces over 30 years of listening to his music. 20 of those 30 we’ve been friends. I owe those pieces of life to these pieces of music. I owe them to him. I have to write them down. August 1999, Varna. During random walks in the old part of town, absolutely independently from each other, Yura and I knocked against the old street named «Czar Ivan Shishman», absolutely independently of one another we both read the surname with an accent on the first syllable, independently we both burst out laughing, imagine that Bulgaria had once a Jewish czar Shishman, quite anecdotal. We shared impressions and laughed together. Tolya Vapirov, who was there, reported that the correct accent in a surname – on the second syllable. The next evenings our company, minus the children who have fallen asleep and Yurka, who was fairly drunk and and also felt asleep, stayed on the beach. Round midnight, we saw Yura on the partly destroyed stairway leading from the hotel to a beach, which was dangerous even for a sober person during daylight. He didn’t respond to any calls, just went down and rushed into the sea. The sea was warm and pleasant, but seas are always


dangerous. Anyone who has been close to drowning knows this. I had been once before and therefore immediately followed him into water. You’d never know what’s up there from the coast and even if you know, then you won’t be there in time. Yura swam quite far when I have caught up with him. He didn’t want to come back and was in the mood for a scandal. We swam for a while, then he suddenly headed out to the coast. And me too, of course. Swimming sobered him up a little bit, but not too much. Natasha persuaded him to go to the hotel with everyone, yet he stayed unaffected and attempted to run from her away. I stopped him by catching his hand and started to talk to him in more or less random phrases but in a calm, quiet and convincing tone. Yura effortlessly tried to free his hand. I understood that a quiet voice wouldn’t work, that one need a real arguments, not just a tone. And these arguments were found. «Listen», – I told him. “Here we saw a street named after one person. He was probably a clever person with many accomplishments. Shishman was his name. Yurka, with all possible responability I’m telling you: there, where you going to go, Ivan Shishman would not go, no way. He wasn’t that stupid to go down the slippery wet stones. Shishman would not go there». Yura finally looked at me with interest and asked: «Then where would he go?» I pointed to the stairs and told him: “There. Shishman would go there. Because that is Ivan Shishman’s path. He would go on that path». It was an airtight argument. Unbreakable even. So Yura obediently followed Shishman’s track. At some point he misstepped and flagged on my hand upon dangerous stones. But I had held him. By a miracle. And so we walked together down Shishman’s path, and reached our hotel, and then his room where he immediately fell asleep. I left the room and was




I told him, “you don’t need anyone else’s approval. It’s just you and the sound.” We slowly sipped the whisky and stayed absolutely sober, as if we were sipping water. No drunkenness at all. Alcohol, peat smoke and the Atlantic’s salt were passing perhaps to those heavens music comes from – I have always thought that real music isn’t created, but it is overheard from the unknown spaces of this huge world. I wanted to tell him that “Yurka, darling, you are gifted (and I am not), you hear the music (me too though), you are able to play what you hear (which I can not do), you have something to do in this life, everybody knows (and me too, but just a few know about it). Don’t worry, don’t torment your mind, just play it.” I don’t know whether I managed to get this across to him, this very basic thought. We were only forty-six then, only forty-six. Our wives was sleeping hours ago, but we talked and talked – openly, deeply and quietly. His words in one of his last interviews echoes that old conversation. Now a piece of other times. Several times in our life Kusnetsov played for me. I had never asked.It would not have occurred to me to ask a plasterer to plaster my wall for free – nor would I ever ask an artist to give me his art as a gift. No, Yurka did it by himself, of his own accord, it was always a gift and it was always a miracle. met with applause from those who had witnessed the story. The next morning, Yura began to call me Shishman (it was the only thing that he remembered), and I started to call him Shishman too. Another story from then and there. It was a very long night. We sat against each other on the balcony of the Varna hotel Breeze-2, with only a liter bottle of “Lafroaig”, which I had bought on the Romanian-Bulgarian border, between us. Yura was telling me about the doubts, pains and fears from different times of his life, it was was probably a moment for him, when he most needed to share. We sometimes went to other subjects, to speak of other’s music, but he steadily came back, and he did not say a word about what, as it seemed to me, was his deadliest, maybe his main recurring nightmare: to not actualize himself. Poor Yurka, poor all the artistic people, for they need recognition from outside, and I recalled the case of Glen Gould – musician fully devoted to the perfection of his music, who did not need any external confirmations of his rightness. “Self-esteem is inside of you”,


We sat against each other on the balcony of the Varna hotel Breeze-2, with only a liter bottle of “Lafroaig”, which I had bought on the Romanian-Bulgarian border, between us But once there was an even bigger miracle – I witnessed him playing for himself. It was in the summer of 2010, we arrived from Moscow back to Odessa, and Natasha (ed. Natalya Ertnova – Kuznetsov’s wife) was at his summer house, and one evening Yurka dropped in to our place on Knyazheskaya street. No, he did not just dropped in. When Lyuba made gazpacho soup, she just let him know, and he appeared in fifteen minutes flat. We ate the gazpacho, and had conversation about music, and I turned on E.S.T., Esbjцrn Svensson Trio (thanks, Tema Lipatov!). Yura


listened with both of his ears, and then stretched his arm to the piano nearby. I began to discourage him because the piano was catastrophically untuned, but he was relentless. He was in need. And so he fitted into E.S.T. Not without mistakes, but he fit in and didn’t break the form set by Svensson. Those who didn’t listen heavily to E.S.T., they wouldn’t even notice. After the third or fourth composition, Yura asked: «Who are they, I want to play with them. At a festival, at a concert, at any event.» I told him that it was impossible, and that, unfortunately, Svennson had already played his last concert in this world. «How?» Yura asked, and I told him what I knew about Svennson death. «Turn them on», he demanded, and started to play again. This lasted almost an hour and a half. Yura turned his head and spoke: «What a power, yeah? He plays there, and I am still here. Isn’t it a wonder?» I silently translated his question from Russian into Russian: «If people listen to my music – I won’t die»? I hugged him.

“Hello, Shishman!” he welcomed me. “Hello, Shishman!” I answered him. So we welcomed each other from that August – for the last time in January of this year. We were two Shismans, and now I’m alone. Shishman. Kuzya, Yurka, Yury Kuznetsov, the musician inspired by God, plays for him now.

Oleg Shestopalov is a writer living in Moscow.

We parted at threeish, and Yura asked me to record everything that I had of E.S.T. in the machine and out, and I happened to have it all with me, and recorded it all for him. He listened to them for a long time afterwards and even thanked me again afterward. And I answered ‘your welcome ’ politely but silently I thought to myself, ‘’why?’’ I was lucky enough to be a witness witness and even – here comes out my arrogance – to provoke a miracle. But that was then. The next day, my neighbor Felix approached me and scolded me: «Oleg, you didn’t let me sleep half of the night, were you playing music?» I answered that it wasn’t me, that it was Yura Kuznetsov. The usually severe Felix, the scourge of Odessa tax collectors, instantly changed his countenance and asked: «Why did you not call me?» Such is the force of music, of a real musician. He plays with the dead musicians and turns severity into understanding. I saw it. My ears heard it.



Leonid Utesov: Was He Really Playing Jazz? By Aleksandr Galyas

Leonid Utesov is considered to have been one of the greatest singers of his generation, the ‘Soviet Sinatra’’. While he considered himself to be a proponent of Soviet jazz, some of his peers did not agree. This article first appeared in Russian in the Migdal Times.

In the second volume of essays on Soviet pop music, which dealt with the period from 1930 to 1945, the chapter titled “Jazz on the stage” opens with a photograph of Leonid Utesov. In 1977, when the book was published, it could not be otherwise: in the minds of the overwhelming Soviet majority (who, for obvious reasons, were not as familiar as their Western counterparts with the specifics of said genre), the word “jazz” created associations first and foremost with the Black Sea

bard Utesov. The artist himself did a lot to contribute to this image – positioning himself as the pioneer and foremost propagandist of Soviet jazz music. In his book, “Thank you, Heart” he wrote: “…I worried, suffered and fought back, attempting to defend jazz – all my life’s work…” However, the jazz-men themselves were of a different opinion, and despite having the utmost respect for Utesov, they did not consider him to be a “colleague”. Even in the aforementioned chapter of the collection of academic essays on Soviet pop, Vladimir Freitas the leading expert and theorist of the genre, noted

that all of the pre-war Soviet collectives which referred to themselves as jazz-bands were in essence simply “pop orchestras”. “When speaking mainly about pop orchestras – the article’s author writes – we use the term “jazz”, which today has a much more narrow meaning, only because the collectives used this term to refer to themselves”. Moreover, the musicologist Tamara Ayzikovich believes that, although Utesov’s orches-

However, the jazz-men themselves were of a different opinion, and despite having the utmost respect for Utesov, they did not consider him to be a “colleague” 38


tra always featured jazz musicians, it rarely performed any authentically jazz pieces and thus “the jazz players did not have much of a chance to exercise their talent, and the orchestra was never any sort of pool of jazz talent”. It is important to note that throughout its many decades of existence, Utesov’s orchestra never featured jazz vocalists – only pop performers.

The famous pianist Leonid Chizhik, who worked in Utesov’s orchestra from 1968 to 1971 told the author of this article about an incident where he asked Leonid Osipovich [Utesov] to let him attend a jazz festival, and the latter was outraged – “What do you mean, jazz??!” Later, in the 60’s and 70’s when the aging Utesov was invited to various jazz concerts as a sign of respect for his work, he would attend but later mercilessly criticize the musicians – he believed that the only “real jazz” was the kind that was played in his band. This is what caused the renowned jazz musician and composer Yuri Markin to issue

this stern remark: “Utesov’s jazz is to real jazz as our criminal songs are to French chanson.” To be fair, it must be noted that all the founders of the first Soviet jazz orchestras were rather far removed from “jazz” as it is understood today. Some researchers believe that the reason for this fact was that the American and European orchestras which these Soviet musicians had the chance to hear were really playing popular music in a jazz style, and thus the Soviet counterparts didn’t have the chance to be exposed to proper, instrumental jazz.



Aleksey Gogokhiya, alternative music man extraordinaire opens up By Julia Makarenko

Longtime promoter, radio personality, curator, program director of Odessa’s most original radio station-FM1 Radio and Art director of the M1 Club-Hotel. An intimate interview with Odessa’s many faceted musical Renaissance man.

Odessa. Also, I just found out yesterday that a new band, “Shock Workers” recorded a cover song “Radioactive Contamination”. I love that people are still inspired with what I did 25 years ago. I always imagined that many moments of my life were not with me at all, instead they were from some parallel reality. Authentic musicians always act as if each concert is their last. Otherwise, none of this showmanship matters, why be remembered for a sub-par performance? My favorite place to preform is a small hall that fits 300 people. It’s a much more intimate atmosphere than the large stadiums. Some musicians like Peter Gabriel or Lenny Kravitz are able to turn huge stages into intimate little venues. Wherever they preform, it feels as if they’re singing directly to you.

People remember my life in much more detail than I do. I am even surprised sometimes when I hear stories about myself. Youth in the 90s was strange. I went to Moscow to follow a tiny group that ran a rock and roll store in Odessa. We traveled with three bags of money in a couchette train car. I was a 19-year-old moron. Would I do it again? Most likely not. Also, that was the time when I finished classes for piano and accordion. Fortunately, I understood that I will not be able to play as I would like to and quickly calmed down with the prospects of becoming a musician.


My favorite place in my youth was an arch. It’s a passageway from Sofiyevskaya Street to Zhvanetsky Avenue. It like a portal to another world. At university, I played guitar and did vocals for a trash metal group called “Trash Machine”. It was a popular Odessan and Ukrainian group in the 90s. Concerts, festivals – the whole deal. We recorded our first album in Moscow at Stas Namin’s Studio SNC Records. A proud moment in my youth was when Korrozia Metalla liked our performance. They were surprised that we were from

The first concert I ever organized was an accident. By some circumstance, some people were asking me for favors. There was the world famous pianist Andrey Kondakov asking about a venue. Then at the same time, the managing director of a new jazz cafe called “Old Fashion” asked about having some acts. As a result, I combined the two and organized a successful concert in this small venue. That created a snowball effect where I was able to organize concerts and make them successful in Odessa or even have success in Ukraine. 6 years ago, I organized something for the now successful band Pur:Pur. Cabaret Band “Silver Wedding” became an Odessan favorite after the first concert. The three most important things in Odessa are hookahs, sushi and karaoke. Ha! Well if we’re being serious, the restoration of the open-air Green Theatre is very important. I want to believe that this is heroic work being done on behalf of Odes-




best dance. Psychotherapists need it to adjust their patient’s mood. Custom officials need it because their everyday life is so difficult and disturbing that they need to relax in order to feel airplane passengers.

sans. I will be able to help more artists with opening this venue. Silver Wedding will have a concert there in August. The CD Club where I worked from 1995 to 2004 was the brightest period of my life. I was inseparable from that place. It was rather an exclusive club in the city center – 3 Aleksandrovsky Avenue. So many CDs, such a beautiful time. My friend owned around 5,000 CDs and we both understood that this treasure was too special to not share with people. We organized those CDs by genres on many shelves and somehow it began. The place was always full of a variety of music lovers. From grindcore fans to the adherents of Brian Eno’s keyboard. We got more attention than the night club next door. Even at night, unusual music would be creeping out of our door. People constantly peeked in, not always sober, but happy and sociable people. Onсe the director of СD-club drove into the room on a horse to explore


if she’s interested in music, but when she began to part the hoofs – the experiment ended. It was a non-standard place for insiders only and the Odessans loved that. Over those 9 years, we collected 25,000 records. There was no internet, so when somebody came to ask for a specific album, we would have to tear apart the store. In 2005, Anatoly Balinov, the director of TV channel “Art”, suggested that I create a radio station. One that wouldn’t be similar to anything. I didn’t have any experience, but I was given the opportunity to make it according to my taste. And so FM1 became a reality. Alexey Gorbunov is a friend and a truly powerful person. Few people will find forces like him that totally refuse work in Moscow based only on political convictions. He is an ardent patriot of Ukraine. Music is the force which gives me strength. Its value in forming destinies in this world is underestimated. Everybody needs music, from scientists to pilots. Exotic dancers need it so they can do their

Many movies would not become cult favorites if there was no soundtrack. The simplest example is Quentin Tarantino’s films. What would Pulp Fiction be if he did not so competently place in that opening number. Of course, there’s his aesthetic and his mind database of cinematic history – but that track is killer. Furthermore, I always wait for the credits of a movie to see who wrote the music. I’m sometimes surprised to see familiar names up there. The same musician can encompass so many genres. For example, an instrumental by Sting for his album is recognizable. But, his music for films is of a different universe. The older you become, the less often you are surprised by things. Therefore, I try to create things which, I hope, will surprise me, will inspire and will please me. I’m happy that I have always been able to do my dream job – work with music. I want Odessa to live a musical life. Living in this wonderful city, I still try to make it a little better. Photo by Oksana Kanivets



Odessa Politics

Eurovision 2017: Odessa’s European Debut? By Nick Holmov

The Ukrainian Black Sea port city is ideally placed to play host to Eurovision 2017 but tourism sector renovation works should focus on the longer-term legacy.

Thanks to Jamala’s Eurovision 2016 victory, it now falls to Ukraine to host the 2017 Eurovision song contest – something that the Ukrainian Government will have to take extremely seriously as it seeks to promote the European credentials of the nation. Several cities have expressed an interest in hosting the event but the host city has yet to be identified. One such candidate city is Odessa. The Black Sea port could even be regarded as among the favorites, thanks to its tourism infrastructure, international brand recognition and bustling entertainment industry.

agreements with European operators. This may seem rather inconsequential for the Eurovision event, but it is certainly relevant to the Eurovision legacy and the continued and repeat tourism that any host city may hope to experience in the wake of the successful promotion and hosting of the event. The cosmopolitan, mercantile, tolerant and inclusive nature of Odessa, her nightlife and beaches, and the city’s long, hot summers are surely a would-be attraction to tourists initially drawn by the exposure that the city would gain from holding the Eurovision competition.

Historically as one of the Black Sea region’s most popular tourist destinations, the city is more than capable of accommodating Eurovision attendees What is to be considered when appointing the host city? There are tangible and intangible issues to ponder. First, there is the matter of accessibility. The new airport terminal in Odessa will be open prior to the event. Only Odessa and Lviv have “open skies” agreements in place with Europe among all the Ukrainian cities that have expressed an interest in hosting Eurovision. No other international airports in Ukraine, including Kyiv, have “open skies”


Historically as one of the Black Sea region’s most popular tourist destinations, the city is more than capable of accommodating Eurovision attendees. This number could end up being anywhere between 7,000 visitors (Baku 2012) and 39,000 visitors (Copenhagen 2014). Could Odessa cope with such numbers of excitable, high spirited and “camped-up” Eurovision fans? Yes, it could.

The key question that presents itself with regard to infrastructure is the venue for the song contest itself. Which venue in Odessa is capable of hosting such numbers of Eurovision fans? Perhaps only the Chernomorets football stadium could accommodate such numbers, but how dependable is the Odessa weather in May for an open-air Eurovision contest? How feasible and costly would a temporary roof be? Are there any other venues in Odessa capable of accommodating tens of thousands at the Eurovision event? Could a completely new venue be built in time? Would it be used afterwards, or would it become a white elephant?

Odessa Politics

The cosmopolitan, mercantile, tolerant and inclusive nature of Odessa, her nightlife and beaches, and the city’s long, hot summers are surely a would-be attraction to tourists initially drawn by the exposure that the city would gain from holding the Eurovision competition

There is also the question of cost when it comes to hosting such an event. Very few, if any, Eurovision events break even. In recent years, the Malmo Eurovision event (2013) came closest to financial neutrality with the cost of the event stated as $26 million, and total tourist income from 32,000 fans being $24 million – a net loss of $2 million. That net loss, however, does not include the considerable income from TV advertising opportunities, thus on very rare occasions a hosting nation may actually make a profit from the event itself. It is the tourism legacy in the months and years that follow that holds the potential for the financial success of hosting Eurovision in Ukraine. Of the many millions that watch the event on their television screens, if the host city is presented well, tourism revenue indirectly associated to Eurovision may cover the losses in the immediate years following, and indeed may lead to financial profit – notwithstanding the political and cultural gains such a high profile event offers. The Ukrainian government has stated a hosting cost of approximately 15 million Euros. Sweden, the nation responsible for possibly the best ever Eurovision entry with ABBA’s Waterloo, has offered to co-finance the Ukrainian Eurovision hosting – although exactly what euro figure and what hosting

advice and/or conditions would accompany that co-financing offer is currently unclear. There are certainly lessons to take from the Ukrainian Euro 2012 football experience. Euro 2012 hosts like Kyiv and Lviv gained huge experience from 2012. Odessa, as one of the major cities not to have hosted any part of that football tournament, will perhaps not be quite so aware of its own tourism failings – particularly those associated with large numbers of arrivals. The tourist failings of Odessa are numerous and yet can also be simply addressed. A simple example would be the Tourism Information Office on the Polski Spusk (ed: Polish Descent). A tourist really would have to stray far from the beaten tourism path to even find this Tourist Information Office – in fact they would be almost definitely be lost should they stumble upon it. There is no Tourist Information Office at the airport, none easily found in the city center. None of the city landmarks offers free maps in the Latin alphabet. None of the city center street names are written in Latin lettering to accompany their Cyrillic counterparts. There are no “Big Board” maps with transliterated names into Latin lettering to inform a lost tourist “you are here”, or marking easily found landmarks for their orientation. Let us not forego the issue of distinctly lacking public ablutions and problems faced by the disabled both by way of transport and building access. All such matters can of course be dealt with, and dealt with fairly swiftly. For the sake of Odessa’s future development, these issues should be dealt with regardless of hosting the Eurovision event in 2017 – or not – for it remains a Ukrainian tourist city of utmost significance and should therefore already have the infrastructure to deal with

the Cyrillically challenged, disabled, or bladder-weak tourist. Neither the City nor Oblast Administrations should be awaiting a Eurovision nod to deal with such simple tourism related issues. The improvements that may occur in Odessa should it become the host city, from both a local governance and policy position, cannot be seen to be improvements made for the Eurovision event. Instead, they can, and should, only be seen and planned for as improvements for the city of Odessa in and of itself, some beneficiaries of which will then be those highly spirited, often camp, hopefully free-spending, Eurovision fanatics.

Nikolai Holmov is The Odessa Review’s political columnist. He is a writer, and consultant specializing in Ukrainian politics, civil society, local governance and security affairs. He is the founder of the widely read Odessatalk blog.


Odessa Politics

Ukraine’s Toponymic Revolution By Hanna Thoburn

The process of implementing the recently passed de-Communization laws has not been particularly smooth. The debates over Communist-era place names are roiling Ukrainians’ efforts to redefine their national identity. This article first appeared originally in a slightly different form in the American Interest. In the 25 years since Ukraine officially separated itself from the Soviet Union, decommunization has been a slow, crawling fact of everyday life. Fairly quickly upon Ukraine’s independence, the most anti-Soviet towns, located mostly in Western Ukraine, tore down their ubiquitous statues of Lenin. But in many other parts of the country, the Lenins simply remained on their plinths. Tearing them down was too expensive, and was not seen as a priority. A few street names were changed here and there, but most towns continued to have a “Lenin Prospekt”. In one Ukrainian city that I long ago called home, the main boulevard was named for the 1917 October Revolution that first brought the Bolsheviks to power. This most recent phase of decommunization began in earnest during the Maidan demonstrations of 2013 and 2014, when pro-European protesters destroyed the Lenin statue that still stood in the center of Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. It was the beginning of what would

names of all of Ukraine’s towns, cities, municipalities, and villages from their Communist moniker to something, well, not Communist. Street names, squares, schools, and even soccer teams were also put up for name changes.

The urgency for new place names has proven to be one of the most contentious issues in modern Ukrainian politics come to be known as the ‘Leninopad,’ or ‘Felling of the Lenins.’ All around the country, hundreds of Lenin statues – and sometimes statues of other Communists – were toppled in a kind of spontaneous attempt by Ukrainian society to reclaim its historical identity. By one count, 1,221 Lenins have fallen since December 2013. In May 2015, Ukraine’s President approved a law that mandated the changing of the


Local municipalities were given a deadline of November 21, 2015 to implement this toponymic revolution. Where decisions were not agreed upon locally, the regional authorities were given six more months, until May 21, 2016, to make changes. Now, after that final deadline, the names that could not be agreed upon by local authorities—including those of eleven towns and cities—are to be determined by Parliament.

The urgency for new place names has proven to be one of the most contentious issues in modern Ukrainian politics. It has forced local polities to take stock of themselves and think about the kind of place that they want to become and the image that they wish to project to the world. Their choices also had to fit within the framework set forth by the Ukrainian National Memory Institute, a controversial government organization that has been accused of whitewashing certain of the more unsavory aspects of Ukrainian history. One of the most pressing problems was the name of Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine’s fourth largest city and a major industrial hub. Its

Odessa Politics name was a combination of the river that flows through it – the Dnipro River – and an early head of the Ukrainian SSR, Grigory Petrov. Known as Ekaterinoslav, or, Glory of Catherine [the Great] during Tsarist times, it was determined after much debate that the city should be known simply as ‘Dnipro,’ after the river, and should not hearken back to its old identity. Some places have chosen to their pre-Communist names; the eastern Ukrainian city Artemivs’k is now again called Bakhmut. Others have made cosmetic changes like removing the adjective “Red” that sat before the names of many towns. Still others have had seen their renaming efforts descend into squabbles. The regional capital of Kirovohrad, and thus the

one, and is deeply unhappy with the name Parliament has bestowed upon it: Horishni Plavni. The new moniker, which roughly translates as “Place above the reed beds,” has united residents against it. Where the old name rang of youth, future, and progress, ‘Horishni Plavni’ is archaic, barely comprehensible to most Ukrainians, and makes a midsize industrial city sound like a backwoods village. The process of relabeling local entities has been somewhat easier, but no less difficult. In the Poltava region in central Ukraine, over 600 streets were renamed. The new appellations came from a variety of sources. Some have been reverted to their pre-Soviet names, others have been named after famous Ukrainian historical

This most recent phase of decommunization began in earnest during the Maidan demonstrations of 2013 and 2014, when pro-European protesters destroyed the Lenin statue that still stood in the center of Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital region that surrounds it, were named for the Bolshevik leader Sergei Kirov, after he was famously assassinated in St. Petersburg in 1934. Founded as Elizavetagrad, or ‘Elizabeth’s City’, the municipality has been wracked by heated debate over what it should rename itself. Its case now sits before the Ukrainian Parliament, which is also having some difficulties. With seven new names under consideration, a parliamentary committee has recommended “Kropivnitskiy” – after a 19th century dramaturg – as the new name, but no final decision has yet been taken. While Kirovohrad seems ready to accept its fate, the town of Komsomolsk is not. Founded in the 1960s, and named for the Communist Youth International, it was loath to give up its name, could not agree on a new

and cultural figures like the composer Ihor Shamo, or been named in honor of a local figure or dignitary. Some streets, like Odessa’s “Heroes of Stalingrad” Street, have retained similar themes; it was renamed “Heroic Defenders of Odessa” Street. Odessa now also has a Liverpool Street, chosen as Odessa and Liverpool, England are sister cities. A few hours away, in Mykolayiv, the until-recently ubiquitous “Lenin Street” was given the anodyne and entirely uncontroversial tag “Central Street.” In Odessa, where politics can sometimes be quite volatile, the seemingly haphazard style of sweeping away old names ran into a wall. The Ukrainian National Memory Institute had decreed removal of all streets named for the revolutionary Czeslav Belinsky; Odessa instead removed the name of 19th century Russian intellectual and literary critic Vissarion Belinsky. The uproar at this sin was tremendous.

Of course, getting citizens to adjust to these changes is another task entirely. While Google Maps may have already made the necessary adjustments, residents who have lived their entire lives on Red Army Street are unlikely to do the same. That most localities are either unwilling or too cash-strapped to change the physical signage only further complicates matters. Doubtless, some of these new names will change in the years to come, as Ukrainians delve deeper into their local histories and determine the kinds of places they wish to become. With this wave of seemingly superficial changes, Ukrainians are at last being given the chance to begin to delineate themselves from their neighbors; the era of Communist faux-equality is over. But the point to which this decommunization should extend remains up for debate. Many worry that the past – and the lives that their parents and grandparents built – is being erased. Others are concerned that as Communism – and indeed much of the 20th century – are scrubbed from the maps and history books, the country will skip over the societal discussions and internal examinations necessary to build a unified polity. Ukraine’s Communist and, yes, Nazi history does exist and will not simply disappear overnight, especially if it is not confronted directly. As the country takes steps to build its future, finding the delicate political balance between old and new, past and present, nefarious and righteous, will set the stage for the Ukraine that will hopefully emerge from this time of troubles.

Hannah Thoburn is a Research Fellow at the Hudson Institute, where she focuses on Eastern European politics and the transatlantic relationship.


Odessa Politics

A Conversation With Pavel Vugelman, Odessa’s Deputy Mayor The appointment of Pavel Vugelman to the recently created vice mayoral post for investment and economic development is an important milestone in the history of the city’s governance. The creation of this position is also a positive signal from the mayor’s office. Still in his mid-30s, the deputy mayor is quite accomplished for his age. Vugelman first entered politics at a tender age and is part of the first generation of truly post-Soviet civil servants and political elites. Vugelman was educated in Ukraine and Canada and also garnered his modern world view while taking part in professional training in Europe and Israel. This interview took place in his office at the City Hall building on the Dumskaya Square.

Odessa Review (OR): Thank you for joining us. Can you tell us about your current responsibilities? Pavel Vugelman (PV): Thank you for coming! As vice mayor of the city, that is as a deputy mayor, I deal with investments, the particulars of the economy, issues pertaining to Euro-integration and also new projects devoted to the development of the city. OR: You were a city councilman before you were offered this position. PV: Yes, and before that I was a student mayor and the deputy of the student city council. After being a councilman, I became the Head of the Budgeting and Finance Commission. After the last elections, I was approached by the Mayor and asked to join his team and to begin working on the investment portfolio and economy of the city. OR: What are differences you’ve noticed between being a city councilman and a vice mayor? PV: Well, when you are a city councilman, you have much less responsibility as you can imagine. Councilmen imagine specific projects and are constantly discussing issues. When you are a representative with


executive power you have to work much harder, everything that you say is taken at face value and you have to stand by it. You have to know what it is you mean exactly and also understand that every public declaration means something. All the responsibility is ‘on your neck’ as the saying goes. OR: Can you speak about the current state of investment in Odessa? PV: Yes. We can finally speak of some success stories. Last year, we obtained more than one and a half billion dollars in investment for the city. We have stopped the capital flight situation and we now have a huge number of projects and programs

have been ranked number one in doing business out of the major cities of Ukraine. Last year we paid off all of our debts to international creditors and banks as well as to all Ukrainian banks. We are now debt free. OR: What are you doing about improving the business climate and making market access easier? About simplifying the process for starting a business and clearing away the remnants of Soviet-style over reg-

We are about to present the first annual iteration of our Odessa 5T Summer Business Days Forum in which the European Union, American corporations and Chinese companies have begun investing in Odessa. We have a good situation where all of our investment ratings show marked improvement and indicate that we have huge potential. Forbes magazine has put us on the table and we

ulation and red tape? Because some would say that Odessa is not a great business environment at the moment. Others say that vast improvements need to be made. PV: For many years, many investors did, indeed, face serious problems when they

Odessa Politics

invested in the city. But, today the position of the mayor and his team is to work very hard to improve the quality of the investment experience. That is why one of our primary investment strategies is trust, because we know that investors, tourists, Odessans believe in results when they feel that trust. We believe in our executive power and we trust in Odessa’s businesses, whose representatives are working for the best interests of the Odessa region. Every day, exemplary representatives of big business are doing good deeds for Odessa’s economy and social sphere. This is the only way to make our inhabitants and vis-

OR: So, what are the incentives for foreign investors at this point in time? PV: The last time these things were measured we recorded a medium return of 30% for our investors which is a high indicator for many foreign investors. That is why we are sure that the relationship between potential returns and political risk is very attractive. That is to say that potential returns on investment are better than whatever risk issues might exist in the country. The mayor’s office is fulfilling our responsibilities towards our partners and investors.

We are positioning Odessa as a city where something is happening place 365 days a year itors believe in our city and it’s potential for economic growth. But, when you look at all the economic indicators in Odessa, with the help of tourism, logistics, our fantastic geographical location, emerging IT-technology companies, and real estate & development companies, we are emerging as a world-class destination for foreign investment. All these indicators are growing exponentially. For example, the price of our workers is very inexpensive, the labor market is very competitive, even better than China’s labor. That is why many foreign investors are taking a close look at the possibility of developing enterprises in Ukraine. This is especially true of the case in Odessa, which is a great logistics and regional hub. Our task is to create a welcoming atmosphere for the investor. That is why, if one wants to build a new building or a logistics park or to invest in any other sphere, we will gather all the needed representatives of municipal power in one room to assist in doing so. We have an open office, where one can get all the information, necessary permits and get their investment approved in a one stop shop.

date for us to do our work. So we must do our work well every day for the good of the city and its inhabitants. OR: So how long have you been in your position? PV: I have been working here for three months already. OR: What do you think you’ve gotten done in those first 100 days? PV: We have had success stories in all the spheres of the ‘5Ts’, enough to feel satisfied with our accomplishments. Not long ago we hosted an ‘International Transport Week’ in Odessa. Also, we have had a major transportation forum that deals with the employment prospects of sailor. Every September we host a huge IT-forum in which up to 600 companies take part.

OR: Tell us about the big upcoming investment and business forum? Who will participate?

OR: Have you been successful in bringing foreign companies to invest in last 3 months?

PV: Thank you for asking about that. We are about to present the first annual iteration of our Odessa 5T Summer Business Days Forum. There will be more than 300 participants, including large investors and potential investors to the Odessa region. We will take this opportunity to present the concept of our special Odessa product/ portfolio – ‘Odessa 5T: Transport, Tourism, Technology, Trade and Trust’. The conference was decided to be held by the Odessa City Council in full partnership and agreement with the mayor and the city’s executive power. We will present our services as well as the most interesting municipality projects in the Odessa region.

PV: We are working on multiple city programs. A primary priority is modernizing Odessa city lightning. Other initiatives that we are focusing on include elevator production, electronic tickets, and equipment for the Odessa municipal hospital. There is the construction of a new clean energy and automated waste disposal compound. We have received a positive response from European investment banks on two of our tenders for investment in city infrastructure. All of these projects are at varying levels of completion.

OR: What about the mayor’s relationship with the governor’s team, despite all the public tension, are you cooperating with governor Saakashvili on the issue of investment? PV: Unfortunately, we are not cooperating at the moment. We are totally independent from their decisions and work, because we as the executive power (that is the mayor and the city deputies) are elected by the citizens of Odessa – they gave us the man-

OR: What can you tell us about the future of the city. Kiev for example, in the two years after the Maidan, has instituted a system of recycling done according to Western standards. PV: One of our primary demands of one of our new investors is that they assist us in switching over to separating garbage from recyclables. They are interested in doing this because it is economically efficient. Next year we will be launching a soundless express trolley to connect the Poselok


Odessa Politics

Last year we got more than one and a half billion dollars in investment for the city

Kotovskogo (ed: ‘Kotovsky Settlement’, a suburb of the city) to the center of the city. There are also plans to launch modern buses that run on electricity, and to fully refurbish the trolley fleet. Later this year, an Odessa company by the name of ‘Tatra’ is planning to put out the latest generation of trolley, one that would make even Western Europeans jealous. We also plan to get all the city parks and squares cleaned up and replanted to the highest standards. By next year we hope to connect all the parts of the ‘Route of Health’ (ed: a strip of pedestrian land that runs along the sea and is used for jogging) so that it is up to 17 kilometers long, which would be twice the current length. OR: What are the biggest problems for the city and the biggest challenges from your point of view? PV: Well, whenever I appear at international investment forums and funds and make appeals to local businessmen they give me a very warm welcome, and ask me why no one has ever spoken with them before because they have so many ideas! They tell me that no one ever invited us to participate. My position has never existed before, but today it is of absolute and critical importance for the city. We had an economic development department in city hall, but its makeup has radically shifted with the arrival of an energetic and young team. We are also keen to create a communal project – an Investment and Promotion Agency – where a potential investor can come and see the whole pic-


ture of future investment projects as well as see all offers from the city. All the technical, legal, financial and statistical details will be clearly provided with all the offers. Also, this agency would be responsible for promoting Odessa in other cities and all around the world. OR: Can you speak about the security situation for investment? Which is of course a crucial issue from the standpoint of investor confidence. PV: Over the duration of the last several years there have not been any serious disturbances. 2005 had the armed takeover of the ‘Uspeh’ market as well as the illegal capture of 3 hectares of private land belonging to private investors. Recently, they have all won their court cases. We have around 500 people working for the mayor’s office who specialize in security issues. We are in the process of bringing law and order to the city – businessmen who have illegally purchased land in the city simply cannot privatize it. OR: Is there anything else that you would like to discuss in conclusion, in terms of your future plans for the city? PV: Well, it seems to me that of any city in all of Ukraine, Odessa has some of the best potential. Our city has a tremendous fund of educational facilities ranging from highly rated universities to private schools. Also, our cultural opportunities are numerous – we have film festivals, the ‘Golden Violin’ festival, marathons, economic forums and gatherings. We are positioning Odessa as a city where something is happening 365 days a year. We are opening an investment opportunity in construction of a congress hall, which will host sports events and large scale concerts – perhaps on the level of Madonna. Just two weeks

ago we had a meeting with the director of the Vera Holodnaya film center (ed: it is named for the renowned Soviet silent film actress) and she gave us a private tour. The Odessa film studio (where the film center is located) is government property and we asked them how the city can be of use. They told us that the studio needs investment in order to bring it up to international standards and once again make it the equal of Hollywood. I hope we can find those investments real soon. Also, I forgot to mention that the city government of Istanbul continues work on our ‘Istanbul Park’, and that we are finishing work on a passage way under the Potemkin staircase to connect it to the greenery of the newly restored ‘Greek Park.’ Little by little we are fulfilling our obligations on all our projects and the Istanbul park is slated for opening on September 2nd, the day of the city.

Odessa Architecture

The Philharmonic Hall

Illustration by Alex Noio

The Philharmonic Hall

Address Year Architect


15, Bunina Str. 1894 V. I. Prokhaska and A. Bernardazzi Venetian gothic style with Renaissance elements

On the day after Odessa’s centenary in 1894, the foundation stone was laid down and a time capsule was buried. The construction took some time and was only finished in 1898, the building was consecrated and opened in 1899. It was designed especially to be a stock exchange building by the Czech architect V.J. Prohaska. Later on, the building was further improved by architect A. Bernardazzi.

The Lebanese cedar ceiling was constructed without a single nail and the walls were decorated with panels by the artist N. Karazin from St. Petersburg. In 1937, the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra found a new home in this previous stock exchange building and have had regular performances since.

Feodor Chaliapin, the famous opera singer, performed within the Philharmonic Hall’s walls. Furthermore, this was one of the last places Vladimir Mayakovsky presented his work. In the present day, the Philharmonic’s hall houses the Bernardazzi restaurant. Famous for its beautiful courtyard and wine, Bernardazzi is considered to be one of the best restaurants in Ukraine.


Odessa Architecture

Daydreaming About Odessa’s Soho: The Revival Of The ‘Devolanovsky’ Descent By Iryna Kyporenko

For decades, the Devolansky Descent (or the ‘Ditch’), the long street stretching from the foot of the port to the plaza about a kilometer above it, has remained trashed and underused. Once lined with industrial workshops and factories, most of its buildings are now empty. It is both gritty and romantic, but it need not be. Revitalizing this post industrial space would be a tremendous boon to Odessa’s economy and would play a great role in positioning the city as a hub of the creative economy.

known as the ‘Ditch’ or ‘Kanava’. “I came down Hretska (Greek) street and there I saw a bridge. I looked down and saw Devolanovsky in all it’s glory. The de-

I was lucky enough to have had a chance to have visited New York City for first time last year. It was the first time in my life that leaving a city, I became sentimental enough to begin crying. Returning to Odessa as well as to Ukrainian reality, I tried to do so without also losing the inspiration that I had gathered in my time abroad. I also refreshed my memories of the streets in the center of Odessa by thinking of the same sort of streets to be found in, Brooklyn, Soho and Williamsburg. I began to write and call my friends and acquaintances whom would be eager to change Odessa for the better.


At that moment, I also began thinking about how my friend’s could transform Odessa into a hip young city like New York; complete with cool neighborhoods like the East Village and Soho. One of those friends is Sasha Goreniuk, a young businessman, living between Odessa and Kyiv who attended the first Ukrainian School of Urbanism ‘CANactions’. For one of his school assignments he was given the task of finding a unique ‘urban paradox’ that could be plausibly be recreated. However, he would not be the first dreamer to cast his eye on the melancholic and somewhat amazing Devolanovsky descent, also

scent is under three bridges, it starts from the square at the beginning and stretches towards the port. It was trashed but it was glorious. During the day, young guys from

Odessa Architecture

the college of computer technologies hung out there. At night, the whole area filled with prostitutes of various nationalities. Under the second bridge, local rappers gather and perform there. Photographers

The project is in many ways such obvious one in that many people thought the city have recognized the need to develop the descent. Gleb Zhavoronkov, the head of the city branch of the NGO/reformist political party “DemAlliance” supports the project (he) lives nearby, also believes in the Devolanovsky descent.

The revitalization of the space would resolve multiple urban problems and would give a much needed burst of revitalizing energy to the downtown area and videographers often choose the colorful graffiti on its walls as a backdrop for filming. This place obviously attracts people’’ Gorenikuk explains. He dreams of revitalizing this remarkable public space and making it open for the whole city. Thus was born the project “Podmostove” (‘Under the bridge’) – a​​ “creative cluster” and experiment in social entrepreneurship. The idea is to follow the successes of other cities that have revitalized abandoned and decommissioned industrial housing stock to create newly attractive and alternative mixed usage spaces. A tourist and green economy friendly mixture of bars, cafes, artist spaces, galleries and shopping venues would develop the neighborhood and make the space a conduit of trade and international tourism. The high line park in New York City is made atop a disused stretch of elevated train tracks – is the most famous example of this sort of urban revitalization project. Rezoning disused space in the prime space in the middle of the city center for new usage should be a no brainer. Odessa also lacks a trendy alternative to the ‘fancy’ and aesthetically officious ‘Arcadia’ recreational area.

We first discussed this initiative a year ago with Zhavoronkov, but only recently has the idea gained any practical traction. “Odessa needs new life it is to cease living off the old the myths. It can be changed by turning Odessa into an attractive place for talented people, who would not only remain here, but who would flock here from all over Ukraine. For this it is necessary to create an environment where their talent can be con-

verted into ‘foreign currency’, and given the trend of globalization – to do that is not difficult. Such a place can be Devolanovsky descent, which in a big melting pot will build together talented and professional people from different industries, all blending into one modern, high quality, competitive, Ukrainian product.

The first event that we organized, designed to draw attention to the project, was the cleaning day, a ‘Subbotnik’ in Russian. The goal was not just to make the street cleaner, but to show that the street served a critical need for Odessa, and that there is

no physical danger here. The well known Odessa architect Mikhail Reva also decided to join the initiative and began to quietly clean up the garbage.


Odessa Architecture

In addition, the city is sorely lacking in ‘creative’ locations – that is viable and affordable workshops for artists, sculptors and designers Yulia Frolova, an architect, designer and dean at the Odessa State Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture also spoke to me warmly of the malleable characteristics of the space and it’s potential role in the urban grid environment. “It is unique place, a unique link in the system of city streets, it connects Customs Square to Osipova street. No more intersections, it is closed in itself, to get to another street, you must either pass it completely, or go up one of the four bridges that stretch over it. The descent is also marked out in a convenient beam to provide continuous transport between the port and the train station. If cleverly used it could become a platform for the study and resolution of many of Odessa’s thorniest urban issues”. The revitalization of the space would resolve multiple urban problems and would give a much needed burst of revitalizing energy to the downtown area. Lowering the level of development below the bridges would relieve the transport situation on the neighboring streets. Odessa would receive a new tourist route. In addition, the city is sorely lacking in ‘creative’ locations – that is viable and affordable workshops for artists, sculptors and designers. Musicians huddle in basements and there is also a problem in the city with exhibition halls. Odessa artists need a place where they can create, share ideas and show their art to their audience. The Devolanovsky Descent project would attract foreign investment to the city and would provide opportunities for the development of social entrepreneurship and will showcase for all of Ukraine, a successful example of urban revitalization. Young people and international tourists would come from all over the world to spend time in the city. Executing a project of this immense scale will not be easy and will require an immense expenditure. A


memorandum from the mayor of the city with official recommendations for public consultation highlighting the economic benefits of the Devolanovsky descent and calling for it’s rezoning would be needed. After that, would follow a complex process of persuading the businessmen who hold onto the old buildings and housing stock all along the Descent to sell it to the city or development fund. One of my closest friend’s jokes that we are doing this project solely so that I could get to eat get a piece of carrot cake beloved by hipsters. However, I just want to knead the dough and to see how it will rise, and how much our rising assembly of civil society activists can package it into a beautiful box, a treat for all of Odessa’s residents and visitors.

Perhaps one day soon we shall be sitting with our friends drinking a beer on a ‘green’ rooftop bar on Devolanovsky Descent, and for a brief moment I will be back to New York. But this time I won’t be crying, because at that point I will have my own little “Big Apple” in Odessa.

Iryna Kyporenko, is an Odessabased independent journalist.

Odessa Architecture


Odessa History

Little Music Stories By Vadim Goloperov

Brief Tales of Odessa’s Musical History The Bee Gees, The Mystery Of Liszt’s Grand Piano, Tchaikovsky and Odessa’s Wunderkinder

As everyone knows, many talented pianists and violinists have come out of Odessa. The city has given the world David Oistrakh, Emil Gilels, Sviatoslav Richter. A love for music is a quality instilled in an Odessan from infancy onward (sometimes forcibly). There is a saying here – if a child in Odessa is walking down the street without a violin case, that simply means he plays piano. The composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky reminisced that during his 1893 visit to Odessa, during the

Pyotr Tchaikovsky reminisced that during his 1893 visit to Odessa, during the premiere of his “Queen of Spades” at the opera theatre, he was accosted by throngs of parents begging the maestro to listen to and evaluate their child’s playing premiere of his “Queen of Spades” at the opera theatre, he was accosted by throngs of parents begging the maestro to listen to and evaluate their child’s playing. Tchaikovsky told his friend at that time: “Often nothing comes of these wunderkinder.


Coddled too much, they stop making an effort and this ends their career”. He did listen to some of the young musicians, but without much enthusiasm.

However, there were exceptions. In particular, the legendary Russian composer handed the father of one such little violinist a note reading: “I hereby confirm that on January 18th, 1893 I listened to the young Ruvim Kaminsky play his violin… and found the boy to display an extraordinary talent…he fully deserves all possible support and aid in receiving a well-rounded and thorough education”. Aside to the father, he added: “Don’t destroy his talent. See how pale and thin he is. Feed him well, let him have more fun, don’t force him to focus all his time on music – at his age, it is harmful”. Owing to Tchaikovsky’s letter of recommendation, Ruvim Kaminsky was given a full scholarship to a musical school. After graduating, he became a well-known musician and music professor.

Odessa History

But the famous composer’s pleas to not deprive musically talented children of their childhood unfortunately fell on deaf ears with the many Odessa parents who were overly eager to mold their children into prolific musicians. To this day, there is a standing joke about Odessan children: while other children around the world hit the ball, Odessa children hit the violin!

present in the audience) decided to send his assistant backstage with an order to change the plot of the opera so that Ernani would live. The actors finished their arias with both Ernani and his beloved Elvi-

In 1847, Liszt came to perform in Odessa – accompanied by his “tour” piano, on which he gave six concerts in the City Theatre Ernani Must Live! One of the most notable traits of the theatrical and musical audiences of Odessa in the 19th century was their emotional liability, which, according to some critics, transcended the boundaries of propriety. Odessa patrons did not shy away from expressing approval as well as disappointment – and this is exactly how the introduction of Giuseppe Verdi’s operas to the Odessa public played out. The Odessa historian Aleksandr De Ribas wrote that in the middle of the 19th century, Odessans preferred soft orchestral arias consisting mostly of violins and flutes. When they were introduced to Rossini and Verdi with their thundering drums and brass sections, the music had an explosive and polarizing effect. The listeners were shocked, and the composers did not receive immediate approval, to say the least. However, the public eventually warmed up to the passion of Italian opera, and soon they were being performed to sold out audiences at the Opera Theatre. The viewers did little to restrain their emotions before, during, or after the shows. Verdi’s “Ernani” became especially popular with the Odessa public. During one performance, when in the final act, when Don Silva commands the bandit Hernani to leave his beloved and commit suicide, the audience’s emotional reaction reached such a crescendo that Odessa mayor Kaznacheev (who was also

ra remaining alive and well on the stage. Needless to say, the audience was entirely satisfied with this new ending. The Mystery of Ferenc Liszt’s Grand Piano The great pianist and composer Ferenc Liszt played many pianos during his lifetime, but he had several that he considered his “favorites”. Liszt’s main piano was his beloved 1853 “Steinway & Sons”, which is currently located in the La Scala museum in Milan. The fate of the second instrument, a “Schreder” which accompanied Liszt on his tours through Europe, is unclear. The trail gets lost somewhere in Eastern Europe – specifically, either Ukraine or Russia. It should be noted that Ukraine played a great role in the great

Hungarian musician’s fate – it was here that he met and fell in love with Princess Karolina Wittgenstein, a woman who had an enormous impact on his life and work. There was only one small detail – at the time of her meeting Liszt, Karolina was already married! She loved the composer and was ready to leave her husband – but this, the written consent of both the Pope and czar Nicholas I was required. In an attempt to get into the Russian monarch’s good graces, Liszt was forced to spend a lot of time in Russia – a circumstance he

couldn’t have found too much of a burden, since it allowed him to be close to his beloved. This is also the reason that Liszt toured the Russian Empire so extensively. In 1847, the pianist came to perform in Odessa – accompanied by his “tour” piano, on which he gave six concerts in the City Theatre. Liszt spent a month and a half in Odessa, and it was here that he and Karolina nursed their plans for their future life together. Unfortunately, Czar Nicholas I showed no haste in signing the decree giving permission for Karolina’s divorce. According to witnesses, when the disappointed Liszt was leaving Odessa, his piano was dropped and seriously damaged while be-


Odessa History

One of the most notable traits of the theatrical and musical audiences of Odessa in the 19th century was their emotional liability, which, according to some critics, transcended the boundaries of propriety ing loaded onto a ship. As a result, Liszt decided to leave the instrument behind. According to some sources, the famous pianist’s piano was purchased by Count Mikhail Tolstoy as a gift for his wife. Many documents verify the existence of a beautiful, well-made piano in the Tolstoy estate. During the Soviet years, the Tolstoy piano was housed in the Odessa Museum of Arts – but after the 1941–44 Romanian occupation of Odessa, the piano was nowhere to be found. It has been speculated that the famous instrument was pillaged by the occupying forces and taken to either Romania or Germany. However, after the war, a well-preserved antique Schreder piano was discovered in an Odessa basement. Of course, the discovery aroused immense interest as everyone was instantly reminded of the Liszt mystery. In 1974, the piano was transferred to the Odessa House of Scientists, where it remains to this day. For many years, tour guides described the piano as the famous one that Liszt had left behind in Odessa. However, a discovery was recently made which completely uproots this theory – the Schreder discovered in 1974 had only been manufactured in 1898! This means that it could not have possibly belonged to the pianist, who died in 1896. The romantic theory was discredited. But an even more interesting mystery arises in its stead: where did the real Liszt piano go after being left behind in Odessa in 1847 – and was it really left behind in Odessa at all? That mystery would surely make for a fascinating research project.


‘‘BEE GEES. ODESSA’’ That is the exact text that appears on the cover of the sixth studio album by the legendary British rockers, the “Bee Gees”. The album was released in 1969 to critical and public acclaim. The main track on the album is entitled “Odessa (City on the Black Sea)”. For many years, this album and song captivated fans who tried to decipher the meaning of its title. At first glance, there is nothing particularly mysterious about it – the Gibb brothers have explained that they visited Odessa during a 1968 Mediterranean and Black Sea cruise. It was said that they enjoyed the city so much that they decided to dedicate a song to it and even name an album in its honor. But the title begins to seem more ambiguous when considering that the song is about the 1899 sinking of the British ship “Veronica” in the Baltic Sea. The lyrics contain references to the North Atlantic and

Finland, while Odessa is mentioned only in the hook. What any of this means and what Odessa has to do with the subject matter of the song remains a mystery. Neither Robin nor Barry Gibb have ever revealed the title’s significance. Many fans of the band have abandoned the idea of uncovering the hidden meaning of the song and simply enjoy singing along to the words: Odessa, How strong am I? Odessa, How time goes by... However, in the city itself, a legend persists about an Odessa girl named Veronica, with whom one of the famous brothers fell in love during his visit; how she told him about her dreams of visiting Finland and upon parting gave him a souvenir from the Baltics which her sailor father had brought back from one of his trips. Whether there is any truth to this story is impossible to tell now – it is just another mystery, the sort of mystery that Odessa’s history abounds with.

Vadim Goloperov is a staff writer at The Odessa Review Illustrator Oleg Andreyev

Odessa History


Odessa History

Tracing the History of Odessa Rock Movement by Alexandr Topilov

the middle of that decade, similar organizations began to form in Odessa as well. The Odessa Rock Club first appeared in 1985, with Igor Gankevich, lead of the band “Bastion” as one of it’s founders. “Bastion” encapsulated the “Odessa rock sound” of the time – their lyrics were peppered with local toponyms: the Duc, Moldavanka, Deribasovskaya all made appearances. Many of the songs included references to the city’s folklore, combined with a healthy dose of general social commentary. Musically, Bastion’s sound was a mix between hard rock and singer-songwriter style ballads. While the hard rock component of their music was admittedly nothing special, when the unique Odessa flavor of their songs was combined with a sort of post-Soviet, Perestroika folk – something truly interesting and unique came to life. Tragically, Gankevich died in 1990 at the age of 28, leaving behind not a single studio recording.

The lack of studio recordings is truly one of the biggest pitfalls of tracing the history of Odessa rock Is there such a phenomenon as an “Odessa sound” in post-Soviet rock n roll? That is in the same way there was a distinct Chicago sound in the Blues, and a Manchester sound in post-punk. That list is expansive, but the concept is straightforward. However, as many things about Odessa, the answer is far from simple. It is better to answer this question by going back to the very beginning : In the 1980s, the USSR had two major hot spots of home-grown alternative music: the Moscow Rock Laboratory and the Leningrad Rock Club. Towards


The lack of studio recordings is truly one of the biggest pitfalls of tracing the history of Odessa rock. At the time, there were simply no studios in the city which were interested in and willing to work with younger musicians. Moscow and St. Petersburg were virtually the only options for those seeking to record an album. The second major problem was a lack of variety. Although there was a large number of young bands, most of them sought to imitate their idols, resulting in a similar sound across the board. The second half of the 80’s was a time when metal reigned over the post-Soviet musical space, hence the similarly heavy sound of most Odessa bands at the time: “Krater”, “Accent”, “Monte Kristo”, “Trash Machine”, “Volny Gasyat Veter”, as well as many others. Still, some of these bands did manage to gain a moderate level of fame and many even toured across the USSR (“Monte Kristo” and “Trash Machine” are two examples). The latter band even released an official LP in the early 90s – which was naturally recorded and mastered in Moscow.

Odessa History

One of the most interesting bands on the early 90s Odessa scene was “Provincia” (Province). They stood out from among their musical peers due to their original direction, playing their own version of progressive rock – a fairly exotic genre for that time and place. Their instrumentation was also quite unique and varied – they included woodwinds and strings in their collective. Their knowledge of arrangement also positively influenced the music’s quality. However, despite their relative uniqueness, their sound was still mostly a result of “desire to sound Western”, and many of their innovations were a result of that striving. An even more unique phenomenon on the Odessa scene was the band “Koshkin Dom” with their flamboyant frontman Max Lande. “Koshkin Dom” managed to be modern not only in the post-Soviet, but also in an international context – they stood out by playing a Leningrad-flavored brand of New Wave with a distinct nod towards Post-Punk. The band wasn’t a purely Odessa phenomenon however, as some of the members were natives of St. Petersburg. Ultimately the band relocated to St. Petersburg completely and rarely made visits to Odessa. Max Lande himself was a charismatic performer who fit the “rock star” image quite well – he was exactly the type of character that the Odessa rock scene desperately needed. He was also the only one on the scene – that is, until the arrival of Stas Podlipsky. Stas had been a part of the Odessa music scene since he have been a teenager in the early 80s. The music journalist Artemiy Troitskiy compared his band “Deti Na Trave” (Children on the Grass) to the prolific Ukrainian rock bands “Braty Gadyukiny” and “Vopli Vidoplyasova”, going as far as to call them the “main event of Ukrainian music”. “Dety na Trave” was eventually renamed “Klub Unilyh Liz” (Club of Sad Faces) and the band continued refining their sound during the 90s with Podlipsky at the helm. Podlipsky can truly be seen as the face of Odessa’s short-lived rock-n-roll phenomenon – a bright but prematurely extinguished star. There are a few reasons for his fame. First and foremost, Stas was an incredibly powerful and colorful personality. When he took the stage, no one in the audience remained indifferent. Of course, not everyone found his art to their liking. His music was a deeply underground one, built

In the 1980s, the USSR had two major hot spots of home-grown alternative music: the Moscow Rock Laboratory and the Leningrad Rock Club on the aggressive energy of punk rock and liberally peppered with street slang and profanity. At the same time, it was laconic and to the point. His lyrics inevitably stuck in the listener’s mind. Podlipsky’s songs were soaked in Odessa themes – or rather, it might be said, that he was such an authentic and earnest figure that he himself was a personification of Babel’s Odes-


Odessa History

sa. Albeit one that had been transported into the 90s and flavored with Iggy Pop style theatrics. Stas also left behind a large number of tapes. His recordings sounded nothing like s polished Western sound, and sound production was virtually non-existent at the time – but despite all of that he managed to create a gripping and original product, working such unorthodox instruments as the clarinet into his rock music. The result was oddly harmonious, unique, and thoroughly Odessan. When combined with vulgar, crime ridden lyrics the music had a jarring, confrontational effect. Podlipsky created an entire universe, populating it with characters based on his real friends and the colorful personalities stalking the Odessa streets. The nonconformists and freaks of the 90s, their relationship with the society they lived in, their complex, haunted, intoxicated inner world – these were the main themes of

Podlipsky can truly be seen as the face of Odessa’s short-lived rock-n-roll phenomenon – a bright but prematurely extinguished star his songs. In the middle of the 90s, Podlipsky went even further in this direction – he recorded two albums full of “Odessa chanson”. Odessa, being a port city, always had a reputation for having a higher level of criminality compared to inland cities – the criminal element was so entwined with the city that overtime it became an inextricable aspect of Odessa’s culture. In those albums, Podlipsky managed to walk the fine line between the vulgarity of chanson and the myth-building of rock ballads – and seamlessly incorporate this mixture of styles into his songs and on-stage persona. During that time, the press referred to Podlipsky as a “youth idol” and “new wave Hamlet” – it’s clear to see that his personality influenced the subsequent development of Odessa rock strongly. After his death, the Odessa rock club eventually gave way to a new subculture of gloomy, perpetually intoxicated young people who stubbornly delved deeper and deeper into the underground. A number of alternative characters arose in Podlipsky’s absence: Sergey Bakumenko and his band “Mertvy Teatr” (Dead Theatre), Stevie Mladshy and “Adonis Kalahari”, Alya Kravchenko with


“Normandy Neman”, the Odessa artists Igor Gusev and Andrey Kazandzhy with their endless lineup of one-off bands. It was an interesting time full of interesting people, but the music, despite its originality, left a lot to be desired. At the same time, the Odessa scene was suffering from a dire lack of venues, organization, and scheduling, and as a result – a lack of audiences. Underground concerts were held mostly for narrow private circles, and severely lacked the ability to reach any level of outside visibility. This underground activity culminated in the Vladimir Nessi Memorial Festival, organized by Sergey Bakumenko in 1995. The event was notable first and foremost because it was, in essence, a piece of post-modern performance art and a satirical statement on the current musical scene. Soon after the death of Igor Gankevich in 1990, a yearly festival was established in Odessa in his honor. This was a serious event, hosting the A-listers of ‘оте­че­ст­вен­ной’ rock music such as Chizh, DDT, and Alisa. This was a festival of established, celebrity “Russian Rock” and the Vladimir Nessi Festival was made to be a counterpoint to it – a festival of young, musical nonconformists, the milieu Nessi himself belonged to. Most importantly, at the time of the establishment of a festival in his memory, Nessi was still very much alive, even performing

Odessa History

at his own memorial as a member of several projects. The festival was meant to be an incisive satire of the institution of Russian Rock and Odessa’s rock club, which had by that time long ceased any meaningful or innovative activity and continued to exist out of simple inertia. The Nessi lineups were compelling because of the sheer number of invited acts – the festival was a prime sampling of the deep underground of the time, featuring stars of the Kyiv underground scene such as Rabbota Ho, Ivanov Down, Itsky Aun, Medlenny Rul. Odessites were exposed to the high levels of craftsmanship that alternative musicians could reach of given proper motivation and support. Paradoxically, this festival would become the apex point of alternative music in Odessa, after which the movement began to decline until it virtually dissipated. During the second half of the 90s, a sort of rock and roll rebranding took place. The strong influence of club culture took a toll on live music as well – many electronic and computerized elements were added to rock music. One of the Odessa bands that reflected this trend the most was “Tryn Trava”, founded by the brothers Denis and Zhenya Bal. The Bal brothers were also instrumental in creating a new type of venue for this new current of rock music – small intimate clubs instead of open-air stages. However, there was one problem – a lack of performers. The scene was still stagnating in its archaic Russian rock phase, with virtually no fresh alternatives to be found. Only in the 2000s did a band appear which could truly be seen as a modern contribution to Ukrainian rock by Odessa. That band – !Tsirk (Circus) – was a joint project between Sergey Bakumenko (Mertvy Teatr) and the aforementioned Denis Bal. The members’ high level of professionalism caused the band to stand out among from their peers – most of it’s member musicians were classically trained, and they were thus able to create records of exceedingly high quality. The band’s sound was imbued with a vivacious sort of funk, and it frequently experimented with new formats and styles. The dramatic brass section and colorful, costumed live performances made every concert into a celebration. Unfortunately, despite Denis Bal’s originality and quality, the band suffered the same fate as many other Odessa projects – they dissolved in the mid-’00s, leaving behind only one studio album. That album was designed for radio play, and as a result, was excessively electronic and over-produced.

Unfortunately, despite Denis Bal’s originality and quality, the band suffered the same fate as many other Odessa projects – they dissolved in the mid-’00s, leaving behind only one studio album

Unfortunately, Igor Gankevich and Stas Podlipsky are really the only prolific names that come to mind in terms of a purely Odessa rock sound. Russian rock’s hegemony in the 80s and the lack of concert venues in the 90s had a negative impact on the development of local rock music all the way into the the last decade. There was also a virtual lack of a show business industry – there were no savvy producers and no managers. The majority of local bands ended up falling apart due to banal, trivial and minor issues, such as the total impossibility of earning a livable income through their music – most musicians held menial day jobs, (such as construction work) which predictably interfered with their creative work. Of course, this tragedy is not Odessa’s alone, but it is especially sad and painful to think of all the truly talented and unique musicians and bands that our city created, which faded out far before their time, forever remaining frozen in that time.

Alexandr Topilov is a musician, critic, and author of the book ‘That’s All There Is’


Odessa History

Made in Odessa: On Six Musicians With Odessa Roots When studying the biographies of famous musicians, composers and singers, many unexpected discoveries will be unearthed. It should not surprise anyone that a good deal of the of the world’s musical luminaries have deep roots winding back to Odessa. It seems that Odessa has sowed its “seeds” around the whole world – seeds which would blossom into some of the most prolific figures in the word of music. Can you think of others?

George Gershwin

Serge Gainsbourg

One of the founding fathers of jazz and great American pianist and composer, George Gershwin was born in 1898 in America, with the given name Yakov Gershowicz. His parents Moishe Gershowicz and Rosa Bruskina, were Jewish immigrants from Odessa. They must have breathed the magical Odessan air to create such a child prodigy. This was the same air where the Italian opera, Balkan as well as Ukrainian folk melodies and klezmer all mixed together since the very founding of the city. The proximity of the sea, the ubiquitous southern temperament and the free mixing of cultures – this atmosphere was a perfect one for a fusion art such as jazz, as well as for the creation of future jazz-men. Surely, it was no coincidence that Odessa was considered the “Jazz Capital” of the USSR.

Various sources give the provenance of Gainsbourg’s father and grandfather variously as living in Odessa; to others, in Theodosia (which is on the Crimean peninsula). His father, Josef Ginsburg, had studied music in St. Petersburg and lived in Moscow. Serge (who was originally called Lucien) Gainsburg remembered his roots well and loved to sing in Russian. His music was always well-loved in Odessa due to his provocativeness, irreverent ‘hooligan’ reputation and sharp tongue – typical Odessan qualities.

Joe Dassin When an Odessa barber named Samuel was asked his family name by American immigration, the latter thought he was being asked where he was arriving from. He responded “from Odessa”. The worker misheard him, and this is how the surname ‘Dassin” – and history – came to be. Soon, Samuel Dassin had a son – who would later become the director Jules Dassin. After that came his grandson, the future singer Joe Dassin. Joe’s son Julien remembers his father speaking of his dream to visit Odessa – unfortunately, he did not get to live that dream, but Julien would.


Bob Dylan Bob Dylan’s given name is Robert Allen Zimmerman. His grandparents arrived in America from Odessa in 1905. Today, the legendary musician’s photograph hangs in the American embassy in Ukraine next to the portraits of Igor Sikorsky, Milla Jovovich, Dustin Hoffman, David Duchovny and other famous Americans with Ukrainian roots.

Louis Wolfe Gilbert The American composer Louis Wolfe Gilbert was born in Odessa in 1886. At the beginning of the 20th. Century he relocated to the USA. By 1915, he was already a popular Hollywood composer creating music for television and radio shows, in-

cluding the famous Eddie Cantor Show. His music was used in the soundtracks of Hollywood films as well. After his death, Gilbert was inducted into the American Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Jacques Gordon The famous violinist, first chair of the Chicago Symphonic Orchestra, leader of the Hartford Symphonic Orchestra and professor at the Eastman Music School was born in Odessa in 1897. He relocated to America in his youth to pursue his dreams of fame and fortune – and he would certainly succeed in achieving them. He became especially popular after he conducted a sort of social experiment during the Great Depression of the 1930s – dressed as a poor violinist, he would stand on Michigan Avenue in the middle of Chicago and collect change for his performances of Schubert and Massenet. This experiment was recently repeated in 2007 by violinist Joshua Bell, who played in a Washington D.C. metro station during rush hour on a 1713 Stradivari violin valued at $3.5 million. Bell earned $32.17 in donations for this performance, while tickets to his concerts start at $100! A century ago, Gordon earned $5.61 from his own experiment – which, adjusted to the present day, would be 2.5 times that of Bell’s metro station earnings!

Odessa History

Illustration by Oleg Andreev


Odessa History

Classical Music’s Pedagogue: Stolyarsky By Marina Perepelitsa


Odessa History

Many recognize Odessa’s Stolyarsky School of Music as a truly special musical institution. It was, in fact, the first of many specialized music schools in the Soviet Union. The school was founded in 1933 by the outstanding music teacher & violinist Pyotr Stolyarsky. An Odessite through and through, Stolyarksy graduated from Odessa’s school of Music in 1893 and shortly after joined the renowned Odessa Opera House orchestra.

From its conception, the school set incredible expectations as specified by Stolyarsky. He laid down a rigorous musical audition process that is still used to this day. Before attending the school, exceptional children have to obtain professional music instruction and play at a perfect pitch. If they are accepted to the school, their gold-standard musical education would provide them with further developmental skills. The end goal

Some of his students were as young as four years old – but he was described as having a knack for identifying talent at any age In this time, he began his pedagogical career by offering private violin lessons. Some of his students were as young as four years old – but he was described as having a knack for identifying talent at any age. These lessons for prodigal children slowly, but surely, evolved into this formal school dedicated to perfecting the play of the violin and the piano. Now the school encompasses many string, key and wind instruments, as well as vocal and choral performance and music theory.

was to get any young child to captivate a concert hall. While some might say it may be too rigorous for a child, the hard work allowed his students to lead fulfilling and illustrious careers in music. There was one musician in particular that established the school’s importance, the Soviet violin sensation David Oistrakh. While he did not attend the school for it was built long after the violinist was famous, Oistrakh studied directly under Stolyarsky as a young child. Stolyarsky honed the young student’s talent well; at the age of six, Oistrakh had an outstanding debut concert in Odessa. Oistrakh later remembers his teacher with

these words: “From the very beginning, he instilled in us the need for perseverance and showed us how to enjoy the pleasures of the creative side of music. His incredible enthusiasm was contagious and we were all affected by it.” The rest about Oistrakh is well-known history, from his large-scale concerts all over the Soviet bloc to his several international competition wins. Through all of his achievements, Oistrakh’s name was always associated with Stolyarsky’s teaching abilities. There are countless other historical students that studied under Stolyarsky or his school. Such Odessa greats as the Bach enthusiast Nathan Milstein, David Oistrakh’s son Igor Oistrakh, and the exiled Mikhail Fikhtengoltz (his wife was executed as an “enemy of the people” during Stalin’s regime). Currently, school director Eugene Lysyuk and his staff continue to uphold the legacy of running a music school of quality. Students

Marina Pereplitsia is a musician living in Odessa


Odessa Literature

Eulogies for Yuri Kuznetsov The very romantic Soviet and Russian literary tradition of writing poetry to commemorate one’s departed friends is still alive and well in Odessa. After the great pianist passed away, after a prolonged (and inimitably brave) fight with cancer during the beginning of May – he died on the night of Eastern Orthodox Easter – a number of his friends in the literary and artistic world wrote eulogies to commemorate a well lived life.

In Memory of Yuri Kuznetsov By Boris Hersonsky As between you and the music there’s not even a sheet of paper, without scribbled notes, strung on the wire of a music staff, music requires courage and bravery, love and mirth, free of guilt and shame. When you don’t know where the idea comes from, where forehead beats against earth and nothingness Pygmalion the musician and Galatea the music, you create her, you know her. Because music has an elastic female body, enticing, flammable, but also repulsive to him who is afraid. To the one who touches her clumsily, whom she abandons in anger, leaving him alone. The tempo does not change, it seems to people, sounds all quickly follow each other, so unfurls the beat, but the breath is interrupted. The hands freeze in nothingness. And the music abandons us, leading you along with her.


Odessa Literature


Odessa Literature

Yuri Kuznetsov By Vadim Neselovsky Not everyone manages to play himself an encore. And you happened to have wasted it all, forthright, to the backstage, to the interior, to the very beginning. Disinterested, undying, infinite light, music tirelessly to hunt, without you, we, and what heaven ... Your grand piano’s ellipses? May stumbled in lilac delirium, wounded to the quick improvisation. You performed virtuoso rallies extemporaneously, music subordinated to it’s whims. But no matter how much you raged, no matter how much you edited carelessness, freedom, the chestnut trees stood guard weeping in line at the funeral. You are at the side, you walked away quietly, to listen to you friends quietly, become the rustling of the leaves, the breathing of the waves, you became the music, which heals souls.


Odessa Literature

Untitled By Stas Dombrowski While we quarrel. While we make up. While we debate which one of us is more honest he goes to sleep forever and without lyricism he passes, who is probably the best of the best. Of the people I know. And it is such a shame here. How cramped here when it is so: in the midst of a dispute the strong and selfless But we… We are with our hands up to our ears soaked in blood. Yes just don’t write anything. Just close your mouths already break your fingers over the piano. He was the kind, never heard of before. And that, is not even sadness

Untitled By Lyudmila Khersonskaya black keys, white keys, jazz – it is the music of life, not the music of the cemetery, it’s your music, your ladder to the sky, it can not be that you don’t exist. but the concert is over, the big dims in the hall, they stand up and applaud, but you are not on the stage, and they wonder, in the crowd below, and you look down from above. what do they ask – you are here, the light wrapped like a scarf, bunched up, and the black keys tumble, the white keys , jazz – it is the music of life, not music of the cemetery.


Odessa Literature

Genius By Alexander Velim Help him – he is a genius. He can not beg and bow. Except in the memory of generations, yet unborn you will disappear – and he will remain. Unnoticed by high society, modest, perhaps even a bit wild. He likes his solitude, silence, the piano, and his books. Immersed in his notebook, unserious and spendthrift, He does not pray for plenty, but simply that everyone be happy. Not proud of his victories, nor envious, all forgiving. And as if he does not believe at all either in the glory of Christ, but simply knows. He is not willing to play by the rules and he does not seek your love. Which is why you let him live his life lonely and impoverished. Only time – the sender of eternity, will know all and will judge all. And in the scaleof infinity you will disappear, but he will be. And his music will remain, his songs and his childlike sense of being. The public will stand up before the curtain, applauding off key. And then you probably remember when it was that you had a brother, son, friend, roommate and even loved your daughter as well. And run away with vulgar flowers, surrounded by his intrigues. and how decent we all are, when it becomes profitable. He’s like a wounded animal, will lie down in coffin to take a rest. You’ll go in a sweaty crowd, to accompany him on his everlasting path.


Hobart Earle with cellist Steven Isserlis at the Black Sea Music Fest. Courtesy of the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Odessa Review wants to extend it's warmest congratulations to maestro Hobart Earle on the 25th anniversary of his appointment as the conductor of the Odessa Philharmonic.

Odessa Literature

An Excerpt from ‘By The Black Sea’ By Mikhail Yakovlich

This is an excerpt from the 1952 memoirs of the Odessa Film Studio’s legendary first director Mikhail Yakovlich. The excerpt provides a remarkable historical window on the events that took place in Odessa immediately after the conclusion of the civil war and the implantation of the Bolshevik agenda. This is the first time that any part of Yakovlich’s memoirs have appeared in English. The physical copy of the memoirs exists in only one manuscript form, it is the first object in Odessa Film Studio Museum’s collection. We thank the Odessa Film Studio for their kindness in allowing us to publish this selection.

Before October 1916, there were about eighty cinemas spread all over Odessa Before October 1916, there were about eighty cinemas spread all over Odessa. Large ones, medium ones, small ones. Some were located in former storefronts, with the sidewalks as their lobbies. By 1921, only six movie theaters were left. Projectors were cramped in tiny booths. The reels were played manually. The image, projected onto makeshift screens, moved either too fast (to the delight of schoolboys, the main demographic of the audience – eliciting hoots, hollers, ad stomping) or crawled at a snail’s pace. The wallpaper in the auditoriums was peeling, the ceilings cracked. The floors were covered in a shin-deep layer of sunflower seed shells and other debris. The filaments of small coal lamps barely glowed pink. Darkness. Filth. Stale air. Dreariness. Two of the theaters had no seats – the viewers watched the films standing up. Tickets were sold, but in an unrecognizable form. Simple bits of paper with a stamp on it – a stamp no one knew the meaning or provenance of.


Could it really go on like this? A small squad of like-minded individuals had already gathered in the Odessa Photo and Cinema Committee wanting to discuss this problem – the future Prombank director Saul Levin, film rental specialist Vladimir Ivanovich Karpovski, and Isidor Mikhaylovich Rosenblit.

Mr. Rosenblit deserves an aside of his own, seeing as he was one of the head figures in the Regional Command. I don’t recall how it stood in the rest of Ukraine, but in Odessa, in 1921 a short campaign entitled “Peaceful revolt” was taking place. The entire party organization of the

Odessa Literature

Once, an elderly gentleman in a worn-out two piece suit came into my office – this gentleman’s last name happened to be Rosenblit. The following is a conversation that took place between him and myself

“Good day and good health to you!”

city took part in the campaign. Members of the bourgeoisie, which were unfortunately (for them) plentiful in the city of Odessa, had their large apartments, precious items, and much of their property confiscated. On the orders of the Government Committee, I headed the commission on reviewing the complaints and petitions connected to the confiscations. Once, an elderly gentleman in a worn-out two piece suit came into my office – this gentleman’s last name happened to be Rosenblit. The following is a conversation that took place between him and myself. I do not want the reader to judge me for including it, or to believe that I am including it for some sort of comedic relief. This is simply not the case. The times back then were grim, and there was very little room for levity. Perhaps there will be some critics who will find it to be “excessively Odessan”, that is vulgarly leaning on tropes of Odessan humor. To which I would answer – it is not “excessively” so, it is indeed very accurate. In some essence this conversation captured the realistic air of the times. The words exchanged paint a portrait of a distinct person, a native Odessa who played an important role in the Regional Command. Without further ado, this is the exchange that took place between us:

“I am listening” “Should I tell it all at once?” “You could.” “Well, between us, I don’t really need anything.” “Well, you can be on your way then. God be with you.” “Well, I won’t be able to do that, because as you all say today: God doesn’t exist. At all.” “What a character,” I thought to myself. “Where do you work?” I asked him.

“Young man, you all, the kinds that became the bosses now – you are always running around rushing. Stop a little, rest, otherwise your heart might suffer for it – god forbid.” Something about this visitor compelled me – I am not sure what it was. And this despite his confession of being a “former capitalism”, something which would make him very unpopular in any circle in those days. “It can be very useful to hear another person out. Even if you consider him stupid. Listening can yield results. I want to make a proposition to you, and, if God forbid you should not like it then that’s fine. But give me a chance to present it.” “I’m listening” “Have you heard of Mr. Popov’s tobacco factory?” he asked me.

“Where could I possibly work, not being a member of a professional union? No one will hire me. I’m not part of the working class, per se. Who would hire me? Would anyone? What do you, yourself think? I am a former capitalist…note that I say former.” he answered.

“The one that produces ‘Salve’ cigarettes?”

“Excuse me, but there are many people waiting to be seen…” I told him impatiently.

“I have not.”

“They can wait. What do they have to rush for? I am here to make you a compelling offer.” The strange visitor made himself more comfortable in his chair and continued:

“Yes, that same one! ‘Salve’ brand cigarettes, famous all over the world. Do you know who was the owner of the majority of the shares? Me. Have you perhaps heard of the Doly perfume factory as well?”

“How is that possible? Their soap…what a fine soap!” his eyes twinkled. The strange man kissed his gathered fingers, conveying his high opinion of the Doly soap with a gesture.


Odessa Literature

The plan consisted of renting the cinemas to their former owners or other private entity on certain conditions and with certain restrictions for a period of one year. They would restore them, provide furniture, and hopefully make them functional and profitable again “And the Ashkenazy Bank, have you heard of it?” “Yes.” “Well, all these companies are me. My name is Isidor Mikhaylovich Rosenblit. Will you try to remember it, please? Show me a man in Odessa, or even in Nikolayev, who does not know who Isidor Mikhaylovich is… there is no such man. You will not find him!” Rosenblit shifted his weight in his chair yet again, getting comfortable. It was beginning to seem that he was planning on staying here a long time. “In all honesty, between you and me, in absolute honesty – I cannot say I adore this Soviet government of yours…but I must do business. If I cannot do business anymore, I might as well reserve a grave at the Second City Jewish Cemetery… tell me, do you know anything about finance? Don’t answer that. I know that you don’t. I am a non-party member finance specialist. I will tell you honestly, I always lived and worked by this motto – let others talk while you stay quiet. What did I have to talk about? A financer is able to produce money out of thin air. I stay quiet – if someone needs something from me, let them talk and I will listen. I have to admit that when the Soviets came and took even the shirt on my back away from me, that’s when I suddenly became a talkative man. Even my Leia said then – you, Isidor, have become an unbearable chatterbox; watch out so that the Cheka doesn’t come for you. Why would they


Odessa Literature

come for me? – I said. What am I, a counter-revolutionary? No, I am not a counter-revolutionary. Anyone can confirm. Let them ask anyone who knows me.” “Mr. Rosenblit, can we speed this along perhaps” “I suppose I can sum it up. I see you are looking at my suit… I bought it at the street market. Your comrades took everything I own. They left my shares, though. They said ‘you can just throw these in the dumpster’. And they were right… no one will take these, even for free. What else is there to say? The war is over, thank God…we’ve gotten rid of the pogrom inciters, Petlyura and Denikin’s men… that’s all very well, but if you think that you can continue to live and prosper without us finance workers, you are very wrong. This is me, Isidor Mikhaylovich, saying this to you. The Soviet government will need banks, accountants…there is no way around it. Mark my words. The economy will revive, buying, selling; it’s no joke in such a huge nation. And your Lenin… well, he is a smart man.” “I’m still not understanding; how can I be of use to you?” I reiterated. “Young man, comrade, I believe you misunderstood me. It is not you that can be of use to me, but the other way around. Tell me, are you in charge of the cinemas?” “Let’s say I am.” “I know a few things about movies. We lent money to rental offices, even Khanjonkov visited us, and we know about your cinemas. They’re in bad shape, aren’t they? Bringing losses instead of profits. Am I correct? From what I know, the situation is dire. I’ve come to you with a wonderful idea. Don’t hold it against me, an old man, but see – if you have half a brain, you will listen to me.” I did listen to the idea. Despite my expectations, it was delivered in a short, busi-

nesslike, efficient and persuasive manner. I listened to everything Isidor Mikhaylovich Rosenblit – this man, who according to himself was known throughout Odessa and even in Nikolayev – had to say. I listened to him, and I must say, his idea intrigued me. “Could you return in a week?” “Why not? It would be my pleasure. Of course I could!” I was beset by strong emotions, completely and for a long time. Rosenblit’s idea would not let me rest. It held my mind in a vice, burned, boiled, gnawed at me. I tried everything I could to exorcise Rosenblit the tempter from my mind. It’s a ridiculous idea, I told myself. It’s futile. I’ll get off easy if I’m only laughed at… it could be worse, if it gets to the wrong ears I will never live it down – maybe not even live at all. Try to transport yourself to 1921. Try to understand the atmosphere of the time. Then you will have a clearer image of my predicament. Rent out our cinemas? We can’t, so what way out is there? Today, six cinemas are on their last breath. Tomorrow, one by one, they will begin dying out. Of course they wouldn’t allow it, but in the interests of the cinema…the situation truly is dire, after all. I don’t see another solution. Why can’t we at least try it? For six months, maybe even a year? If it doesn’t succeed, we’ll reverse everything. What could go wrong with that? In dealing with him, Isidor Mikhaylovich Rosenblit turned out to be a decent, honest, and capable man; a skilled finance expert who gave a great deal of his time, talent, and strength to the committee despite being well into his sixties. I worked with him for several years, up until his death. Now, back to our problem. We’ve already discussed the six Odessa cinemas and their sorry conditions. Where were we to go from there?

We gathered our small collective and thought and thought and thought. We brought up various options, some were instantly and harshly dismissed. Finally, Rosenblit’s suggestion came up for discussion. The plan consisted of renting the cinemas to their former owners or other private entity on certain conditions and with certain restrictions for a period of one year. They would restore them, provide furniture, and hopefully make them functional and profitable again. “Are we Bolsheviks or not?” fumed Saul Levin. “Are we going to sell our ideas now? To fatten that capitalist scum, the bourgeois bastards? No! I do not agree!” “You’re right, Saul. We’re not some kind of petty merchants.” “If I may say so, comrade Levin” Rosenblit interjected politely and quietly, “I personally have no intentions of buying or selling your ideas, because I do not even understand them. I know one thing – in the Café Fanconi, or the stock market on the corner of Pushkinskaya Street – ideas are not a viable product. They have no value. You might as well give them away for free. Ideas aren’t aspirin or currency. Your six cinemas right now are nothing. They’re not cinemas… they’re laughable, crippled and squalid places. People laugh at them, but Kruglyakov and Shoshnikov (the former owners), despite being a part of the bourgeoisie are smart people who do what they do well. People like us, comrade Saul Levin, stand to learn a lot from them. Am I correct or not? We are giving them walls riddled with holes, filthy floors, rancid squalor – and we will be getting money in return for this. You can disseminate your ideas in your movies, comrade Saul Levin.” “The walls in the cinema are ideas too! You, comrade Rosenblit, need to familiarize yourself with the party’s ideology,” Levin answered disdainfully.


Odessa Literature

It can be very useful to hear another person out. Even if you consider him stupid. Listening can yield results.

“Saul, you just said a very stupid thing.” “I sure hope we don’t get kicked in the teeth for this.”

“Well, you are making some sense. Prepare the material, make a report to the Bureau, we will listen and discuss it then,” responded Comrade Secretary Khatayevich (the future secretary of the Central Committee of the Ukrainian Communist Bolshevik Party).

Vladimir Ivanovich Karpovsky, worried as always, twirled his long mustache:

Twenty-two movie theaters were rented out for the duration of one year. Yes, twenty-two. You might wonder, where did the twenty-two come from, if before it was mentioned that we only had six more or less functioning theaters.

“Let’s stop burying our heads in the ground like ostriches. We don’t have the people, the means, the equipment, not even the money for even small-scale renovations. What are our cinemas? They’re pigsties, basically. It’s embarrassing to walk into them.”

Well, what happened was something truly unexpected. As soon as word spread about the planned rentals, we were overwhelmed by queries from former owners. Vacant buildings in various parts of the city resurfaced as potential movie theaters.

We spoke a lot. We fought. We argued. Finally, it was decided that Levin and I should consult with the Regional Committee.

The conditions of the rental were the following:

“We’ll survive. You and I have sturdy teeth.”

With my voice shaking (because of the implications of our suggestion), I reported to the Regional Committee Secretary the nature of the situation and the details of our argument. Levin conveyed his protests in a way that was perhaps somewhat calmer and more logical than it was at our previous meeting. “What’s wrong with people more experienced than us working in the cinemas for a while”, I was speaking in a tone perhaps raised too high, “and us receiving six fully renovated movie theaters and all the added experience in return? What’s the risk? Perhaps there is a small one, but risk is a necessity. Cinemas all over Europe bring enormous profits to their owners, and ours simply leech from the government – and they require a lot… how much longer can this go on?”


Complete renovation and the removal of any defects by our engineer. The renter will provide all necessary furniture and equipment. After the expiration of the rental period, the theaters and all the property contained in them will be transferred to the Regional Photo and Film Committee, entirely and without compensation, as per the original agreement. Tickets will be typographically pressed and numbered, verified by the Regional Financial Department, and sold at counters under our approval and control. The Committee receives 25% of the gross profit. We are under no obligation to cover any of the costs related to staff or any other necessity. Some might consider it superfluous to discuss the restoration of cinemas in three Ukrainian regions within a memoir entitled “By the

Black Sea”. After all, the main aim of our recollections is to describe the construction and launch of the Odessa Film Studio – the forerunner of all Ukrainian cinematography. However, I consider this issue to be one of utmost importance – without a widespread and functional chain of cinemas and the profits stemming from it, all talk about cinematography would be empty blather. We are telling about these movie theaters as an extremely important factor – if not, in fact the decisive one. The agreement with the renters was notarized by the legal sector of the Odessa Regional Executive Committee. Theaters in other regional centers, such as Nikolayev, Vinnitsa, Kherson, KamenetskPodolsk, Proskurov, Berdichev, and Elizavetgrad were rented out according to the same set of conditions. In smaller cities, the agreement was somewhat different. However, when the Regional Command was dealing with movie theaters, no one could even dare dream about the construction of a film studio. We were trying to make our theaters profitable for the government. The renters renovated and furnished the theaters, and each one was approved by a separate act. The foyers and auditoriums were equipped with chairs and all the necessary equipment. Where it all came from, I have no idea. Perhaps the former owners had stashed it away at the right time. The streets once again sparkled with colorful movie posters and announcements in that inimitable Odessa style. In one theater on Moldovanka, we saw a huge and colorful billboard. A severed head and the splayed out dead body of a wom-

Odessa Literature

an were drawn on it. The title announced, “Doomed Love, or, the Horrors of the Jewish Progroms”. The film showing was a Swedish drama starring the well-known actress Asta Nilssen and the equally famous Morrison.

Did the viewers complain? Not at all. They got used to it. We were politically naive at the time, or perhaps just due to youth, I was amazed at how we were able to fool these experienced entrepreneurs – they were from the Odessa industry after all! The cornerstone of our financial success and our lucky charm that Rosenblit said to me once: “You’re still dressed in this military garb and had a Mauser on your hip just recently, but you know nothing about commerce. Nothing at all, believe me. It wasn’t us that fooled them – quite the opposite. But times are such that we can’t do without them, and so it is.” To indicate the utmost necessity to us of Kruglyakov and his ilk, Rosenblit made a slicing motion across his throat with his finger. Many things were restored – cleanliness, order, new screens, bright lights, curtains, a musical duet of violin and piano in every single theater, and even live performances by musicians in some of the theaters preceding the feature screening (Khudozhestvinniy, Express, Ampir, Utochkin). Ilya Nabatov, Vladimir Koralli, Mikhail Raskatov among others graced the stages of these restored cinemas. The renter Shoshnikov even managed to stage live sound accompaniment in his theater, recreating the sounds of the events on the screen as they happened. Well, what next? The main thing was missing. Where would we get the films? What we had was obsolete. There was nothing to show. Films are worn out beyond recognition, some are missing titles, scenes are missing, static obscures the images… it is sometimes impossible to understand which movie you are watching. The renters managed to restore some of the old films. They added introductory frames and subtitles in between the scenes. But all this is just a drop in the sea.


Odessa Literature

James Bond Is From Odessa By Brian Mefford

From Ukraine with Love: Hollywood’s favorite British spy was inspired by the great Odessa born adventurer.

Everyone knows the world’s most famous secret agent, James Bond. British author Ian Fleming’s hero has been a box office star for more than half a century. Bond is celebrated around the globe for his brilliant mind, wild adventures, and debonair charm. “Women want him, and men want to be him”. What most people don’t know is that James Bond has his origins in Odessa, Ukraine. James Bond is a fictitious character, but he was inspired by real people. Before writing the first James Bond book, author Ian Fleming had a successful career in Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). This work gave Fleming the background he needed to write the Bond series of novels. Many of the plot devices and personalities featured in the series closely mirror Fleming’s personal experiences. However, the primary inspiration for the character of James Bond actually came from an era before Fleming’s own. James Bond was inspired by the incredible life story of a man born in Odessa on March 24, 1874, under the name of Sigmund Rosenblum.

Rosenblum, who would later assume the more English-sounding name of Sidney Reilly, lived a life shrouded in intrigue and mystery. In fact, it is still difficult to discern which parts of Reilly’s life are historical fact, and which parts are mere legend. There is broad agreement over some of his most audacious escapades: observers generally believe he really did deliver the Persian oil fields to the British crown. He is credited with stealing Germany’s top naval secrets, and came within a whisker of assassinating Vladimir Lenin in 1918 as part of the Lockhart Plot. Officially, Sigmund Rosenblum (aka Sidney Reilly) was born the son of Grigory, who was a wealthy Jewish contractor in Odessa. However, in later life Reilly would claim his real father was Grigory’s first cousin, a medical doctor named Mikhail Rosenblum. Only Reilly’s mother Polina, who was a professional pianist (and possibly a distant cousin of


Russian nobility), knew for sure. What is more certain is that his family’s home was located at 15 Aleksandrovskiy Prospect near Greek Square (Grecheskaya Ploshcha) in the city. Reilly began his political and espionage work in Odessa on behalf of the Friends of Enlightenment, a Jewish emancipation movement that sought the right of the Jewish community to fully integrate into society. Working as a messenger for this secret group led to his arrest by the tsarist secret police, known as the Okhrana, in 1892. Having already been arrested by the age of 18, Reilly understood his future in Russian Empire would be limited. Shortly thereafter, Reilly faked his own death by staging a drowning in Odessa harbor. He

Odessa Literature

then caught a British ship sailing to Brazil. Apparently, Reilly befriended some British explorers on the ship, and he started working as their cook. Once in Brazil, Reilly claims to have saved the explorers from cannibals. Following this act of heroism, the leader of the group awarded Reilly with a British passport and 1500 pounds – a substantial sum at the time. However, in another version of the

In 1897, Reilly began a secret affair with the 24-year-old wife of Reverend Hugh Thomas. Reverend Thomas, age 63, regularly purchased medicine from Reilly’s pharmacy to treat a kidney disease. When the reverend suddenly died, Reilly married Margaret Thomas, his young widow in August 1898. Margaret Thomas inherited a substantial fortune, helping to pay for Reilly’s increasingly expensive lifestyle. A year after his marriage to Margaret, he decided to change his name from Rosenblum to his wife’s maiden name “Reilly”. Reilly’s rationale for the name change was, “in Europe, only the British hate the Irish, but everyone hates the

It is a fake, but it is the result that counts story, after faking his death in Odessa, Reilly robbed a pair of French couriers (or murdered a pair of Italian anarchists in another version) and used their money and passports to eventually arrive in Britain. Once in London, Reilly established Rosenblum and Company, a pharmaceutical company. He quickly became a fixture in London’s Russian émigré community and developed a taste for lavish living. Reilly’s prominence in the Russian community caught the attention of Scotland Yard, who began paying him as an informant. Like James Bond, the charismatic Reilly proved irresistible to women. He aided by making connections in the Russian community through his romantic relationship with Ethel Voynich, the wife of the Polish revolutionary Wilfred Voynich (owner of the mysterious Voynich Manuscript). Reilly would later confess to Ethel about his life of espionage and intrigue, which gave the famous Victorian writer an idea for her novel “The Gadfly”, which was loosely based on Reilly’s real life exploits. By 1896, Reilly’s value as an informant had increased dramatically. He was recommended to British intelligence for overseas work.

Yard, Reilly was tasked with greater responsibilities. The same year as he changed his name, Reilly was in Holland disguised as a Russian arms dealer who reported to London about Dutch weapon supplies to South Africa during the Second Boer War. During the Russo-Japanese War, Reilly popped up in Port Arthur, Manchuria (China) as a timber salesman in early 1904. In Port Arthur, Reilly may have worked as a double (and some say even quadruple) agent for the British and Japanese. What is clear is that Reilly co-opted a Chinese spy to give the Japanese (and British) the Russian plans for defense of the harbor. This led to a surprise attack at night by the Japanese navy and the deaths of 31,000 Russian soldiers.

Jews”. Though he never divorced Margaret, Reilly would have numerous romances with women on three continents. In addition to

Reilly rose to prominence in the ranks of British intelligence for his work in the D’Arcy Affair. Having previously visited Baku, Azerbaijan (then part of Persia) in 1902 to

Margaret, Reilly maintained a romantic lifelong relationship with a distant cousin from Grodno (modern-day Belarus) named Felitsia. One colleague in British intelligence said

investigate the oil sector, Reilly was aware of the vast energy resources of the country. The British Board of the Admiralty had made a decision in 1904 to change the main fuel

Upon his return to the UK, Reilly became an adviser on Russian affairs to Winston Churchill of Reilly’s womanizing ways, “he has eleven passports, and a wife to match each one.” With his new wealth, knowledge of six languages, and proven record with Scotland

supply for the Royal Navy from coal to oil, making steady oil supplies a strategic priority. Reilly had learned from his contacts close to the Persian Shah that the country’s oil field


Odessa Literature

concessions had been granted to an Australian named William Knox D’Arcy. D’Arcy then traveled to France to negotiate a sale and/or lease of the concessions to the wealthy Rothschild family. During negotiations on Lord de Rothschild’s yacht near Cote d’Azur on the French Riviera, Reilly disguised himself as a Catholic priest collecting charitable donations in order to gain entry to the boat.

er at the Krupp factory in Essen, Germany. Using his access to the factory and lock-picking skills, he discovered the company’s top secret weapon designs and made copies for his bosses in London. This information would be vital at the onset of World War I five years later. The same year, Reilly had an affair with Eve Lavalliere, the wife of the Director of the Parisian Theatre de Varieties.

himself. The same year he amicably divorced Nadezhda, and then started an affair with 18-year-old Caryll Houselander. However, in 1923 he married Pepita Bobadilla, a Latin actress he had met in Berlin. Reilly next pops up in New York in 1914, where he opened an office at 120 Broadway Street. In the Big Apple, Reilly countered German attempts to sabotage American supplies to France and Britain. He also orchestrated the lucrative purchase and supply of American goods to support the Russian army against Germany. It was in New York that Sidney started a relationship with model Beatrice Tremaine. The same year, in 1916, Reilly ran the British underground in German-occupied Poland while based out of the Bristol Hotel in Warsaw. In October 1917, Reilly moved to Canada to join the British Royal Flying Corps. Reilly then parachuted behind German lines to conduct acts of sabotage and espionage in order to support the Allied war effort. According to popular legend, he even managed to disguise himself as a German officer and infiltrate a meeting attended by Kaiser Wilhelm himself.

During the Russo-Japanese War, Reilly co-opted a Chinese spy to secure Russian plans. This led to a surprise attack at night by the Japanese navy and the deaths of 31,000 Russian soldiers Interrupting the dinner between Rothschild and D’Arcy, Reilly was able to lure D’Arcy away privately for a few minutes. During those tense minutes, Reilly revealed his true cover and, using his great charm and charisma, he persuaded D’Arcy that the British would offer more than the Rothschild family. The daring gamble worked. With D’Arcy’s concessions on the Persian oil fields, the British obtained the oil supplies they needed to fuel their famous Royal Navy. As a result of having a reliable purchaser, Azerbaijan would be the world’s largest oil producer for the next two decades. Reilly’s career would continue to benefit the British. In 1909, he appeared as a Baltic weld-


Reilly continued to help the British against the Germans. In 1911, he traveled to Russia and infiltrated a delegation from the German Blohm and Voss shipbuilding firm who were trying to negotiate the sale of German naval vessels to Russia. Having already seduced the wife of the Russian Minister of Marine, Reilly used his access to the minister’s home to persuade the gullible minister to award the contract for rebuilding the Russian fleet to Blohm and Voss. This deal not only made Reilly a huge commission, but it also gave him access to the secret German naval designs, which he shared with the British. Using part of his commission, Reilly then paid the Russian minister to divorce his wife Nadezhda Zalessky, so that he could marry her

With the murder of Tsar Nicholas by the Bolsheviks, the British government worried that the new Communist government would sign a separate peace treaty with Germany. Reilly was sent to Russia in February 1918 with the Herculean task of keeping Russia in the war against Germany. Reilly and fellow secret agent Robert Lockhart began orchestrating British government financial support for an army of anti-Bolsheviks led by Boris Savinkov, a former official in the Russian

Odessa Literature

provisional government. Reilly, this time posing as a Turkish merchant, began systematically bribing the Latvian bodyguards that protected Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky. Reilly’s plan was to have the Latvian guards turn the two Communist leaders over to him in exchange for money. Reilly either planned to kill Lenin himself, or to parade the two revolutionaries naked through the streets of Moscow, in order to humiliate and discredit them in the eyes of the Russian public. Simultaneously, Savinkov and his army of counter-revolutionaries would seize power to replace Lenin and Trotsky, and Reilly would play the role of grey cardinal. The scheme was foiled at the eleventh hour. A French journalist betrayed the plot to the Bolsheviks, while a failed assassination attempt against Lenin by Dora Kaplan further upset Reilly’s plans. “I was a millimeter from being able to become the ruler of Russia,” said Reilly about the events. To avoid arrest, Reilly first disguised himself as a Cheka officer (Bolshevik secret police), and later as a legal clerk traveling on a forged German passport, which allowed him to escape via Finland. Neither Lockhart nor two of Reilly’s mistresses (one of whom, Olga Starzhevskaya, was a mole inside the Cheka) were quite as fortunate. Lockhart was arrested and held in prison before being swapped for a Russian spy. The mistresses were also arrested and disappeared from history (likely killed). Though Reilly was the ringleader, the events became known as the Lockhart Plot, which resulted in a Red Terror of arrests and executions of suspected conspirators. Reilly was sentenced to death in absentia by a Bolshevik court in November 1918.

This setback did not prevent Reilly from returning to his native Odessa. The legendary spy spent February to April of 1919 in his hometown, living in disguise as a British diplomat. While in Odessa, Reilly published several anonymous anti-Bolshevik letters to the editors of local newspapers and recruited agents among the Odessa elites. He also met Odessan Grigoriy Kotovskiy (a former

underworld ‘thief in-law’ companion of Misha Yaponchik) who would later become a Red Army General. Naturally, Reilly’s love of women continued, and he was seen meeting with actress Vera Holodnaya in the bar of the Londonskaya Hotel on Primorskiy Boulevard. Reilly also spent time with his aging mother, who was living on Trinity Street next to the British Consulate by this time (perpendicular to Aleksandrovskiy Prospect). Upon his return to the UK, Reilly became an adviser on Russian affairs to Winston Churchill. The two men found common ideological ground in their opposition to Bolshevism. Around this time, Reilly published an article in which he branded Bolshevism, “a cancer that affects the foundations of civilization… an arch enemy of the human race… the pow-

er of the Anti-Christ. At any cost, this abomination… must be destroyed… there is only one enemy. Humanity must unite against this midnight terror.” In 1921, Reilly was ‘officially’ dismissed as a British agent, although that may have been a legend to protect both Reilly and the British government. Using his wealth (and likely British government funding), Reilly began supporting several anti-Bolshevik groups inside Russia.

One of the groups, known as The Trust, was successful in raising money from White Russians in Europe, because it claimed to have high-ranking officials embedded within the Bolshevik government. However, The Trust was a cover operation for the OGPU, the successor of the Cheka and the forerunner of the NKVD (Russian intelligence). The Trust invited Boris Savinkov to Russia to meet with the counter-revolutionaries. Upon his arrival in Russia, he was arrested by the OGPU. Savinkov was soon executed. To get revenge, Reilly penned the Zinoviev Letter. At the time, Britain’s Labour Party government had just recognized the Soviet Union and was about to provide them with huge financial loans. Reilly’s forged a letter from high-ranking Soviet official Grigoriy Zinoviev to the British Communist Party calling for, “the revolutionizing of the British proletariat.” The Zinoviev Letter caused uproar after it was leaked to the media.


Odessa Literature

his charisma, cunning, aristocratic tastes, and appetite for danger are quintessential Odessa traits. I hope this article has left you shaken and not stirred. The next time you watch a James Bond movie, you now may find it difficult to forget that the debonair hero was actually inspired by an Odessa adventurer. In reply to the character’s legendary “Bond, James Bond” introduction, Ukrainian viewers might even be excused for answering, “Mama, Odessa Mama.”

The scandal led to the defeat of the Labour Party government in the October 1924 elections. A month later, the new Conservative-led government canceled the unratified treaty with the Soviets, and the United States subsequently postponed recognition of the Soviet Union by several years. Having become a true mover of world events, Reilly said, “it is a fake, but it is the result that counts.” In September 1925, despite the murder of his friend Savinkov, Reilly surprisingly accepted an invitation from The Trust to visit the Soviet Union. He mailed a postcard from Moscow on 27 September to a colleague in British intelligence stating merely “all is fine” before disappearing. Reilly’s disappearance became front-page news in Britain and there was wild speculation about his whereabouts. The Soviets claimed Reilly had been killed trying to escape to Finland. For years, there were alleged sightings of Reilly in different parts of Europe. British intelligence worried that Reilly may have switched sides and made a deal with the Soviets. Finally, in 2002, a former OGPU colonel confessed to the murder of Reilly. The killing took place in November 1925. The self-confessed executioner claimed to have been acting under direct orders from Joseph Stalin who wanted retaliation for the Lockhart Plot. Why was Ian Fleming so captivated by the legend of Sidney Reilly? He could hardly have had a better introduction to the colorful world of Sidney Reilly. Lockhart himself


It is quite fitting that an Odessa native should be the inspiration behind James Bond. After all, Odessa has produced a range of flamboyant fictional characters and literary legends such as Ostap Bender, Benya Krik, and Rabinovich shared his personal experiences and knowledge of Reilly with Ian Fleming. As a fellow British agent, Fleming was already well aware of Reilly’s reputation for daring adventures. He used the first-hand accounts provided by Lockhart to create the character of James Bond for his novels. Once, when asked about his inspiration for the wild plots in the Bond novels, Fleming responded, “James Bond is just a piece of nonsense I dreamed up. He’s not a Sidney Reilly you know!” It is quite fitting that an Odessa native should be the inspiration behind James Bond. After all, Odessa has produced a range of flamboyant fictional characters and literary legends such as Ostap Bender, Benya Krik, and Rabinovich. For centuries, Odessa has fired the imagination. It is only natural to learn that the city’s cosmopolitan climate helped inspire some of the greatest spy stories ever told. James Bond may be a global figure, but

Brian Mefford is a political analyst and consultant based in Kyiv since 1999. A former Director of the International Republican Institute (IRI). He was an adviser to President Viktor Yushchenko. He is currently a Senior Non-Resident Fellow for the Atlantic Council

Odesa / Arkadiyska Alley store â„–62, +38 (096) 137-19-26 / City-Centre, 2, Nebesnoy Sotni Ave, +38 (097) 492-95-92 Kyiv / Ocean Plaza, 17 b, Antonovitcha Street , +38 (067) 745-14-77

Odessa Literature

My Path To Bruno Schulz, The Messiah From Drohobych By Peter Zalmayev

A passionate collector of Bruno Schulz shares his experience with researching the elusive and sensational Schulz

I first learned about the enigmatic Bruno Schulz when I read David Grossman’s article “The Age of Genius” in the June 2009 issue of The New Yorker magazine. The epiphany that I subsequently experienced when I picked up Schulz’s stories closely resembles Grossman’s own: “You open a book by an author you don’t know, and suddenly you feel yourself passing through a magnetic field that sends you in a new direction, setting off eddies that you’d barely sensed before and could not name.” Grossman transformed his love for Schulz ‘the creator’ into a yearning to save Schulz ‘the man’, attempting with this one gnomic impulse to retrospectively right one of the Holocaust’s greatest crimes against art. In Grossman’s great novel, “See Under: Love,” Schulz is allowed to flee the Nazi-occupied Drohobych by turning into a salmon and swimming away, to safety. Soon after undergoing a similar experience, I devoted myself to reading (and soon enough beginning to collect) everything connected


with Schulz. I swept through the rapidly ballooning body of scholarly “Schulzology” as well as the reviews of his works and all of the secondary novels inspired by him and that featured him as a character. I quickly realized that I was in illustrious company with my Schulzian fixation. His many enthusiastic champions have included literary titans such as Philip Roth, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Cynthia Ozick, John Updike, Salman Rushdie and Danilo Kiš. Discovering Schulz was, indeed, akin to “passing through a magnetic field” – a sort of initiation ceremony granting entry into an exclusive club – nay, a devoted literary cult. I began building my own private “Museum of Schulz,” by collecting every edition of his stories in every translation that had ever been published. To this I added books about Schulz as well as catalogs and posters from exhibits of his graphic oeuvre. My total collection currently stands at more than 200 items. Last summer, I was finally able to find the time to embark on my long awaited pilgrimage to Drohobych, and into the heart of Schulz’s hermetic universe and muse. Roaming the streets and parks of this remarkably well-preserved town, I felt like pinching myself – so strong was the illusion of having stepped into Schulz’s pages that I felt as if I was about to bump into Eddie, hobbling along on his crutches, or catch sight of the demented Tluya, digging through her mot-

ley rags in the bushes. These are just 2 of the ghosts of the characters that populate the dreamscape of Schulz’s world. Schulz published his first collection of stories, “Cinnamon Shops,” in 1934, without universal acclaim, but with recognition by Poland’s most sophisticated literary circles. Major literary figures such as Zofia Nałkowska and Witold Gombrowicz immediately identified Schulz’s rare talent and grew to appreciate him as an artist and as a man, if not always partaking in his idiosyncratic artistic aesthetic. The second collection of stories, “Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass” followed three years later. It cemented Schulz’s status as a rising star in the firmament of Polish letters. The writer’s life was to be cut tragically short five years later, in 1942, by a Gestapo officer’s bullet on a Drohobych side street. Despite the

Odessa Literature

strenuous efforts of his Polish friends and benefactors to smuggle Schulz out of the Nazi-occupied city, the artist hesitated to take the plunge. Instead, he bided his time and secured a temporary lease on life by contracting himself to paint frescos on the wall of the bedroom of Nazi officer’s child. The lease on life expired when the artist ventured out onto the streets on a “black Thursday,” clutching a loaf of bread, the same day that the Nazis decided to stage a “prophylactic” orgy of killing the city’s Jews. With the death of Schulz ‘the man’, the life, the myth and the mystery of Schulz the artist was born. As the preeminent Ukrainian

by operatives of the Yad Vashem museum is a topic worthy of a separate book. Suffice it to say, it only contributed to the myth of the author and his “Messiah.” Schulz has, indeed, become a literary “Messiah” for scores of famous writers, incarnating in the pages of their novels as the purported father of a Swedish book critic in Cynthia Ozick’s “The Messiah of Stockholm”, as a martyred Jewish writer in Philip Roth’s “The Prague Orgy”, the aforementioned salmon of David Grossman’s “See Under: Love,”, the friend of the protagonist in Nicole Kraus’s “The History of Love,” and the Schulz of Maxim Biller’s recent novella, “Inside the Head of Bruno Schulz,” where Schulz feverishly composes a letter to Thomas Mann, imagining having sighted the latter on the streets of Drohobych.

I devoted myself to reading (and soon enough beginning to collect) everything connected with Schulz

deserve to be mentioned here: “The Street of Crocodiles,” a stop-motion animation by the iconic Brothers Quay and “The Hourglass Sanatorium” by Wojciech Has, which went on to win the Jury Prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. Just like his native town, Bruno Schulz and his work are located at the crossroads of Polish, Jewish and Ukrainian cultures, embodying and detached from them all in their interiority and universality and not fully belonging in either. While Schulz’s importance to Polish literature is now recognized to roughly the same degree as Chekhov is to Russian, and while Israel esteemed him a prominent enough part of the Jewish cultural heritage to have warranted a commando-style fresco-cutting operation (the so-called “Schulzgate”), Ukraine’s path to embracing the artist has been long and complex. The first Ukrainian translations of Schulz’s stories began appearing in the early 1990’s, and at

writer and translator Yurii Andrukhovych – the translator of the most recent Ukrainian edition of Schulz’s stories – puts it “Schulz has become the object of his own mythologizing, the subject of several myths: Schulz has not died, he is still hiding from the Gestapo; Schulz has received the Nobel prize, but doesn’t know about it; Schulz is still writing his novel ‘Messiah’ – but now, underground.”

The nooks and crannies of Schulz’s “Street of Crocodiles” became the nooks and crannies of the Andalusian town in Salman Rushdie’s “The Moor’s Last Sigh.” A worm-hole leading into Drohobych’s parallel dimension was found when Jonathan Safran Foer die-cut into Schulz’z “Street of Crocodiles,” to discover his own appropriated work “Tree of Codes.” “The letters that were before beetles

The “Messiah” was the novel that Schulz had been working on for several years before his demise, and whose manuscript he entrusted for safe-keeping to an unidentified friend. The “Messiah” became the holy grail for the prominent Polish poet Jerzy Ficowski, who eventually became Schulz’s canonical biographer. Ficowski died, having spent decades unsuccessfully looking for the lost masterpiece (and I don’t doubt that it was, indeed, a masterpiece), but not before serendipitously leading a team of German film-makers in 2001 to the discovery of Schulz’s frescos in the villa taken over by the Nazi officer. The sensational discovery of the frescoes and their equally sensational and shocking subsequent removal and transportation to Israel

I had wanted to attend the Festival ever since my discovery of Schulz in 2006 but one thing or another has prevented me from making the trip had turned into eyes, into the eyes of Bruno Schulz, and they were opening and closing again and again, some eyes clear like the sky, shining like the sea’s spine, which was opening and blinking, again and again, in the middle of total darkness,” comments the protagonist of Roberto Bolaño’s novel “Distant Star,” while reading Schulz’s story. Finally, in the field of visual arts, two interpretations of Schulz’s oeuvre among many

least three different translations in various editions appeared during the following two decades. Yurii Andrukhovych published what some say is the definitive Ukrainian translation of Schulz’s complete stories in a beautiful edition by the “A-BA-BA-GA-LAMA-GA” publishing house in 2013. Since 2004, Drohobych has hosted the biennial International Bruno Schulz Festival, organized jointly by the Bruno Schulz Fes


Odessa Literature

to present the book there? The book was published by the Meridian Chernowitz publishing house shortly before the Festival as a limited, numbered and signed edition that came in a special slipcase. Slonova and I were honored to have the opportunity to present the book at this gathering of Schulz lovers, which took place on June 3-9, 2016. Among them were the leading scholars of Polish literature, practitioners of the emerging ‘Schulzology’ studies, acclaimed Ukrainian writers such as Yurii Andrukhovych and Serhiy Zhadan, the Polish Ambassador to Ukraine and celebrated figures such as Adam Michnik, Poland’s leading intellectual and a father of Solidarność.

tival Society in Lublin and the Drohobych Pedagogical Institute’s Polish Studies Center. I had wanted to attend the Festival ever since my discovery of Schulz in 2006 but one thing or another has prevented me from making the trip. Then, in April 2015, the chain of encounters that eventually led me to the Festival was forged as I was wandering the vaulted space of the Arsenal International Book Festival in Kiev. I came upon a young lady sitting

trait of Schulz for my collection. Eventually, the idea came to me to publish a new visual interpretation of Schulz work – he himself being an accomplished illustrator of his own stories – with Slonova as the visual interpreter. The decision to choose the “Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass” story for publication in the illustrated edition came easily. Simply put, even in the context of Schulz’s unique body of work,

From its modest beginnings in 2004, the Schulz Festival has gradually gathered steam, drawing major cultural celebrities from Po-

The sensational discovery of the frescoes and their equally sensational and shocking subsequent removal and transportation to Israel by operatives of the Yad Vashem museum is a topic worthy of a separate book modestly in a small makeshift booth, exhibiting her book illustrations. The wrenching expressiveness of Katya Slonova’s figures reminded me of the work of Egon Schiele. If the “aliveness” of her characters brought to mind those drawn by Schulz, there was a good reason for it, as I soon discovered: Slonova, likewise, had been infected by the sting of the Schulz bug and was a devoted lover of his literary and visual wizardry. I stayed in close contact with Slonova until the next year’s Arsenal, buying a few of her illustrations and commissioning a por-


this story looms as one of the most dreamlike, heart-rending if also sinister pieces of writing in the history of literature. As this project’s sole function is that of an homage to a beloved writer, it was decided to publish it in the creator’s original Polish. And what better excuse to finally make it to this year’s Bruno Schulz Festival than

land, Ukraine, Israel, the US, attracting ever-bigger crowds of visitors. This year, the Festival has reached its pinnacle, going far beyond the format of the academic symposium to include cultural performances, art instal-

Odessa Literature

lations, an exhibit in Drohobych’s synagogue, and concerts by the aforementioned writers, Andrukhovych and Zhadan. In a much-welcome display of the city’s willingness to finally go beyond the narrow partisanship of the Ivan Franko (a major Ukrainian classic writer likewise hailing from Drohobych) and Bruno Schulz divide and to accept Schulz on equal terms, the mayor’s deputy greeted the participants at the opening session. As David Goldfarb, a prominent scholar of Polish literature tells us in the introduction that he kindly supplied for our edition, “Ekaterina Slonova gives us an image of Schulz’s world of light figures on a dark ground, illuminating an aspect of Schulz’s “Sanatorium” that is perhaps not present in Schulz’s own graphic works as we perceive them… Slonova’s new illustrations expose a visual layer of Schulz’s imagination that Schulz kept to himself, buried within his artistic process, and as such, these new images cast light on a stratum of the narrative that we as readers may have also neglected.” And so, Bruno Schulz lives on, in all his myriad incarnations, and it has been my great pleasure and honor, with this project, to have accompanied the great artist for a short stretch along his endless journey.

Peter Zalmayev is the director of the Eurasia Democracy Initiative, a board member of the American Jewish Committee, and International Outreach Coordinator for the Babyn Yyamar Project, Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter Drawings by Katya Slonova


Odessa Cinema

Ukraine’s Triumphs At The 2016 Cannes Film Festival By Katya Maslova

The Cannes Film Festival, which takes place annually in the south of France, is often criticized as an elite gathering riddled with starlets and scandals, entirely devoted to the unserious business of glitz and glamour. This characterization is not entirely incorrect and the opulent curtain does tend to overshadow the important market portion of the festival, as well as the international platform that it offers younger and lesser known filmmakers. The Ukrainian film industry has had a mixed record over the years, but it recently experienced a significant triumph with Myroslav Slaboshpytski’s critically acclaimed ‘The Tribe’ garnering worldwide attention. It was an exceptionally-shot film centering on a boarding school for deaf young people immersed in crime. Slaboshpytski’s film won the Nespresso Grand Prize, the France 4 Visionary Award and the Gan Foundation Support for Distribution Award in the 2014 Cannes Film Festival’s International Critics’ Week. This year the Ukrainian film industry did experience several stand-out moments at Cannes 2016, and many Ukrainian film insiders consider this year’s Cannes festival to have been the nation’s most successful since the beginning of hostilities with Russia in early 2014. One of the most promising examples of success was in the Ukrainian national pavilion, which featured screenings of 20 Ukrainian short films made over the last two years. The pavilion was organized by the State Film


This year the Ukrainian film industry did experience several stand-out moments at Cannes 2016, and many Ukrainian film insiders consider this Cannes festival to have been the nation’s most successful since the beginning of hostilities with Russia in early 2014 Agency of Ukraine along with Kyiv’s International “Molodist” (Youth) Film Festival. While none of the Ukrainian films were part of the official Cannes selections, the pavilion received over a thousand visitors from the international film community. The documentary “Chernobyl, Zone of the Future” and one of the historical drama, “Alive” especially held the attention of the pavilion’s visitors.

In the Festival film market, several screenings of Ukrainian films proved to be a rewarding opportunity to present Ukraine’s recent film production. “My Grandmother Fanny Kaplan” by filmmaker Alyona Demyaneko was this year’s highest profile entry. The film is based on the life of Odessa-born Fanny Kaplan and stars Odessa native Katya Molchanova. Kaplan was one of the many people who

Odessa Cinema

was accused of attempting to assassinate Vladimir Lenin during the early years of the Soviet Union. The biopic starkly represents the woman’s short and brutally difficult life. The other Ukrainian films at the Cannes’ film market included “The Nest of the Turtledove” by Tatrras Tkachenko, the animated film “Mykita Kozhemyaka” by Manuka Dipoena, “Hetman” by Valeria Yamburgkogo, and “Now I’m Gonna Love You” by Roman Shirman. Another triumph for Ukrainian film was the ScripTeast (an annual award designed specifically for Eastern and Central European screenwriters) going to Ukrainian Marysia Nikityuk for her film “When Trees Are Falling”. That film is currently in production. Nikityuk has also previously participated in the Odessa International Film Festival. This particular project has been financially funded by the Ukrainian state and the ScripTeast prize consisted of 10,000 Euros. Films were not the only way that the Ukrainian film community exhibited themselves at this international festival. The Odessa International Film Festival

hosted a stylish cocktail party and presented trailers for some films that will be screened at the festival in July. Molodist also hosted its own celebratory reception for their guests. The parties’ attendees represented many groups from the Ukrainian film industry, as well as their foreign supporters. Also notable is the fact that some of Ukraine’s wealthiest citizens have realized their film industry’s potential in the south of France and made sure to participate at Cannes. Alexander Rodnyansky, a successful Ukrainian producer (most notably for his work on 2014’s Leviathan), was a jury member for the Caméra d’or competition. Prominent businessman and philanthropist Igor Iankovskyi also sponsored business lunches and workshops for Ukrainian film makers. The Iankovskyi fund hosted a rigorous and well attended co-production meet-

ing. In this time of depleted state budgets for the arts, private organizations will necessarily have to pick up the slack where the government can not keep up it’s commitments. It should be noted that the fund is now the main Ukrainian philanthropic fund to support Ukraine’s emerging film industry abroad. It has supported young and emerging Ukrainian film makers for several years now, and their parties at the Cannes film festival are always a blast. One would do well to pay attention to the Iankovskyi fund’s events in the future. Cannes upholds its glamorous image so well, that many do not hear of the labor behind every initiative involved in the festival.

Katya Maslova is the Assistant Editor at The Odessa Review


Odessa Cinema

Twilight Of The Gods, Or, The Last Role Of Vera Kholodnaya By Mila Kudryasheva

The early black and white film star’s tragic early death remains a major historical mystery. Can a new documentary film about the shadowy events surrounding her death also shine light on historical questions facing the post-Soviet world as it engages in decommunization?

became her final starring role – a film from which only a few fragments remain intact today. Vera Kholodnaya was truly the first star of Russian silent cinema. Her fame crossed the threshold of two centuries. For an entire generation, her name became synonymous with fame, feminine beauty, and talent.

Early February of 1919 found the attention of the entire cinematic world was fixated on the Popudov house on Sobornoya Square in Odessa. Despite the freezing cold and the constant dangers of the Civil War, the house was always surrounded by a huge crowd which would grasp frantically at every little bit of news from any person emerging from the front doors. This was an early glimpse of the film world’s cult of celebrity that would develop over the


next century Inside, behind the windows, there lay dying a woman who had quickly become beloved by all of the Russian Empire. Vera Kholodnaya had spent barely five years in cinema. She was in the bloom of her youth and at the zenith of her fame, and surrounded by adoration. Yet, now the Russian “empress of the silver screen” lay on her deathbed. All of Odessa lined up to see her off on her final path and the crowds that followed the coffin on the icy February day would swell into the thousands. The Funeral of Vera Koholodnaya

The shock of her death was overwhelming. Many refused to believe that the cause of the actress’s death was the “Spanish flu”, a horrible strain of the common illness which took the lives of millions all over the world that winter. By word of mouth, a vicious rumor began to spread – “Vera was poisoned! She was murdered!” People sought a fittingly melodramatic end for the tragic heroine. After all, all her best films ended with death. The entire city knew that Vera was starring in Lady with Camelias, where the heroine’s death is foretold by the fatalistic plot. However, the official cause of her death has never been challenged or convincingly disproven – as far as we know, she died of the flu as far as we know. So, while we could close the case at that, it must be admitted, something still seems off, somehow wrong with such a prosaic end to the actress’s life. And so, let us examine the circumstances…

Odessa Cinema

The year is 1918. The young Soviet Socialist republic is awash in the blood spilled by the civil war. In December, warships of the Entente lead by France land in Odessa with the aim of occupying the city. At the same time, a group of actors is able to escape Red Moscow and make it to independent Odessa and continue their work. Among them are some of the biggest names in Russian cinema at the time – Kholodnaya, Runich, Maximov, Polonsky. A group of professional Communist provocateurs was sent into Ukraine at the same time – among them a young Chekist by the name of Lafarre. On Felix Dzerzhinsky’s personal orders, Lafarre’s secret mission was to see if there was a possibility for a non-military end to the Entente’s intervention, and to determine the strategic aims of the Entente in Ukraine. He was to accomplish this by infiltrating the headquarters of the French command in Odessa. The film studio “Mirograph”, where the above mentioned actors worked, was to serve as the communication channel between the infiltrator and the Red command. Meanwhile, the cast and crew at “Mirograph”, hard at work on several films that stared Kholodnaya, wanted for nothing due to the patronage of the commander of the French army in Odessa – Colonel Freidenberg, who was naturally head over heels in love with the silent film star. The actor Petr Instarov (codenamed “The

Apostle”) and Lafarre suggested that Kholodnaya could gain influence over Freidenberg, who was also head of the occupational army headquarters in the south of the Russian Empire, in order to convert him to their side. The ultimate aim of such a seduction would be the conclusion of the French occupation. Her costars finally managed to convince her that

“The Lady is somewhat infantile, but responsive and kind – in our opinion, she is absolutely necessary. What’s more, fame has not gone to her head. In fact, it seems to somewhat burden her. Freidenberg adores her, he wants to spend every moment with her – although he is able

After the Revolution, the supporters of the dying Russian Empire flocked to Odessa the role of “Red Judith” would be the most important one of her life. On January 27th, 1919, Lafarre’s report on Kholodnaya left for Moscow with a courier:

to contain himself. Our Lady’s influence over Freidenberg is truly infinite. The Apostle suggests that we hasten the plan in this regard.”


Odessa Cinema

Unfortunately, the reports were intercepted by Vasily Shulgin’s White Guard counter-espionage squad. This interception became fatal to the entire reconnaissance mission. Vera Kholodnaya died suddenly on February 16th, 1919. According to the official version, Vera Kholodnaya died a quick death due to the Spanish flu. However, the last recorded case of a death due to this strain in Odessa had happened in October of 1918 – five months before the actress’s death. According to the most popular alternative explanation, she was poisoned by the General Anton Denikin’s counter-espionage squad due to her Communist sympathies and her enormous influence over the “French Odessan” Colonel. There is some evidence to support this version, namely a telegrammed report from Shulgin to the Denikin HQ: “Killed the Red Queen.” However, the enamored French Colonel served the Red Army faithfully, even after Vera Kholodnaya’s death. On April 3rd, 1919 Freidenberg gave the order to evacuate the entire expeditionary corps from Odessa. The order was completely unexpected and shocked both

cution from various White Army-sympathizing expatriate media and social organizations. The cruel persecution reached such proportions that by May 1925 the Soviet press was actively discussing the necessity of “repatriating Vera Kholodnaya’s children in the interests of their own safety.” As the 100th anniversary of the October revolution looms over us, a group of researchers has joined forces in order to finally close the cold case of Kholodnaya’s death and put an end to the unyielding question: did Kholodnaya succumb to a global epidemic, or was her death a political murder? Many of Kholodnaya’s biographers have stressed that the causes of her death are, as of yet, not totally clear. To this day, historians, biographers and even criminologists remain mystified by the romantic and tragic case. I certainly hope that by publishing this article, I will help attract the attention of Eu-

Many refused to believe that the cause of the actress’s death was the “Spanish flu”, a horrible strain of the common illness which took the lives of millions all over the world that winter Denikin’s men and the Entente command. On April 19th, the French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau sent materials regarding Colonel Freidenberg to the High Military Court, but, as they say, the deed was already done. The White Guard, deprived of a dependable rear, was soon backed into Crimea and from there, into the sea. In further evidence of the White Guard’s involvement in her death, after her death, Kholodnaya’s young children were brought overseas where they faced ceaseless perse-


ropean historians and specialists who could assist us in shedding light on these historical enigmas. It is my hope that we can film the proceedings and keep track of events as they occur. The international group of experts investigating Kholodnaya’s death has taken the following historical sequence of events, which has been sketched out above, as the basis of their research.

After the Revolution, the supporters of the dying Russian Empire flocked to Odessa. It is there where the final standoff between the Bolsheviks and the White Guard will take place. At the end of 1918, Entente armies headed by Colonel Freidenberg arrive in Odessa to assist the White general Denikin. Throughout these fateful days, the filming of an epic love story with the beautiful Kholodnaya in the starring role is taking place in the city. Unbeknownst to the actress, she will play her final fateful role in the ultimate downfall of the Russian Empire. The young Red anarchist Lafarre serves as the orchestrator of these momentous events. This official version of events could very well be the authoritative and final one, if not for the efforts of a group of young researchers who, in our own day, is trying to locate Kholodnaya’s grave – it has seemingly been wiped off the face of the earth in 1932. A small poster hanging on the walls of their base of operations, the actress’ portrait captioned with the plea “Find me. Vera.” serves as the modest but powerful motivation for their work. Each of the experts working on this project has their own motivation to continue investigating Kholodnaya’s life and death. But there is one overarching desire uniting them: a certainty needs to be brought to the conclusion of her life story. We should no longer be satisfied to simply read that “the circumstances of Vera Kholodnaya’s death have not been completely determined to this day.” The project will draw on declassified archives, artifacts and documents which were thought to have been long lost, and are newly re-discovered in laboratory findings. A century since the event, Kholodnaya’s murderers will be named…and she, herself will speak again from the screen in her own voice. However, we have no way of foreseeing what the results of this investigation will be, because it will take place in real time – during the filming itself. We will try to trace Kholodnaya’s path in that crucial espionage

Odessa Cinema

mission of the 20th century, one which tipped the balance decidedly in favor of the Bolsheviks; and at the same time attempt to make sense of the Revolution and the grand-scale social experiment in establishing a utopia on earth that followed. The October revolution was a point of no return, a point in time at which all remnants of the old world crumbled and a new radical culture attempted to take root among the ruins. However, the revolution did not happen in a moment. The realization that the old world is hopelessly gone with no chance

What is more important – the individual or the nation? How much blood can be spilled in the name of an idea – is it worth the lives of those who die to defend it? for a return took time to establish itself in peoples’ minds. Many artists especially would quickly realize that the Red dictatorship was not merely an ideological accessory to flirt with, but a fatal commitment which would bring grave consequences.

The extreme situations faced by the players in this real-life tragedy – Kholodnaya, Freidenberg, and others give us a unique opportunity. That is to not only describe the historical events surrounding the fall of “imperialism” under the revolutionary attack; but also to explore the deeply human themes surrounding those catastrophic events.What is worth more – a human life or the bringing to life of an ideal? How justified are human sacrifices made to a fanatical system of beliefs? What is more important – the individual or the nation? How much blood can be spilled in the name of an idea – is it worth the lives of those who die to defend it? The intellectual civil war is not yet over. The struggle of ideas – and the struggle between real people willing to die for them – continues to this day on the territories which once constituted the Russian empire. A century later the cinema still remains one of the most important art forms – and as such, one of the strongest ways of disseminating ideas. The problems which concerned the heroes of our historical drama remain as relevant today as they have ever been. Learning the truth of Kholodnaya’s fate is a key to that drama.

Mila Kudryasheva is a screen-writer and filmmaker who lives in St. Petersburg.


Odessa Cinema

Interview With Ukrainian Film Actress Kateryna Molchanova By Regina Maryanovksa-Davidzon

Since she first appeared in the 2013 cult hit “My Mermaid, My Lorelei” under the legendary Georgian director Nana Jorjadze, Kateryna Molchanova has quickly become one of Ukraine’s best known actresses. An Odessa native, the actress has garnered critical praise as well as popularity with the Ukrainian film going public. The Odessa Review caught up with the starlet over coffee to discuss her newest film ‘My Grandmother, Fanny Kaplan’. The Film is slated to be screened as part of the national competition at the Odessa International Film Festival.

The Odessa Review (Regina Maryanovksa-Davidzon): Katya, recently you represented Ukrainian cinema in Ireland. Tell us about your impressions of that festival. How did the Irish react? KM: They had an awesome reaction! They are very friendly people. I was worried that I would not be able to understand their accent, but I soon became accustomed to it.


I simply had to! There were master classes led by casting director Debbie McWilliams and several others, and I simply could not afford to miss what these very smart people were teaching me – I trained my brain to understand the Irish speech. Even the cinematic jargon! It was excellent – there were many young stars!

OR: What did you learn from the master class? KM: Today, the use of video auditions is growing. Earlier, in Europe there were only a few Russian-speaking actors, and they were constantly used in the same kinds of roles. But, now casting directors have more options – they can use the internet to find actors whom they can invite to work with them. In Ireland, I met an actress from Moscow – she was getting ready for an audition in London, where she had to portray a Ukrainian accent in English. Along with some Ukrainian-speakers from the USA, we tried to help her. She auditioned through video and then traveled to London. I also got some video auditions, thanks to this festival. I told everyone there my “how I got into film” story. OR: Tell us about ‘Fanny Kaplan’. When will we be able to see it? KM: I have asked about the premiere many times…my friends have told me – “wait, pray, and dream”. In the past, you would go around offering your film to various festivals, now the selectors come to you and decide if they want you. The movie itself is very strong and coherent.

Odessa Cinema


Odessa Cinema

OR: Will there be a premiere in Odessa? KM: Yes, as part of the Odessa International Film Festival (OIFF). The OIFF is the best platform for premiering a Ukrainian movie. Besides, premiering your movie in your native city is just a great feeling. OR: What did you think of Slaboshpitsky in the role of Lenin’s brother? KM: I didn’t know him before this film. The script called for an ‘unattractive, fat man’. So Slaboshpitsky comes in. At that time, he wasn’t a Cannes laureate yet. He was just a regular actor who came to the auditions, like me. For the audition, he and I had to do a sex scene together… a strange audition piece, but I suppose it was important to the film. During the auditions, the news surfaced that Cannes put “The Tribe” into its competition. At the second round of auditions, we learned that he is going to Cannes and that this will affect the filming schedule. After Cannes, where he was a huge success, he was constantly on the phone in between shots giving interviews. It was amazing – we were all happy for him. I even met his father on set once. I’m happy that I got to know Mirek before the whole Cannes business – our relationship was authentic and warm. OR: Was it more difficult to work with Miroslav or Oleg Skripka? KM: That’s a good question. It was more difficult with Skripka, because it was harder for me to understand how to react… well, it was easy to work with both of them, but if I had to make a choice I’d say Skripka. They are very different. I think maybe it was more difficult because Oleg Skripka was one of my childhood idols, so that altered my approach to him. But it turned out that he is a very calm and interesting person, a good communicator. OR: For both of the films in which you had leading roles, the directors were women. KM: Yes! And not only in those films. The only male director I have ever worked with is Vasyanovich. OR: Have you ever wondered why that is? KM: I have asked myself that question. At first I thought that I was simply the “type”


female directors sought out, and that it was easier for me to find common ground with women. I’ve had this conversation with a Ukrainian producer and a female director. The producer said that in 8 out of 10 of his projects the director is female. The director also said that in her film school days, most of her classmates were other women. Maybe part of it is that directing has ceased to be a “breadwinning” job, so men are less attracted to it. OR: However, it still seems that most Cannes attendees are male, does it not? KM: I think that would be a question for the committee. I haven’t really thought about it. Every director is a completely different person with different approaches. Right now I am preparing for another short film with Katya Gornostay, it is about five girlfriends – and we all have really hung out, had a ladies’ night. That’s how we prepared… method acting! The last Odessa

International Film Festival also had two winners in the Ukrainian program – Katya Gornostay with “Aloof” and Marina Stepanskaya with “A Man’s Work”. I don’t think directing brings substantial earnings anymore… this is why I think that men, if they want to support a family when going into film would prefer to be producers or on the financial side. Or maybe in television – series, sitcoms. OR: Which director would you most want to work with? KM: Sofia Coppola. OR: Another woman? KM: I just thought, “Which other woman is interesting to me? Oh, Sofia”. Anya Melikyan as well, she and I intersected in Ireland. From the male directors, Zvyagintsev, Ivan Vyrypaev, Ivan Tverdovsky, Popogrebsky. They are all Russian directors, bright, young guys.

Odessa Cinema

OR: What was it like, starring in “Fanny Kaplan”? KM: It was difficult. Reading the script, I was thinking to myself, “how am I going to be able to do all of this?” It helped that there was a break, and the more demanding, emotional scenes were left for the second stretch of filming. We had to wait a year for funding. During that time, I had the opportunity to get into those scenes, think them through, live them… it all added up. When it was time to film, I was ready. OR: How do your friends and family feel about your career? KM: They are happy for me. Proud. I’m still my old self to them. When I give them news about a new film project or festival, I think it’s already more normal for them than it is for me. I don’t believe I have some great degree of success, and I am ok with that. I want to work – but only in quality films.

OR: What if fate makes it so that Michael Haneke comes to Cannes this year and sees the Ukrainian short film starring you, and wants you to become the new, Ukrainian Isabel Huppert? KM: I’m very embarassed, but I haven’t seen any of his films besides “Love”. I don’t think I even watched that movie to the end – it was too painful for me. Too close. Well, if that happened… it would be great! Why not! What a dream! OR: What about Zvyagintsev? KM: Well, Zvyagintsev’s films tend to be very dark as well. I tend to enjoy lighter subjects. After “Fanny Kaplan”, I was asking myself, maybe I should work in comedy now? I have the desire to work, and if a director is able to bring his project close to completion, that means he knows what he is doing and more than likely has at least some talent. Bad material is unlikely to find financial backing. Recently I had an offer for a strange project… but I refused, it was too dark.

OR: What reason could cause you to refuse to work with a director? KM: If I am unable to understand what he is trying to say. OR: In the case you mentioned, were you unable to relate to the role? KM: No, it was just too heavily involved in politics and religion. Too specific of a theme for me. Although, the directors are very interesting and pleasant people, I am sure that they will eventually succeed with this project. It’s like this… sometimes someone tells a joke, and you sit there thinking, is that really a joke? It should be funny, but tears are welling up… I also often refuse to do commercials. OR: Would you describe yourself as a drama actress? KM: That’s the way it seems to have been unfolding thus far. Sometimes I want to do something easy… something that doesn’t leave a heavy feeling in the soul. Like “Mermaid” – that was a light, happy movie. After “Fanny Kaplan”, I want to work on something light.

OR: On the topic of fame, you say people have started recognizing you…that is a measure of fame! KM: Well, maybe once every two weeks somebody recognizes me on the street. If that’s fame, so be it! My old friends, who knew me before all this, they are happy for me anyway. OR: Regarding students, do you always agree to play in student short films? KM: No, I have to read the script, watch what they have made before… I have to see if the person has potential before I agree to anything. If the material is good, from an ambitious young director – then why not? It’s a win-win situation, I think. I worked on two student film projects, and I learned a lot from both. You get something out of each role. There are 20 year olds who are able to create these divine films, come up with incredible ideas, one of a kind scripts – because they lack fear! It’s the insolence of youth. It’s even sometimes hard for me to obtain a visa – but these kids find a way, get grants, they travel and film. It’s amazing! They don’t even need a lot of money – they’re happy with a small budget. With


Odessa Cinema

taken care of like that… but now for example, they are doing things like restoring the Green Theatre, which is great. OR: Have you ever wanted to try theater acting? KM: I hate this question! No, I don’t see myself in theater at all! I don’t want to try. There are some people who are truly meant for that – it is wonderful to see them on stage. I would not want to insult the talented actors working in Ukrainian theaters, but the times I have seen this kind of true amazing talent have been rare. I think some actors are meant for film only. Perhaps, one day, if there is the right material and a director that believes I would be right for the part, I might try it.

these miniscule resources, they are able to get out there and represent the country! I’m always happy for our young directors, and I have nothing against working with them – because I know that they will grow, and I will grow with them. Give it time – the world will hear all about our young Ukrainian cinematographers! OR: So, do you believe Ukraine has a chance to become a part of the new wave of European cinema – similarly to when there was a burst of Romanian cinema, when Romanian directors staked out a spot for themselves at international festivals. KM: Yes, I think Ukraine will blow the competition away! Especially if film budgets somehow increase, money starts coming from somewhere. In this sense, I am an optimist! OR: Most of Ukrainian cinema is smallbudget, correct? KM: You could make a film with 5 thousand Hryvna, or you could make one with 200 thousand. Both are considered small


budgets. We filmed a social project with students – just for free. With renting a space, the basic equipment… it’s very easy to rack up a thousand US dollars just for one day of filming. OR: What are your plans now? Are there any offers? Maybe some options from Ireland? KM: I prefer not to sit around and wait – I keep working. I heard someone say a very wise thing recently: “If you’re standing at the station waiting for a train and it doesn’t come, why worry? You did everything that depended on you in order to get on the train. Just be ready for when it comes”. So I try to be ready for when the train comes, so to speak. OR: What does Odessa mean to you? KM: My home. When I get back from Kyiv, I open the car door and the first thing I hear is the sea… it’s beautiful. Kyiv is modern. The public transport system is new, the streets get cleaned… when I get back to Odessa after being in Kyiv, sometimes I feel hurt that our city isn’t

OR: When you think about your future career in Ukraine, do you think it is better to improve your Ukrainian or to learn English in order to focus on the English-speaking audience? KM: One thing I learned from the Irish and English master-classes – achieve success in your own country first. This is exactly what I am trying to do right now. I get interviewed, people introduce me as an actress, people tell me that they’ve googled me, seen this or that trailer, read my interview… it gives you some impression of importance. But then when you arrive to the auditions, you’re just like everybody else – everyone there is equal. What my aim is… it’s very hard to meticulously plan out your career here, try to stick to some schedule or graphic. The very story of how I entered the cinema business is proof of how unpredictable it is in Ukraine – I don’t bother with planning. OR: What is your dream? KM: To do what I love and to be surrounded by people I love – and for them, in turn, to have everything they want. I am a very introspective, family-oriented person. Photos by Dasha Svertilova

Odessa Cinema


Odessa Art

The Intrepid And Dashing 90’s At The Odessa Museum Of Modern Art By Ute Kilter

A review of the exhibition at Odessa’s Museum of Modern Art and the art scene that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union and negative ends of the spectrum, which also included protests. One of the main issues with this current exhibit is that of the impossible task of fitting so many different events into one exhibition. The main questions the organizers had to ask themselves was: which artifacts should be selected, and which left behind? How should the artifacts be presented and reconstructed. Restoration was needed because in many cases the specific technology, materials, or even the objects themselves from the era are long gone. Simon Kantor, the director of the Odessa Modern Art Museum, was the author of both the concept and the title for this exhibit. It is fitting to launch this exhibit after the museum’s previous one, which dealt with Odessa Conceptualism, a movement which proliferated in the 80s.

The official title given to this project is “The Intrepid 90’s”. However, I, as someone who was a first-hand participant on that romantic and precarious period of material and spiritual decommunization, would not agree completely with that designation. To me, the 90’s were a decade of bravery rather than ‘wildness’. Inspired by the mere possibility of real social change, artists entered a period of active – turbulent, even – creativity. Themes appeared which had been prohibited under the chokehold of communist ideology. Of course, social critique was present, in-


cluding critiques of the new “bourgeois” themes from artists who had barely had a chance to live in a country where the “bourgeois” was no longer an off-limits and criminal concept. The decade in question, at least in relation to the arts, was ushered in at the end of 1989 with a very large painting exhibition, “After Modernism”, in the Odessa Museum of Fine Arts. At that time, the exhibit generated a storm of public interest (in both) the positive

Stalingrad under Berlin by ChekorskiKulchitsk

Odessa Art

It seems only natural to move on to the art of the 90s. It is especially important that this exhibit is being held now, while some of the artists featured are still living in Odessa and the spirit of that time has not yet been forgotten. The scope of artists represented – like the artifacts on display – also had to be limited, unfortunately. This was somewhat disappointing to me, as a member of the art movement in question myself (during the 90s, I represented Ukraine at European exhibitions as part of the “League 14” group, hosted the contemporary art program “Situation UTE”, and along with Viktor Malyarenko, brought many foreign artists to Odessa). The exhibition, however, focuses on artists who lived and worked in Odessa. In the early 90s, Odessa’s art world ran on pure enthusiasm and inspiration – that is, until the well-known Odessa born, Ukrainian painter Aleksandr Roytburd managed to attract the attention (and also the funds) of the George Soros Foundation, or as he was referred to us in the scene, “Uncle Soros”. With the creation of the Soros Modern Art Center, the Odessa art scene truly began to thrive – performances, exhibitions, projects that were in a constant state of flux; the activity of the time was incessant. In those times, even Kyiv envied our “wildness”! The main themes that attracted artists in the 90s were the new but rampantly growing capitalism and one of its outgrowths, the “New Russians” (the post – Soviet

The Soros funding gave the arts a needed catalyst, but a local class of patrons failed to keep the momentum alive after the initial investment had run out Chekorsky/Kulchitsky, which was an attempt to re-contextualize World War II as precisely that – a world war, as opposed to the ‘Great Patriotic War’, as it was known throughout the existence of the USSR. Other themes of note included the influence of mass media and consumerism, the meaning of material possessions in the face of the new and overwhelming free market (an example of this can be seen in the Supermarket project). For some reason, the themes of abnormality, disease, “disorders” proliferated at the time as well – perhaps as a reflection of the neurotic and anxious atmosphere which always accompanies rapid social upheaval. All of these statements were conveyed in contemporary means and using new formats and forms which were still unfamiliar and often shocking to both Soviet and newly post-Soviet society and mindsets. The installations and projects were quite provocative, creating polarized reactions – and the nature of these shocked responses only served as further inspiration for the artists, driven to reaffirm their newfound creative freedom more and

Inspired by the mere possibility of real social change, artists entered a period of active – turbulent, even – creativity term for the riche) social class phenomenon. These topics were the subjects of biting and sometimes vicious criticism and satire. Projects with a more serious tone also were created – these included Stalingrad under Berlin, by the artist duet

more. We were all of us overstimulated, we argued, we fought and discussed and most importantly we created. We were creating a new world free of the illusions and lies of communism, a world where its suffocating tenets would be nothing more than the punchline of a joke.

From project Art_Fact by Aleksandr Roytburd I head about Kosmos! An innumerable number of objets d’art, installations, performances and “actions” were born of that era… but somehow, tragically, towards the end of the decade the activity began to decline. The Soros funding gave the arts a needed catalyst, but a local class of patrons failed to keep the momentum alive after the initial investment had run out. Sadly, they failed to understand the meaning and the sheer importance of this “new” art. This is yet another reason why this exhibit is of such importance. It lets us rediscover that lost era through meticulously recovered texts, videos, pamphlets, posters – and it gives us a chance to preserve the ineffable zeitgeist of the 90’s, that brave and wild decade, for future generations.

Ute Kilter is an art critic 103

Odessa Fashion

Francoise Oz: Art Through Fashion By Julia Malikova

While searching for fresh approach to plastic art, Odessa-based painter Francoise Oz and Bodgan Perevertun immersed themselves into the world of ceramics. The pair’s wildly original rings have become all the rage amongst extravagant Ukrainian fashionistas and celebrities.

Photo by Alexandra Metiza


The first collection of Francoise Oz rings appeared a year and a half ago. The brand name as well as the couple’s business pseudonym comes from her artistic passion for France and the related desire to live in an imaginative world of a fairy tale country. For the couple, making art and developing their business together is part and parcel of their heremetic union. They considered themselves to be each other’s best critics, supporters and inspiration, always being honest, straightforward and attentive to each other. Francoise and Bogdan met six years ago at the Grekov Odessa Art School where they both studied to become artists-designers and where they fell in love immediately. They were lucky to have had enough freedom to do what their hearts longed for – their teachers didn’t mind their non-conventional and risk taking approach to the craft. Whatever the assignments were, their works revealed an avant-garde way of thinking and an edge of non-compliance. They

Odessa Fashion

were inspired by the local art of the period of perestroika beginning in the early 80’s and concluding in the 90’s and they couldn’t wait to get out of their academic studies to start making their own modern art. The spirit of Odessa Conceptualism was always a guiding light. “I was deeply inf luenced by Odessa’s artists,” Bogdan shares “looking at their work, I began to understand that forms could also contain an enormous number of ideas. Inserting the symbolic minimum you could then extract the maximum in meaning.”

Having started with making rather bright paintings they moved onwards towards a black and white minimalistic aesthetic to create what their peers considered to be deeply ironic works. An instantly recognizable feature of their work was their signature usage of unconventional materials to decorate their paintings (E.d. gold chains). These are meant to stand in for the flaws of contemporary society and the accruing of needless wealth. Francoise and Bogdan get invited to Kyiv to take part in exhibitions often and the two have also taken part in international projects such as Lucciano Benetton’s newest collection. Leading what they considered to be a fruitful artistic life, the couple soon decided to focus on making objects. They came up with massive rings made of a glossy black and white ceramic – the finished product looks like a gooey and glassy creature. Surprisingly comfortable and light-weight they soon became popular in Odessa, Russia, Germany and the US. “A girl from New York ordered our ring,” Francoise shared. “And her first question was – ‘did you copy someone? I’ve never seen anything like that!’ And she is from New York! Also we get all these ceramists amazed at how we changed the way that clay could be used.“


Odessa Fashion

Familiar with the process from their school years, Francoise and Bogdan successfully adopted the clay technique commonly used for making plates, cups and everyday objects, applying it to create their rings. Gradually improving the material they came to create rings out of, they succeeded in creating a firm structure. An indicator for success (besides the obvious: increasing sales) were the fake rings that began to appear. There was the girl who first asked for the price of the Francoise Oz rings and then made her own while claiming that it was her idea. “Everyone thinks we should be happy with fakes but on first impression we find to be quite stressful. You get a bit angry,” Francoise smiles wryly. “It is of course important to know who was the first to do something” Bogdan adds. “Our rings are original. We didn’t get inspired by anyone in particular.”

Leading what they considered to be a fruitful artistic life, the couple soon decided to focus on making objects. They came up with massive rings made of a glossy black and white ceramic – the finished product looks like a gooey and glassy creature. 106

It was one of Francoise’s handmade clay necklaces, one that looked as if had been made of large white teeth strung on a string, that first gave them their start. She just wanted to wear something no one else had – which is not an unheard desire in the history of fashion – and then tried to persuade Bogdan to make some rings until he finally made one for her. She put it on Instagram and was floored by the flood of pos-

Odessa Fashion

itive responses that she got. That is how the business started out. The Ukrainian pop star Jamala is now a fan. However, they do not have an art dealer yet and that presents the usual problems facing all artists. Their paintings are sold through auctions or in person but the clients have to find the work themselves. The process is not easy however.

Having started with making rather bright paintings, they moved onwards towards a black and white minimalistic aesthetic to create what their peers considered to be deeply ironic works

“It’s complicated in Ukraine where there is no market,” Bogdan says. “It’s not part of a business structure or scheme like it is abroad. You do it if you want to do it. And if you are persistent and prove that you actually live for the art, after several years you might be able to get people interested and you can you get sales. It is possible.” They express a frustration with what they perceive as a general lack of interest in contemporary art in Odessa, and they are equally disappointed at what they see as the total ignorance of art critics in their native city. They are resilient however, and the pair are also keen to express the ideal of perseverance.

“I tried to stay out of Instagram for a long time. At first I was annoyed with people putting their food out there and ‘making’ their ‘selfies’, but then I registered an account because of the brand and I was amazed how well it worked,” Francoise explains. “So many people can see what’s going in the world, they can find us if they want to. In practice, Instagram can replace a whole team of staff, it can get the same things accomplished in a shorter time.” Following their instincts and their calling, they two have managed to successfully build a business and at the same time represent the new wave of art in Odessa. They explain that the key is to move on no matter what surrounds you and how it affects you – especially when the process is so elevating and creative. “It’s a total pleasure,” Francoise reveals. “You wake up and you do what you like doing. We can’t imagine our life without art. It’s an existential necessity.” Future plans are fairly simple: they hope to create a new collection of rings and to prepare for an exhibition in Berlin. The couple are an inspiring example of how one can combine art and business by doing what one finds to be the most enjoyable in the natural flow of one’s life.


Odessa Fashion

Alyona And Alyona By Yulia Malikova Two Odessa born designers, who coincidentally share the name Alyona, are both designing trendy swim wear that is becoming pop-ular in and out of the sea loving city. Even with the same name, and even with their uncannily similar life experiences, they did not know of each other’s existence until they were interviewed for this article. The Odessa Review presented them with the same set of questions and it’s easy to say that sharing some similar life experiences doesn’t warrant similar answers.

Looking for a swimsuit brand to highlight in our summer issue, we discovered that two Odessa born designers are surprisingly similar. They share the ssame name of Aloyana, and both got married to men named Daniil. Both had traveled extensively in Asia and gave birth to their sons there (one in Nepal and the other in Bali). After returning home they both started their swimsuit brands without having any prior proper education or much of a background in fashion design. Though, while they may have had similar life stories, each is spearheading the revolution in Odessa swimsuit design through her own individual style. Alyona Lebedeva got into fashion by helping Ukrainian designer Masha Bekh with


her show five years ago. While living in Bali, Alyona designed her first collection of swimsuits. After seeing it Masha offered her the opportunity to collaborate. The swimsuits themselves have a creative flair to them: little doodles all over one piece, lingerie-like straps above the chest on another. Alyona’s brand Your Side has succeeded not only because of her talent but also through Masha’s professional assistance. Alyona Alexandrova on the other hand learned to knit at the age of seven from her mother and now that skill has finally been transformed into a business – she makes knitted swimwear under the name Holy Beach. Knitted swimwear seems a bit contradictory, but it is actually quite charming and

bohemian. For the past three years, Alyona has spent winters in India, Nepal, Thailand and Indonesia so the never-ending summer became the inspiration for such business. This is not only a great example of how inspiration comes to people through the simple things in life, such as family, but they are also a great example of distinctive Odessan designers. The two young designers share their experience in this interview. Also, it is worth repeating the curious fact neither of them had heard of the other until now.

Odessa Fashion

Your Side (previously MOE), est. 2014 Name: Alyona Lebedeva Age: Forever young Number of swimsuits in wardrobe: about 14

Asia revealed to me the understanding that simple happiness is essential. And that there are things that you just have to go and do without thinking, forever pretending to be a philosopher. I chose to make swimsuits because I started doing them for myself first. And I’ve wanted to design clothes for a long time, so this is just the beginning. I wouldn’t have risked a new business if it wasn’t for my kid. Before my son was born I had many fears on whether people will understand it or not, judge me or not, if anyone needs this at all or not. Having a child put everything in its proper perspective and my fears just disappeared. I understood what is essential and what is not worth the effort. I have a favorite expression, “don’t pee with your pants still on”, it’s simple and expressive. Don’t theorize, just do it. The hardest thing in building a brand is to get yourself together and begin. Your Side SS2016 is a collaboration with the Ukrainian brand Bekh for a capsule collection of swimsuits and summer trench coats that we are going to present at the Mercedes-Benz Odessa Fashion Days.

I am deeply inspired by sincerely happy people who accept the oddities of themselves and of other people. Many biographies of great people show how they overcame difficulties and became themselves, such as Mozart, Beethoven, Bosch… Also art, architecture and any and every result of talent and hard work, human kindness and the sea. I can’t create things if my day starts with a phrase “I can’t create things.” Being a mom and managing business is something I am doing for the first time in my life. It’s not easier or harder, It’s just the way it is. My biggest dream for the brand is to set goals and proceed to the end in every single direction. To the very end, not to the middle, we know how that happens. To pick a perfect swimsuit one needs to know one’s size and after that to go find me. I’ll do the rest.


Odessa Fashion

I wouldn’t have risked a new business if it wasn’t for how swimsuits resonated with me and the support of my husband and spiritually close friends. The hardest thing in building a brand is that just like in every art form, one must overcome the fact that people are not ready for it yet. Holy Beach SS2016 is an experimental collection in which I combined regular forms like triangle tops and classic bottoms with hippy style elements such as mandalas, dreamcatchers, fringe, tassels, and lacing. I am deeply inspired by natural fractals.

Holy Beach, est. 2015 Name: Alyona Alexandrova Age: 27 Number of swimsuits in wardrobe: 18

Asia revealed to me the feeling that everything is possible and the world is a totally friendly environment. I chose to make swimsuits because I come from Odessa and the sea has always been with me. I’ve always wanted to design clothes and have summer all year round, as we spend our winters in Asia.

I can’t create things if I don’t feel harmony with the design. Being a mom makes it easier to manage business because you have to be extremely concentrated and there is no procrastination. At the same time, it’s harder because you don’t always have the time to immerse yourself in the process of creation for long amounts of time. My biggest dream for the brand is to eventually create collections with items that would surprise and make everyone happy. To pick a perfect swimsuit one needs to try the swimsuit on and feel what it is like. If it’s nice and pleasant, then take it and swim on!

Yulia Malikova is a writer living in Odessa.


Odessa Fashion


Odessa Fashion

The Evolutionary History Of The Barbara Bui Design House The Barbara Bui boutique on Ekaterininska street in Odessa has been a staple of the city’s fashion scene for years. The French designer’s raw yet graceful designs come out of a desire to create a balance between feminine and masculine ideals. A closer look at the exceptional design house’s history and look at her inspirations.

The French designer Barbara Bui’s sharp and sleek designs have created some powerful looks for women ever since she opened her first eponymous boutique in 1987. At that time, it was still rare in the fashion world to name one’s boutique for oneself. At the time she explained that this opening related to her accounting for her customer’s nuanced tastes: “I always wanted to be close to the women that I was clothing, without necessarily passing through intermediary buyers, to retain a coherent discourse and complicity with her.” This symbiotic relationship is what has guaranteed the success that the brand has experienced over its 30-year history. Over the years, the Barbara Bui fashion house has gone on to open flagship stores in some of the most prestigious neighborhoods in the world: Avenue Montaigne and Rue Du Faubourg St Honoré in Paris, Soho in New York and Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles.

Barbara Bui began her career in Paris after quickly transitioning to fashion from studying literature at the Sorbonne. She explains the evolution as having gone from “wanting to write with words to wanting to write more directly with shapes, colors and lines”. This new inspiration brought forward pieces that were mainly leather and suede, these were all limited edition pieces sought out by fashion enthusiasts. These custom-made and unique pieces, made in small editions for her studio-boutique transformed the shopping experience, transferring it into a much more personal and high-end one. Bui has said that “this love for leather and skin pervades all my collections and has become a signature style that my customers like to see season after season”. In 1987, Bui had her first runway show at Paris Fashion Week. The fashion world and the fashion press were riveted by her glossy designs. The rest of the story runs very much like many other success stories in fashion: new stores, an increasing range of styles, and many important clients – which most recently included the actress Charlize Theron and pop singer Beyoncé. Hers was a success story predicated on the strength of the design’s representation of a balance between strength and sensitivity,

Barbara Bui began her career in Paris after quickly transitioning to fashion from studying literature at the Sorbonne 112

and energy combined with femininity. Her design’s core theme of duality might also be taken from Bui’s mixed family: she has a French mother and Vietnamese father. Wherever the influence comes from, the clothes speak for themselves. There are the oversized colorful fur jackets giving once feminine shoulders a sharp and shapely cut. The dark smoldering tuxedo jackets that act as dresses. There is the preponderance of cutouts on dresses and the intricate embroidery that she applied to high heels. Bui’s designs’ contrast does not fail in representing her creative intentions. Many of the accessories are made of refined and rare materials including python, silk, suede and patent leather. These include bags, bracelets and belts. Many people in the fashion world have grown particularly fond of Bui’s shoe designs which feature leather embellished with metal studs of various shapes. Her popular rockabilly Oxford shoes also come in different styles and have been seen on many celebrities recently. The balance between the values of masculinity and femininity has always been a theme throughout the ages. The designs of Barbara Bui deal head on with this balance, questioning what actually constitutes feminine or masculine qualities. Or perhaps these qualities are really one and the same? Of course, many designers deal with this subject, yet Barbara Bui works with it in a particularly sophisticated and elegant fashion. Visit the Barbara Bui boutique store in Odessa at Ekaterininska, 39.

Odessa Fashion


Odessa Business

Odessa Investment: Opportunities and Obstacles By Kateryna Morozova

Over the past eight years as manager of the European Business Association (EBA) Southern Ukrainian Office, I have seen ample evidence of the Odessa region’s attractiveness as a place to invest and do business. Much hard work remains to be done in order to allow Odessa to reach its true potential, but the fundamentals are extremely promising. The Odessa Oblast – administrative region – is geographically the largest in Ukraine and among the top five in terms of population, being home to over 2.4 million people. Located on the Black Sea at the crossroads of major international transportation routes, the region has a strategically advantageous geographical position. This is especially important given the current accent on the development of trade and economic cooperation with the countries of Europe, Asia and Africa.


The Odessa region is Ukraine’s main maritime gateway and export and import hub. It plays a crucial role in terms of Ukraine’s transport and infrastructure sectors, and is a key focus for the country’s tourism and hospitality industries. These strategic advantages have already succeeded in attracting significant international investment to the region. The EBA Odessa branch includes member companies from Germany, Greece, Denmark, Portugal, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and a host of other nations. Our membership is active in a range of economic sectors including banking, financial services, law, manufacturing and consulting. There is also a strong international presence around Odessa’s port industry including companies engaged in transportation, freight forwarding, logistics, stevedoring, and warehousing. This extensive international involvement in the Odessa economy is encouraging but it could be significantly expanded if given the right improvements to the business climate. The European Business Association constantly monitors the challenges companies face while doing business in Ukraine and seeks to highlight the barriers investors face. We regularly conduct surveys among our member companies to gauge the mood of the international business community. One recent survey – the EBA Investment Attractiveness Index – provides informative insights into perceptions of the Ukrainian business

climate and foreign investor sentiment. According to the latest round of the Investment Index survey (conducted in Q4 2015), the vast majority of respondents [80%] have not noticed improvements in the business climate and are not satisfied with the current situation. Pressure from the tax system, corruption, lack of reforms and a sense of absence of positive changes in general are the major issues of concern typically raised by investors.

Twenty Steps to a Better Business Climate

The Ukrainian economy has begun to recover from the shocks of the past two-anda-half years, but this recovery is moving at a slow pace. As the economy stabilizes, expectations will mount over increased international investment. In order to attract greater volumes of international investment, Ukraine must improve the business climate and make it as attractive as possible. Businesses surveyed by the EBA say they are eager to see the continuation of reforms initiated by the previous Ukrainian government, and hope to witness a significant improvement in the pace of this reform process. Based on the most recent EBA survey of international business sentiment in Ukraine, the European Business Association has prepared a list of the top twenty issues requiring the attention of the new Ukrainian government:

Odessa Business

Fiscal and Monetary Policy

1 2 3 4 5 6

To liberalize foreign exchange regulations and abolish restrictions on dividend payment to foreign investors To ensure full and transparent VAT refunds To introduce the mandatory use of Payment Transactions Recorders for single tax payers To exempt from VAT baby food supply operations as well as importation of drugs for clinical studies To ensure equal conditions of competition in the field of banking services provision to state institutions To establish and gradually implement a long-term IT industry development strategy and maintain the simplified tax system




7 8

To contribute to the possibility of using the definition ‘EU’ in the certificate EUR.1 when referring to a group of European Union member countries of origin

To better coordinate the reform efforts of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Health and the Ministry of Health

Agriculture and Food Products

11 12 13

Customs and Foreign Trade To prepare and submit to the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) a draft law on Authorized Economic Operators

To introduce a ‘single window’ mechanism for customs control

To facilitate the destruction of obsolete pesticides by providing permits for cross-border transportation of pesticides To abolish state price regulation of socially important food products To cancel unreasonable fees for services provided by the Regional Veterinary and Sanitary Control Services and accept new economically justified fees

15 16

To accelerate the harmonization of technical regulation systems including national standards for grains and oilseeds in line with international practices

17 18

To establish a strategy for the development of the forest-based sector of Ukraine including effective and transparent timber recording for all permanent forest users and to ensure efficient control of its use To develop a single approach to special permits for subsoil use for mineral extraction

Other Issues



Dialogue with State Authorities Continues

Dialogue with the government can always improve but I can confirm that communication continues on a regular basis. The EBA maintains a constant dialogue with state authorities and encourages all

To make supervisory authorities responsible for breaches during consumer protection inspections

Natural Resources

Technical Regulations and Market Surveillance


To ensure the recognition of conformity certificates issued by the relevant EU authorities

our members to join the discussion. Our membership rates the effectiveness of current dialogue with the authorities at around 50%. This illustrates the scope that exists for further improvement, but also points to the readiness of the government

To cancel the need for the repeated approval of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine acts due to changes in the personnel who participated in the draft preparation submitted by the Cabinet To create conditions for an effective system of copyright protection in Ukraine

to listen. We encourage all our members and companies operating in Ukraine to join the debate and contribute to making Ukraine a better place for business.

Kateryna Morozova is Regional Manager of the EBA Southern Ukrainian Office


Odessa Sport

The Odessa Peaks By Volodymyr Gutsol Recently, Odessa alpinism has marked 80 years of existence. There are still some eyewitnesses, living among us today, who watched the emergence of this sport in South Palmyra. There were many highlights in the history of alpinism in Odessa, one being the first Odessan who ascended Everest. Mstislav Gorbenko, the worldclass athlete and head of the Odessa Alpine Club, shares his memories about “The Earth Day 20 International Peace Climb” that in 1990 brought together climbers from the United States, USSR and China to summit Mount Everest. He speaks about meaning of this expedition for his son. He also tells about KGB assignments that he did under the cover of night on the roof of the Kirch.

What happened 80 years ago, why is this date considered to be the birth of the Odessa alpinism? Because Soviet authorities often tried to silence the achievements of Tsarist Russia, the year of 1936 is officially considered as the beginning of alpinism in Odessa. It is in this very year Alexander Bleschunov along with Professor Kirilov set up the first Climber’s Club in Odessa. However, back in the 1890’s Odessa of Tsarist Russia, the Crimean-Caucasian Mountain Club was established. Surely, all these people were amateurs, but there were many of them. Mountain climbing attracted nobles, scholars, even members of the Royal family. It looked rather like mountain hiking, or as they say today – trekking. Nevertheless, they explored and did small climbs in the Crimean mountains, the Caucasus Mountains and the Alps. However, I think alpinism as a sport only started in 1936, with mandatory camp trainings and competitions. Alexander Bleschunov’s team mate Hanna Lerner-Stepanova is 96 years old today. She vividly remembers their very first expeditions to the Caucasus and Elbrus. Alpinism in Odessa began to become popular in the ‘50s and ‘60s. At that time, many universities built strong teams; and they stubbornly competed with each other. In my opinion, these years shaped the traditions of our alpinism.


Vadim Sviridenko led the first expeditions to the Pamirs and Tien Shan; he also paved the way to the Himalayas. Thanks to him, I became the first Odessan to ascend Everest in 1990. Before that in 1982, strong competition did not allow Odessans to join the first Soviet expedition to Everest; back then other Ukrainians, Turkevich, and Bershov climbed the highest peak of the world. I remember our climb in 1990 fondly and with gratitude. How did you become an alpinist? In 1972, I was in a mountain hiking group and at the foot of the Somoni Peak (Communism Peak) met climbers from Odessa. When I saw the difference in equipment, fitness level and climbing technique, I realized that it is time for me to move to alpinism. Next year I went to climber

training camp, and then in 1976 became a first-rate sportsman. Do you remember your first ascent? Oh, I remember it very well. It was in the Caucasus, the Peak Koru. I was a ropemate to our trainer, – the honored coach of the USSR – Shakir Tenishev. I admired his long ice-axe, which was very fashionable back then. Our climb was successful. When did you first find the idea of going to Everest? You see in Soviet times, Everest was like a collection of sky castles, it was beyond our dreams. Especially since I was banned from travelling abroad. Our “beloved” KGB dug up some information on me,

Alpinism in Odessa begun its quickstepping to new peaks in the ‘50s and ‘60s. At that time, many universities built strong teams; and they did stubbornly compete with each other. In my opinion, these years shaped the traditions of our alpinism.

Odessa Sport

which I learned about much later. [Gorbenko laughs]. After the revolution, some of my relatives left for France. My cousin was involved in climbing too so I corresponded with her. She was sending over some reference books, for we did not have any available. Subsequently these contacts made me blacklisted and restricted from travelling abroad. It’s funny that being a Director of the Alpinism Club, I did arrangements for teams departing to Italy, Germany, France, but the KGB always made me stay put. As for the Himalayas, we did not organize any trips there at all. It was too taboo for us. It happened once in 1982 with federal approval (in honor of the 60th anniversary of the USSR), and that was it. Later,

ter mountains within the USSR – some of them twice. Also there was constant training for the Everest’s expedition – which consisted of many mountain runs. Training lasted an entire year and was very intense. We went to the Caucasus, Tian Shan, Mount Rainier (Cordilleras). It did put me in great physical shape. Who came up with the idea of an expedition to Everest? His name is Jim Whittaker. A very reputable sportsman and the first American to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1963. He was the personal trainer of President John F. Kennedy and his brothers. They climbed Alaskan mountains together. In order to make this expedition happen, Jim Whittaker sent letters to the heads of countries for 2 years, until President George H. W. Bush, Gorbachev and the

As for the Himalayas, we did not have any trips over there at all. It was taboo for us! It happened once in 1982 at the country level (in honor of the 60th anniversary of the USSR), and that was it. during perestroika time, I was able to go to Poland and Bulgaria. As for the participation in “The Earth Day 20 International Peace Climb”, – I was officially invited by the national coach Vladimir Shataev. Twenty of the best climbers from the USSR were candidates for this team. Based on training results, I was among the five chosen athletes for the expedition. Can you imagine – I’m the guy who did speed runs on the slopes of Elbrus in crampons! [Laughing]. Nowadays, that’ actually a sport – mountain speed runs! Weren’t you scared of the sad statistics? What you knew about Mount Everest? Not at all. By that time, I already earned the “Snow Leopard” award. I climbed all five peaks of the seven-thousand me-

Chinese leader gave their consent. By the way, last fall we all gathered in the States on the expedition’s 25th anniversary. As I have heard, you got very personal incentives for a successful Everest climb. Moreover, it was related to your son. Can you talk about it? Sure. At that time, my son was just 2 months old and had already underwent multiple heart surgeries. I was told by our excellent doctors, in Moscow and Kyiv, that they did not have neither the appropriate equipment nor the means for his treatment. All of it is available in the States, but Soviet citizens can’t earn that amount of money for American surgeries. When I became a member of this international team, I cherished the thought of getting him help from the States.

I sent a request to a Seattle hospital right from base camp after the expedition. Two weeks later, I received an invitation to the USA and our family flew there. Our young son, Rustem, got successful surgery and is in now competitively playing chess. By the way, all of my children have done some climbing. Are you planning a memorable climb for the 80th anniversary of Odessa alpinism? It has not been announced as of yet, but there is idea to reach the summit of the beautiful Himalayan peak Ama Dablam via a new path there. We will sort our plans soon. Climbers have always been under scrutiny by the Soviet authorities. What about you? Some interesting episodes took place in Odessa. The KGB has approached me twice about the same issue. As you know, the tallest building of Odessa in those times was the ruined Kirch building. Protesters used its peak to hang up banners. The KGB has always been vigilant against such things, however since none of the fire trucks’ ladders could reach the top, a KGB officer asked for my help. It was quite a dangerous night climb, even for an experienced climber like myself. It became clear much later that these anonymous protesters were not CIA agents or hooligans. In addition to the banners, sometimes they hung sheets, old shoes, anything that students could find in the dormitories. Odessa had some romantic young climbers!


Odessa Tourism

Beautiful Pivdenny Bug: Eco-tourism, Rafting, and Fishing By Vadim Golopyorov

Are you a fan of ecological tourism, fishing and rafting? Are you interested in history, biology and geology? If so, then you should definitely consider visiting Pivdenny Bug – a river located approximately 200 kilometers outside of Odessa. Whether you choose a short weekend visit or a longer expedition is entirely up to you, but in either case, positive emotions and unforgettable experiences are all guaranteed!

Every year, from April to October, the area attracts lovers of water tourism – Pivdenny Bug is the perfect location for rafting and other river sports Imagine: a beautiful Ukrainian plain in every direction – and suddenly, a deep rocky canyon which is bisected by a mountain stream. The banks of Pivdenny Bug don’t look like this everywhere, but rather only in the lo-


cations where the river has carved its path through the granite over millions of years. The suburbs of Pervomaysk, which are home to the “Granite-steppe Lands of Buh” nature park, are such a location. The locale is beauti-

ful – with it’s enormous ancient rocks framed by lushly forested shores. The clean air, beautiful landscapes, and rich animal and plant life attract myriad tourists each year to the shores of Pivdenny Bug. It is also a popular location for fishermen, who head there for catches such as chub, asp, and barbel. These species of fish make their home in the middle reaches of the river because they are attracted to its rocky floor, rapids and shoals. The fish aren’t the only ones who are fond of the fast currents and rushing rapids! Every year, from April to October, the area attracts

Odessa Tourism

lovers of water tourism – Pivdenny Bug is the perfect location for rafting and other river sports. The popularity rafting enjoys here is due to the sport’s accessibility for beginners. There are virtually no difficult or dangerous

Bug – so don’t miss your chance to enjoy the adrenaline rush of rafting here! Of course, Pivdenny Bug is also a gem for lovers of history and archeology. It’s shores and caves have yielded many Paleolithic and

The next rafting-friendly river is located in the Carpathian range, which is much further from Odessa than Pivdenny Bug – so don’t miss your chance to enjoy the adrenaline rush of rafting here rapids here, meaning that beginners and rafters with no previous experience – including children (accompanied by parents, of course) – can feel free to participate. One of the most popular and interesting rafting routes is located along a segment of the river which passes next to the Migiya village. This segment alone is home to twelve rapids, which will bring participants a healthy dose of excitement! The next rafting-friendly river is located in the Carpathian range, which is much further from Odessa than Pivdenny

Scythian artifacts, and have been invaluable in helping us trace the history of early Slavic peoples, as well as unearthing the settlements of the Ukrainian Cossacks. Perhaps you will have the good fortune of finding one of the hidden treasures of “Hypannis” – as the ancient Greeks referred to Pivdenny Bug. How to get there: By car – Pervomaysk GPS coordinates are 48°03’00’’ North latitude, 30°51’00’’ East longitude. Best route: Odessa-Kiev highway, turn towards the Krivoye Lake, Pervomaysk. By bus – Take the Odessa-Pervomaysk (Nikolayevskaya region) bus at the Central Bus Station, then a taxi to either Migiya or Grushevka village.

You can also use a tour agency service, which will arrange all transportation from Odessa to Pervomaysk and Migiya. Arrangements for rafting tours can be made directly with the organizers, listed below:


Odessa Tourism

How One Can Sample The Taste Of Bessarabia By Dmytro Sikorsky

The Bessarabia region is home to various different kinds of local cuisine created at the intersection of various different cultures in this region that borders Romania and Bulgaria. Here are a few tips for tourists traveling through the Odessa region on finding the best of local cuisine.

Bessarabia is very well-known for its tasty and richly eclectic cuisine. There are many travel tips and tricks in order to experience authentic Bessarabian cuisine. First and most importantly, do not search the Black Sea’s coast for seafood, that area has never gotten the proper taste of Bessarabia. Of course there are some good fishing places in that region (notably Vilkovo – small fisherman town that is connected with the sea and Danube Delta). The noteworthy local ingredients are from the steppes – flocks of sheep, herds of cow, vineyards, fields of wheat, corn, sunflower provide the region with sustenance. Rice is also widely grown near the Danube river itself. The region’s farmers produce tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and fruits. And of course, walnuts are a historic symbol of Bessarabia.

The region’s farmers produce tomatoes, peppers, herbs and fruits. And of course, walnuts are a historic symbol of Bessarabia 120

The best way to try all of these ingredients molded into one tasty dish is to visit somebody’s home. The region’s hospitable people will wine and dine you with their best: domestic wine, mamalyga (a polenta dish), the legendary local “bryndza” sheep’s cheese and borscht. There are many other recipes and tastes depending on the ethnicity of inhabitants: sarma, mititei, vertuta, milina, manzha, syrniki, vareniki, kavyrma, kurban, placintas, karnazzi, zama – a mix of exotic names mostly from Ukrainian, Moldavian, Bulgarian and Gagauzian cuisine. These cuisines are tasty and also moderately spicy. Also, if one is to combine these ingredients in the right fashion it can be similar to Mediterranean cuisine in its consistency. Bessarabia is known for its hospitality, to the point where it is considered rude to decline an invitation from one’s host. One should absolutely endeavor to get an invitation to eat in someone’s home. Of course, you may not have any friends in this foreign land and so finding good food might pose a challenge. The good news is that there are always local markets in every small city. Perfect meats, bryndza and all kinds of vegetables can be easily found. The other piece of good news is that you can buy great and cheap wine everywhere: in the shops, bars, and even on the village streets! People will often write online about how wine is sold on the house gateways.

Odessa Tourism

Ismail is the biggest city south of the Odessa region. Danube port’s restaurants and cafés provide great entertainment for the shortterm traveler. The notable cuisine choices in this city are mamalyga, local borscht, Mititei (a kind of kebab), hot Kavyrma (stewed lamb) and Vushka – a variant of fish soup – which is traditionally prepared with “Lyubystok” herb to add a special flavor to the soup.

One should be warned not to begin one’s journey through the seaside of the Black Sea looking for seafood however, as that has never been the authentic taste of Bessarabia In order to continue experiencing the best Bessarabian local dishes, one’s travels should follow a certain course. We recommend starting such a journey in the Shabo village, there is a local wine cellar that is very well-known for its degustation. Its restaurant, “Shabski dvorik” (Shabo Yard), is very tasty. The nearby Bilgorod-Dnistrovsky has noteworthy sightseeing, but no noteworthy restaurants. However, the local market has a very good choice of bryndza. Next stop should be Tatarbunary, which is a small town a traveler would typically would want to pass through. Do not pass it though, the road café has spectacular kurban – a very popular local sheep soup. Most gourmets consider it to be one of the best in the area.

After Tatarbunary, the next destination should certainly be Bolgrad. This is the home of the largest Bulgarian diaspora in Ukraine and happens to be a very nice place to eat. Visit the local restaurants and produce markets, where the fruits and vegetables are unrivaled. Bolgrad is also considered to be the best place in Ukraine to try the milina (a pie stuffed with sheep’s cheese) as well as kavurma and karnazzi – meat specialties that are best with domestic wine, kurban and different lamb dishes. Being here, it is of upmost importance to visit a market in order to find very interesting products such as ‘kisloyo mlyako’ (domestic made yogurt), pepper paste and ‘merudia’ seasoning – a special mix of homegrown herbs – a great souvenir to bring home.

Between the cities of Ismail to Bolrod, there is the Kolonist Winery (in the Krynichne village) – which is, without doubt, one of the best in the region. One can enjoy a delicious meal along with their wine. And, last but surely not least is Vilkovo (‘Ukraine’s Venice’), our very own “fish destination”. This small fishing city, located on the canals of Danube Delta, is a remarkable place to see, but there is so much to eat and drink as well. After an excursion down the great European river and through the amazing biosphere reserve, eat some freshly prepared fish and drink some local “novak” (’new wine’) – a domestically produced wine made of grapes grown over the wet river islands. But, be careful: while this deceptively light wine will leave you with a fresh mind, but with a heavy walk!

Dmytro Sikorsky is a restaurateur, scholar and historian of the Odessa and Bessarabia regions.



Italian Design, Odessa History

The UNO Design Hotel is getting a lot of attention in Odessa, not only for its sleek raw design. It has deep roots in the history of the city. It proves to be a fashionable cocktail of the present-day and the past.

the beginning of the 20th century by Samuil Galperson. His Italian-styled houses around the city became a striking type of architecture in Odessa. Furthermore, Issak Babel and his family lived in the building on the fourth floor. His monument is located directly opposite the hotel, making the immediate area truly special. Inspired by neo-baroque style, Italian designer Nunzio Da Via created an elegant and unique design hotel, unique to Odessa. Traditional elements of decoration are scattered. The artistic wallpaper comes from the sketches of Italian artist Saturno

The house, at the address 17 Rishelyevska, was constructed at the beginning of the 20th century by Samuil Galperson The new Italian-chic hotel in Odessa is open for business. This hotel in the center of Odessa is very nontraditional and went through a remarkable reconstruction process. The hotel is located not just in any ancient building, but in a pearl of Odessan architecture and history. The house, at the address 17 Rishelyevska, was constructed at


Butto – his arresting images are guaranteed to remain in your memory. The hotel is modern and refined. If you don’t need a place to stay, it is still recommended to take glance inside.


Panorama De Luxe Hotel

Continental 4*

Grand Marine 4*

5 Deribasovska Street, +38 (048) 786-03-99

5 Yuzhnosanatorny lane, +38 (048) 757-90-90

6/8 Mukachevsky lane, tel. +38 (048) 705-705-5

The personal approach, the professional team and traditions are the best guarantee of security and quality of services provided at Grand Marine Hotel & Spa. This modern complex opened its doors after renovation in 2010 and is located in the residential complex “Sauvignon” – the former German settlement Lyustdorf. The natural recourses, the use of mineral water from our own sources, mud from the Kuyal’nitskogo and Shabolatskogo estuaries and Solotvyno mines salt in combination with healthy food and spa treatments will make your stay unforgettable. This is an active getaway place that offers accommodation in 57 comfortable rooms in four categories and conference facilities suitable for any event from 12 up to 150 people. Grand Marine is the traveler’s best option for work, recreation, wellness, and recovery.

The Panorama De Luxe Hotel is located in the resort area of old Odessa, the area is considered to be the best in the city for its prestige, elegance and the atmosphere of the old architecture. The hotel has 32 rooms with five different types of comfortable rooms. Swimming options include a summer terrace with a large outdoor swimming pool, sauna and an indoor pool. There is also a fine restaurant, a large roof terrace and a fitness center with modern equipment. Business visits can be accommodated with a large conference room for up to 70 people and an additional private room for business meetings. A luxurious option for any traveler.

Some say that if one is traveling to Odessa, then go to Deribasovskaya street. A fine option to stay on Deribasovskaya is the Continental 4* Hotel. The historic building by the architect Felix Gonsiorovsky has been turned into a comfortable and modern business hotel. The hotel has 58 spacious rooms and apartments in classical and modern style. Rooms with terraces will present a traveler with an unforgettable view of Odessa Bay. There are free transfers to the sea in Arkady, breakfasts with champagne, farmer products, yachts and excursions. Continental will be a great place to rest after exploring the city.

Star Hostel

Life Hostel

Uno Design Hotel

5 Osipova Street / 8 Tiraspolska Street «11v» code, +38 (050) 954-94-94,

52 Gretska Street, 12 Apt, +38 (048) 759-99-59

17 Rishelievska Street, +38 (048) 729-70-50

This is the option for an economical traveler, but the service is nice nevertheless. The hostels have two types of rooms: general and private. The general style is a shared room with other travelers in bunks beds, like a traditional hostel. The price depends on the quantity of people in the room. There is flexible booking. The private room is just as the name suggests. Again, the prices are dependent on the number of guests in a room. These rooms have king sized beds or two separate single beds. There is an option for a private bathroom, otherwise the bathroom and the kitchen are for the collective use. Take the uncommon path when traveling and stay at the Life Hostel.

This beautifully styled hotel is in the historic center and is known as the home of Issac Babel. A museum to the great writer’s legacy is set to open in the location in the near future. The hotel has 4 floors and 46 rooms in 6 specific styles to select from – from cozy and classical room that includes a kitchen, to the newly opened luxurious penthouses. These new penthouses have large terraces with a beautiful view of the Black Sea. The Interior of the hotel was designed by the Italian designer Nunzio da Via. Visit the hotel just to take a peek.

Star and Star-2 hostels are located in the historic center of Odessa with a 15-minute walk from the beach, Lanzheron, and Deribasovskaya Street. It just underwent a refurbishment, all rooms are air-conditioned, a locker, Wi-Fi and equipped kitchen are all provided. This is another economically smart choice of traveling.



Beauty Food The realms of style and food collide often– but not like this. MARAMAX has opened a café alongside their beauty store in Odessa. Breakfast and a hair coloring appointment. Wine and salad before a haircut. This fun fusion is being enjoyed by many in the city already.

The Mara Café is a “conceptual” café partnered with the beauty company MARAMAX. It is an interesting new endeavor for the popular salon. Essentially, people can get their hair and other beauty needs taken care of and have a meal before or after. It’s not only for salon goers, others can enjoy a meal and there are occasional parties.

customers to prepare that part of the meal however they see fit. It makes the food customizable and potentially healthier. The café’s point of pride is that they only provide two types of breakfasts. While there is a lack of variety, there is no lack in quality. The Aristocrat’s breakfast has an egg made in the customer’s preferred style next to red caviar,

The Mara Café is a conceptual café partnered with the beauty company MARAMAX The design of the café is promising. The interior of the cafe is a fashionable loft. The petite tables are in a refined French style and are next to the large windows, creating the street into a sort of cat walk. There are puffs of flowers all over the space. The Mara cafe has a healthy and polished menu. The menu has the MARAMAX director’s personal recipes and all the recipes were developed especially for MARA salon and cafe. An important detail is that they do not mix the ingredients, they desire for the


creamy mousse on top of hot pieces of toast, fresh apricot jam, fresh seasonal fruit, and finally a fragrant ‘Mara Grano’ espresso. The other breakfast item is porridge with a secret ingredient that leaves a pleasant aftertaste. Order the dish and guess what it could be. The Mara café hosts many events as well. The DJs play house music when there is a bumping party.

Every Sunday, the café has Beauty Nights, where guests can attend beauty master classes from leading experts in the field: Ilyana Shablovskaya, Ksenia Polyakova, Marina Kanikovskaya, Maxim Nikitochkin. These four beauty enthusiasts will be at the café in July. This café that focuses around beauty is a surprising place to relax and enjoy the day. Come enjoy. salon & cafe MARA team – Grecheskaya Vitse Admirala Zhukov 3/7 salon & cafe MARA team – Arcadia city Central alley Arcadia.


Local wines and local food in the very heart of Odessa

If you prefer restaurants that are different from the rest of the pack... Come to the Dva Karla Bessarabia style bodega. Local Cheese. Local wines. Local food. A real taste of old Odessa. 32, Hrets’ka Street (10am - 11pm) +380 96 524 16 01 Facebook: BODEGA 2K



True Love It has been a challenge for decades to find well-sourced and delicious food. True is changing the standard.

The restaurant “True” believes that healthy fresh food is a must in order to make the world more pleasant. True know that it cannot change everything, but they are sure that they can transform this city and its inner circles. The restaurant is in one of the most beautiful areas of Odessa – Sabansky Lane in the heart of the city and near the park and the sea. People nearby are able to stop by whether they’re on the Zdorovya Route in Shevchenko’s Park or just enjoying the fine architecture


of Marazliyevskaya Street. While it’s in the heart of the city, there is still a distance from the bustle of it. True’s philosophy is to find a comfortable balance between food and life. True is a community of people who participate in a healthy lifestyle – through and through. Of course this lifestyle is best exemplified in the food. They do not use meat, fish or eggs in our dishes. The majority of dishes are raw, including all of the sweets. There are several types of cookies, cakes and candies – all of them are cooked without sugar, flour and thickeners. Only natural ingredients: nuts, dried fruits, honey. Even the wine is organically produced. The combination of products is especially important to True. They began organizing True

Breakfasts where renowned nutrition coaches share their secrets. The menu is divided into subgroups and for those who eat exclusively vegan or raw dishes, there are many options. Moreover, the waiters are always ready to help. The restaurant sincerely believes that nature gave people everything in order for food to be saturated. No additives and sweeteners will replace natural taste, the crunch of fresh apple and the sweetness of a ripe fruit are incredibly important to them. True is about real and natural, about the nature and the love for it. Be True.

Information was provided by the managing director of restaurant Anna Tsurkan

1 Sabansky Lane +38 (048) 799-77-97


BISTEKKA Bratia Grill Grand Prix Steakhouse & Bar Deribasovskaya

24 Bunina Street, +38 (048) 785-07-01

12 Deribasovska Street, +38 (048) 737-57-07 facebook .com / BIST EK K A Stea k hou se-Ba r619422038078936

Bistekka Steakhouse & Bar is a luxurious meat and wine restaurant. It is located in the heart of Odessa on Deribasovskaya St. in a stylish location. The restaurant features a broad variety of meat dishes, seasonal novelties and the freshest ingredients. It is a local favorite for fashionable parties and friendly sit-downs. There are nutritious options for health-minded people. In addition to steaks and seafood, the menu includes European and Japanese cuisine and refined desserts. Fresh ingredients are delivered from Italy, Ukraine and many other countries. Enjoy an original steak or try something new.

17 Deribasivska Street, +38 (067) 599-33-99 Bratia is a unique restaurant in that it hosts guest chefs from Ukraine and other countries. Furthermore, if one was to compare this restaurant to a theater, the stage would be surely the open kitchen and the 2.5-meter-long grill. This is where the main culinary action occurs: high-quality seasoned beef gets transformed to juicy and flavorful steaks. In addition to a wide selection of meat dishes, the restaurant serves Odessan cuisine. There are dishes of fresh Black Sea fish, mussels, and rapana. The restaurant’s interior has an authentic early 20th century atmosphere created by the Denis Belenko design studio. From 10 am until midnight every day, breakfast until 1 pm.


Zelen Cafe

32 Hretska, +38 (0482) 32-50-17

85 Kanatna Street, +38 (098) 878-37-00

Grand Prix is centrally located in the heart of old Odessa in a historical building dating back to 1825. It has firmly established itself as the neighborhood’s favorite French restaurant. The restaurant owners pay close attention to importing high quality ingredients from Italy and France. The kitchen distinguishes itself by serving carefully sourced, well cooked seasonal dishes, along with a great wine list and warm attentive service. The restaurant has an emphasis on French style hospitality minus the sneering Parisian waiters. Come and enjoy this special local favorite.

Bratia Grill Arcadia Arcadia, left wing, +38 (097) 599-33-99

Shkaff is one of Odessa’s first artists’ club and is a unique public gathering place. It’s name means “wardrobe” in Russian – full of curiosities. Daily live music performances encompasses a variety of musical styles. It’s possible to enjoy a quiet dinner in one hour and go listen to small band in the next hour. A vintage touch to its design, an excellent menu, and daily events make this a fun place for young people to meet up. Shkaff is a welcoming place.

Now in its third year, Zelen Eco-territory cafe works with providing healthy nutritious food. It focuses on simple and healthy food from local seasonal products, an eco-interior and high-quality service. The dishes come from Italian, French, Eastern and local cuisine. Healthy drinks are quite popular in Odessa, and Zelen is no exception to that rule. They serve fresh smoothies, shakes, juices, almond milk and micro-green drinks. Do not fret, there are sweet options which were created by the pastry chef that are still healthy. Come enjoy the fun flavors at Zelen.

This family restaurant opened in May 2015 right on the sea’s coast. It has a light and pleasant interior filled with wood motifs and fresh herbs, a fantastic Odessan sea view and a focus on homemade comfort food. Food is prepared in the open kitchen, allowing visitors to view the intricate process of creating culinary masterpieces. The main focus of the menu is on the grill – meat and fish dishes complemented with properly balanced salads and appetizers. An overall comfortable environment with friendly staff. One can bring any group of people to Bratia and they will enjoy it. From 11 am until midnight every day



5 Reasons That One Should Prefer A Light Breakfast By Alexandra Sinyacheva, Anastasia Bobkova

We should begin with the fact that breakfast remains an extremely important component of a healthy morning, it helps wake us up and jump starts the activities of the organism. A light breakfast does not require the body to use up too much energy at the start of the day. We hear that we need to eat solid breakfast, a moderate lunch and an easy dinner – this is a rather widespread formula for healthy nutrition. With the modern pace of life being what it is, we often line our stomach with heavy foods early in the morning. That feeling of satiety for the entire day that we get from saturated porridges and heavy proteins will disappear as soon as we get to lunch time. Breakfast should wake one up, but not make one feel bloated. The organism has already restored its forces after the night and there is no need to load it up with excess dense food early in the morning. A glass of water with a lemon, fruit and superfoods, salad, a glass of juice or a smoothie will give the organism the necessary charge of cheerfulness, having saturated it with useful substances. A categorical refusal of breakfast, however, slows down a metabolism and disrupts the stability of the metabolism process.

invigorating aroma of citruses, the freshness of greens helps create a feeling of well being. Also think about adding a berry smoothie, so that your usual morning routine becomes saturated with bright flavors and colors. Create time for your own morning rituals. A very important component of an effective and satisfying morning are your personal morning rituals. These are very important. This should be coupled with exercise, jogging and perhaps yoga. A good, light breakfast consist of simple products and leaves time to pay

It is important that your rituals allow you to finally wake up and to correctly set yourself up for the day Bright colors and a charge of positive emotions. A breakfast that provides us with all the nutrients that we need should have the colors that are in fruits like apples, pears, bananas, and the


attention to your morning self-care, allowing you to check over your to do list for the day. ‘Mindfulness’ should become more reflexive. When the breakfast becomes lighter, the organism will more accurately inform you when you need, rather than want, to have lunch.

Another reminder to not skip lunch. Eventually that self-conscious approach to the routine of having lunch will become fully developed. You should allow at least 45 minutes at the very least to eat. The main problem with this “conscious approach” – is that it requires a continuous concentration of attention and psychological effort. In other words, everything needs to hinge on decisions connected to will power. Light breakfasts, are perfect as they discipline you instead of requiring discipline. First, fruit and greens are always available at home and any justifications to miss a lunch will be overruled by welltimed hunger. Over time, your bodily rhythm will be maintained and will become an integral part of your daily rituals.

Alexandra Sinyacheva is a healthy lifestyle guru and founder of the ‘We Love Detox, We Love Running, We Love Yoga’ campaign



Hungarian Pancakes

Aristocrat’s Breakfast

Carrot Cheesecake

The Budapest restaurant has an excellent selection of European cuisine within the heart of Odessa. The magnificent breakfasts have a lot to offer: cheesecakes made from cottage cheese with berry sauce, fried eggs with Hungarian sausages, and four cheese omelets with crackling baguette. The must have is the authentic Hungarian pancakes made from Karolyn Gyundel’s recipe. All the bread and pastries are fresh. Various drinks include fresh juice, herbal teas and authentic Turkish coffee. The Budapest restaurant is a fine and tasty beginning for anyone’s day.

The Mara Cafe is indeed the cafe associated with the Mara salon. This would be an easy and delectable option before or after a hair appointment. The healthy and style-oriented kitchen only has two breakfasts. The Aristocrat’s breakfast is an exclusive treat. It includes eggs with a generous portion of red caviar, creamy mousse on hot pieces of toasts with fresh apricot jam, and fresh seasonal fruit. Top it off with a fragrant Mara Grano quality espresso. Beside that grand breakfast, there is the flavorful porridge with a secret ingredient. Go to Mara and try to guess what the secret ingredient is.

A healthy breakfast is like a pledge to have a good day. The Zelen cafe has many options for a jump start to the day. A healthy and light choice is the berry smoothie and the fresh juices – these also come in small bottles for people on the go. However, it is recommended to eat something in the morning, not just have a drink. Carrot and tofu cheesecakes may sound a bit eccentric, but are a local favorite. The classic eggs Benedict is full of protein and a mine of delicious cheese. The Zelen cafe will brighten any Odessan’s morning.

Budapest 34 Zhukovskoho Street, +38 (048) 787-86-86

Salon&cafe MARA team 3/7 Vitse Admirala Zhukov LaneArcadia, Central Alley, +38 (067) 484-45-65

Granola Bowl


Freud’s Eggs

True relies on healthy and sustainable ingredients for its tasty meals. This in turn creates great breakfast options. An option for the morning that is fiber rich is the granola with strawberries, yogurt, cashews, raisins and chia seeds. A meal such as this is perfect for athletes and healthy-minded people. The porridge is topped with walnuts, baked in honey and is served with homemade yogurt with chia seeds and strawberries. This meal is saturated with useful fats and cellulose. This is an ideally balanced breakfast to make anyone’s day more cheery and pleasant.

Healthy is the owners family project. The main goal is to create healthy nutrition options for all ages. It’s must have to order their bon bons, prepared without sugar, eggs and flour, and created with a base of dried fruits and nuts. The bon bons’ lopsided shapes give the food a home cooked feeling. Drinks for breakfast also include fresh cold-pressed juices and a collection of detox smoothies. A healthy addition can be a vegetarian snack, almond milk, chia puddings, raw cakes and many other things from the Moimincube.

At Dizyngoff, it’s not possible to only order one dish. The restaurant critics of Odessa consider it to be a culinary crime. Start off with a freshly made juice or smoothie. Maybe pancakes with a caramel sauce and fresh fruit would be a good match. Or order Freud’s Eggs which is classic egg Benedict with Dutch sauce and cheese. This type of meal is reminiscent of childhood mornings in Bat Yam, Israel. And now this is a part of Odessa’s cuisine, which is what you miss when you visit Bat Yam.

Momincube Healthy Bar 17 Leontovicha Street / 10 Rishelievska Street +38 (048) 783-50-17

Dizyngoff 5 Kateryninska Square, +38 (050) 542-42-16

True 1 Sabansky Lane, +38 (048) 799-77-97

Zelen 85 Kanatna Street, +38 (098) 878-37-00



Fresh Art at Shkaff

Shkaff is a unique art gathering space in Odessa. The daily events are quite fun and inexpensive, and are definitely worth a visit.

Overhearing a conversation about hanging out in the closet might be confusing for many people, but not to Odessans, who are quite familiar with the Shkaff art club. Shkaff does mean closet in Russian, but this restaurant-bar is a lot more than just a funny name. Only opened this year, Shkaff has earned affection from Odessans and tourists alike because of its own informal and unique flair. Many places that attempted to be artistic had nothing interesting happening – people just got their meal and listened to background music. Shkaff has broken away from this form by offering people a relatively low priced place to meet, get familiar with exemplars in the world of cocktails. Shkaff offers fun programs and events. There is something happening ever day on the stage.

Monday: possibly the most irritating day of the week, even for non-working people. Shkaff suggests to forget about cooking at home on Monday, come over for delicious burgers, pastas, and sandwiches at 50% off the regular price. A live cover band will be waiting for you. Tuesday: the day of the Irish. Irish whiskey and – of course – Guinness on a discount. Wednesday: Jazz night. The best jazz performers in Odessa will be improvising on the stage. Customers can join the jam session and show off their musical chops. The evening can gets even more interesting with a discount on rum. Thursday: Rock music only. Self-explanatory, listen to fantastic rock songs and get a free beer when the house burger is ordered. Friday and Saturday: Party day. Immediately after the cover bands’ performance, talented DJs will take the stage. Sunday: Hip Hop day. Alcohol Depot will be open and cocktails will will be served at very good prices. Shkaff prides itself on its staff being personable every day. 32 Hretska Street



Trendy Cocktails to try By Alexandra Tryanova

Alexanfra Tryanova, The Odessa Review’s cocktail columnist, first got amorous with mixed drinks while exploring European bars and nightlife. She learned the basics of mixology in Limonadier (Berlin), she was the chef and bartender at Dizyngoff (Odessa), and is currently at Noir bar (Odessa).


Mr. Fox

Bistekka Navarra

If you`re tired of city noise the Churchill pub is а wonderful spot to visit. The place is full of stories and memories. The pub’s cozy atmosphere created by a blend of old English pub spirit and warm local hospitality. The fantastic panorama windows and the attention to detail is reminiscent of a grandfather’s cabinet. The retro bar is inviting for pleasant talks with an experienced bartender. At ‘The Churchill’ you can find a wide array of local craft beers and well-known brands or can choose a classic mixed drink. The cocktail Clementine is prepared with espresso coffee and creamy liquor, it teases senses and is served in a sophisticated grappa glass. The drink is as elegant as the woman it is named after, Clementine Churchill. The beautiful and virtuous wife of Winston Churchill loved the city of Odessa when she visited in 1945.

Dizyngoff has an exciting taste adventure through its drink menu. The new cocktail menu is divided into a few sections to help you with your choice: “Fresh & Fizz” offers with bubbly light compositions perfect for a refreshing moment during a lazy afternoon; “Sweet & Strong” – well-known classic cocktails for those who know what they want; and a “Sours” section that proves that sour cocktails don’t have to be made out of egg whites – they can be absolutely vegan. The bright tropical cocktail of Mr. Fox is worth your attention. It is made of passion fruit puree and a dark aged rum, the amazing Plantation Original Dark Overproof (73%!) sourced from Trinidad and Tobago and aged in young bourbon casks. Needless to say, this creates a wonderful spicy mixture.

The cocktail menu at Bistekka Steakhouse & Bar attracts mixed drink lovers with a balanced combination of cocktail classics and a restauranteur`s twist. The cocktails are designed by renowned chef-bartender Daniil Sizonov. The atmosphere of Bistekka is elegant with flashes of modernity. In the evening, a light and sparkling cocktail is the homemade ginger ale – the perfect choice for early summertime. Refreshing Bistekka Navarra is bound to become the favorite of everybody’s evening. It is a bright and balanced composition of ginger ale, cider, maraschino cherries, brandy and lychee. So order a drink and go enjoy the terrace, a place to see and be seen.

The Churchill 1 Sabansky lane, +38 (067) 793-18-63

Dizyngoff 5 Katerynynska Square, +38 (050) 542-42-16

BISTEKKA.Steakhouse & Bar 12 Deribasivska Street, +38 (048) 737-57-07 facebook .com /BIST EK K AStea k hou se-Ba r619422038078936


Odessa Humor

What A Country!? The great cold war comedian, Yakov Smirnoff returns to Odessa for a one time show.

to the totalitarian Soviet Union, which he endlessly jostled, propelled him into a frontline position of the cold war. His ribald humor softened his critique of Soviet life by also skewering American consumerism. His linguistic bater plays off the misunderstanding of American phrases and popular culture, which would be topped off with his delightful signature phrase: ‘What a country!’” If nothing else, he will surely enter immortality by having been a character on The Simpsons. Though Smirnoff had visited his home town several times since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, he had never before performed in the city or in any other RusOn a balmy day this past May, a luxuriously bearded man with an impish smile and the pastel colored suit of a Los Angeles dandy ascended the elevator up to the 6th floor of the Terminal 42 space on Uspensky street. The legendary funnyman Yakov Smirnoff was joining the editor of The Odessa Review, Vladislav Davidzon, for an intimate evening discussion of his remarkable life. Born in Odessa, where he had lived until he was in his mid-twenties, Smirnoff became arguably the most famous American standup comedian of the late eighties. He was Ronald Reagan’s favorite comedian and, in fact, the two became so close that Smirnoff began writing jokes for the major speeches that Reagan delivered in Moscow. After emigrating to the United States in 1977, Smirnoff began performing after picking up English while working in bars. Only four years later he would be acting in films along comic actors such as Robin Williams. His personal story and his skeptical relation


ous during the course of the evening. Smirnoff spoke about his transition away from cold war humor to running a family oriented theater in Branson, Missouri. During the conversation, Smirnoff became emotional, with his voice cracking noticeably, when he began speaking about the traumas of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. He explained how after the night of September 11, he began a painting inspired by his intense feelings. The painting was of the Statue of Liberty in a pointillist style, with one brush stroke done for every victim of the attack. Immediately prior to the first anniversary of the attacks, he paid for the painting to be transformed into a gigantic mural which he had placed next to the ruins of the World Trade Center. It was a genu-

Born in Odessa, where he had lived until he was in his mid-twenties, after emigrating to the United States Yakov Smirnoff became arguably the most famous American standup comedian of the late eighties sian speaking city. It was in the autumn of 2015 that he brought his now adult children to the city in order to show them his hometown. That trip went exceedingly well, so he decided to return the next summer and to dip his feet back into the waters of Odessa show business. The conversation between Davidzon and Smirnoff begun on a jocular note of mutual bantering, but slowly became more seri-

inely moving moment when he began to cry thinking of that moment 15 years ago. The crowd of young people he performed for – some of whom had been born after Reagan had vacated the White House – gave him a genuine ovation. He finished off with some of his new psychology inflected work, and after the end of his set spent an hour chatting with and taking photos with every single person who wanted a bit of his time. A true performer and also a class act.

Odessa Humor

Tales by Boris Khersonsky During the first year that the ‘City Semibasement’ Club was first opened in Odessa, it was so well-attended that it was absolutely impossible to get in – and there wasn’t much reason to, anyway. It is anyway much better to breathe the air of freedom on the Primorsky Boulevard or on the Bolshoy Fontan, preferably alone or as part of a twosome. I had a hard time explaining this to both the Odessa Intelligentsia and the Odessa Literary Community. They both proudly wore club pins with the slogan ‘From the underground into the Semibasement!’ and spent all their evenings there. During my childhood, the space which would later become the club had housed a lady street-sweeper with her tuberculosis-stricken husband and feeble-minded son. They later received a room in Cheremushki [ed. a suburb of Odessa] from the government, and after that, the basement became a place for several neighbors to stockpile their coal. Later, the house had gas piping installed, and the coal ovens (and with them, the basement) lost their purpose. It was after this that the erstwhile street-sweeper’s shack became a refuge for the city’s most progressive elements. Even the Odessa Beau– monde walking hand in hand with the Odessa Contraband (she was an impressive young lady, though her smile was somewhat spoiled by a golden tooth) was known to drop by there. But the Odessa Agency was nowhere to be seen. I was surprised when I finally found out where she had disappeared to. One of my greatest flaws is an excessive love of classical music. Walking past the philharmonic, I can’t pass without stopping to study the concert schedule. Now, it should be noted that the block next to the philharmonic had traditionally been the gathering point of the city’s “night butterflies” – that is women of a certain profession. Once, while I was deliberating whether or not to attend the “Polkas and Marches” concert, someone tapped my shoulder from behind, asking whether I needed a date.

“Well, yes” – I answered – “but definitely not today”. When I turned around, I saw the Odessa Agency. She was– a little older, but in good shape and dressed in a skirt suit. You look great! – I exclaimed – So, you’ve become a madam? —  ‘Call it what you want‘ she responded ‘but actually, I am the head manager and CEO of the sexual service workers’ union’. — But is the room in the hotel “Odessa” still reserved in your name? —  No, no. They took it away. The Austrian Airlines head office is now there.



Odessa Photographer In Focus Nelya Artemenko Renowned for her work at the Odessa Film Studio, Nelya Artemenko first took up photography at 28 years old in the 1980s. However, the USSR didn’t have any educational institutions teaching photographic art. “I was lucky, the Odessa Film Studio had a vacancy for a photographer to shoot stills for films as they were being shot”, she explains. During her time at the Studio Artemenko, she worked on a variety of films which would later become Soviet classics. These included “Ten Little Indians”, “The Children of Captain Grant”, “Green Box”, “A A Million in a Wedding Basket”, “The Chosen Fate”, “The Vacation of Petrov and Vasechkin”, “Seven forty”, “Burn” and a myriad others. She would capture intimate and private moments from some of the most famous scenes in Soviet cinema. When the Odessa Film Studio virtually ceased production of films, she became engaged in commercial film, fashion photography, and became a member of the Union of Photographers of Ukraine.










Odessa Society


Odessa Society



Odessa Society The Atlantic Council hosted the Odessa Review in Washington DC for our American launch. On June 11th, the party was hosted in an elegant townhouse in the Kalorama district of DC. Former US ambassador to Ukraine, John Herbst made very kind opening remarks focusing on Ukraine and the prospects of the magazine. The party accommodated many of DC’s most renowned policy makers and journalists.



Odessa Society




Odessa Society


Odessa Society




Odessa Society


Odessa Society




Odessa Society


Odessa Society


Odessa Listings

YOU CAN FIND THE ODESSA REVIEW IN THESE FINE ESTABLISHMENTS AIRPORT – VIP ZONE BEAUTY SALON Aldo Coppola 15 Pushkinska Street (Bristol Hotel) +38 (048) 703-43-43 28 Pionerska Street (Sady Pobedy) +38 (048) 700-55-33 ArtAlex 27 Dvoryanska Street +38 (097) 780-39-40 Barber Shop 3 Katerynivska Street +38 (067) 482-35-15 Chop-Chop 2 Vitse-Admirala Zhukova Lane +38 (097) 322-22-12 Dry Bar 4 Vitse-Admirala Zhukova Lane +38 (066) 834-55-00 Fusion 22 Oleksandrivskyi Lane 5 Genuezska Street +38 (048) 707-22-22 Expert 22 Chervonyi lane +38 (0482) 37-71-11 Libro Dry Bar 18 Niny Onilovoi ln +38 (048) 783-38-88 Maramax Head SPA 12 Chaikovskoho lane +38 (048) 728-25-55 M-Street 27 Deribasivska Street +38 (048) 777-55-54 Mozart 13 Lanzheronivska Street (Hotel Mozart) +38 (0482) 32-22-22 Novye Nogti 33 Bunina Street +38 (0482) 37-27-52 Otrada 9 Zatyshna Street +38 (0482) 33-13-00 SalonOtrada


Preobrazhenska Tsuryulnya 34 Preobrazhenska Street +38 (048) 759-29-59 Salon&cafe MARA team 3/7 Vitse Admirala Zhukova Lane Arcadia Parkway +38 (067) 484-45-65 Studio of Image Beauty and Health 1 Kryshtalevyi Lane (Palace Del Mar) +38 (048) 787-28-28 The Brow Bar 21 Lanzheronivska Street +38 (067) 443-75-05 Tommy Gun 21 Bunina Street +38 (095) 777-05-43 tommygunbarbershop. com/odessa COWORKING SPACE Impact Hub Odessa 1A Hretska Street +38 (048) 703-35-55

HOTEL Alarus Hotel& Restaurant 4* 82 Velyka Arnautska Street +38 (048) 784-71-71 Alexandrovskiy Hotel 4* 12 Oleksandrivskiy Lane +38 (098) 581-49-19 Arcadia Plaza 4* 1 Posmitnoho Street +38 (0482) 30-71-01 Ark Palace Hotel&SPA 4* 1B Henuezska Street +38 (048) 773-70-70 Ayvazovskiy Hotel 5* 19 Bunina Street +38 (0482) 42-90-22

Kostandi Apart Hotel 44 Pastera Street +38 (048) 726-80-60

Beehive Hotel Odessa 9/1 Arkadievsky lane +38 (048) 796-87-48

La Gioconda 4* 1 Second Lermontovskyi Lane +38 (048) 774-40-00

Black Sea Hotel 4* (chain of hotels) Bristol Hotel 5* 15 Pushkinska Street +38 (048) 796-55-00


Continental Hotel 4* 5 Derybasivska Street +38 (048) 786-03-99

DRY CLEANER Aqua Tech 14B Frantsuzky Boulevard +38 (0482) 33-23-54 25 Zhukovskoho Street +38 (048) 704-73-08 15 Italiiskyi Boulevard 24 Serednya Street +38 (0482) 37-22-33 Kims 55 Kanatna Street +38 (048) 777-06-06 5 Henuezka Street +38 (093) 394-71-00 EDUCATIONAL CENTER Montessori 20B Pionerska Street +38 (048) 777-62-77 montessori-firststeps.

Grand Marine Medical SPA Hotel 5 Yuzhnosanatorniy lane +38 (048) 757-90-90 Kadorr Hotel Resort&SPA 5* 66/3 Frantsuzky Boulevard +38 (048) 705-99-04

Perron #7 56 Mala Arnautska Street +38 (048) 737-45-88

Beit Grand 77/79 Nezhynska Street +38 (048) 737-40-52

Geneva Apart Hotel 10 Tenista Street 3* +38 (048) 777-77-32 5 Osipova Street 3* +38 (048) 716-55-50 8 Vorontsovskyi Lane 4* +38 (048) 703-34-13 32 Evrejska Street 4* +38 (0482) 31-13-12

De Richelieu 30 Rishelievska Street +38 (048) 785-16-53 Design-hotel Skopeli 3,5* 65 Lanzheron Beach +38 (048) 705-39-39 Deribas Apartments 27 Deribasivska Street +38 (067) 253-88-36 Duke Hotel 5* 10 Chaikovskoho Lane +38 (048) 705-36-36 Frederic Koklen Boutique Hotel 4* 7 Nekrasova Lane +38 (048) 737-55-53

London Hotel 4* 95 Uspenska Street +38 (048) 784-08-98 Londoska Hotel 4* 11 Prymorsky Boulevard +38 (048) 705-87-77 Maristella 4* 2A Chervonykh Zor Street +38 (048) 772-32-02 M1 Club Hotel 5* 1 Lidersivsky Boulevard +38 (048) 705-88-77 Morskoy Hotel 4* 1/1 Kryshtalevyi Lane +38 (0482) 33-90-90 Mozart Hotel 4* 13 Lanzheronivska Street +38 (0482) 37-77-77 Odesskiy Dvorik 4* 19 Uspenska Street +38 (048) 777-72-71 Orange Hotel 3* 1a Hretska Street +38 (048) 730-60-30 orangehotelodessa

Otrada Hotel 5* 11 Zatyshna Straeet +38 (0482) 33-06-98

Star Hostel 5 Osipova Street +38 (050) 954-94-94

Palace Del Mar 5* 1 Kryshtalevyi Lane +38 (0482) 30-19-00


Palais Royal Boutique-Hotel 3* 10 Lanzheronivska Street +38 (048) 737-88-81 Panorama De Luxe 5* 6/8 Mukachivskyi Lane +38 (048) 705-70-55 Poet Art Hotel 4* 28 Zhukovskoho Street +38 (048) 771-17-06 Ribas 3 Deribasivska Street +38 (048) 783-83-77

Dr. Mozart 18 Polska Street +38 (048) 777-15-10 Grand Marine Medical Centre 5 Yuzhnosanatorniy lane Residential estate ‘Sovinyon’ +38 (048) 757-90-99 Odrex 69/71 Raskidaylovska Street +38 (048) 730-00-30 Oxford 33 Zhukovskoho Street +3 (048) 725-55-00 NIGHT CLUB

Royal Street 27 Deribasivska Street +3 (048) 777-29-99

Art-club Shkaf 32 Hretska Street +38 (048) 232-50-17

Uno Design Hotel 17 Rishelievska Street +38 (048) 729-70-50

Bourbon Rock Bar $$ 8/10 Katerynenska Street +38 (048) 796-10-07

Vintage Hotel 55 Uspenska Street +38(048) 73 78 300

Central bar $$$ 3 Katerynynska Square +38 (048) 725-58-58 centralbarodessa

Villa le Premier 5* 3 Vannyi lane +38 (048) 705-74-74 Volna Hotel 5 Langheron Beach +38 (048) 789-38-40 HOSTEL 3D Hostel 4 Mayakovskoho Lane +38 (048) 770-37-10 Chemodan Hostel 8 Bunina Street +38 (068) 637-69-40 Life Hostel Odessa 52 Gretska Street, 12 Apt. +38 (097) 512-81-02 Loft Hostel 9 Chervonyi Lane +38 (048) 759-99-59

Morgan Club $$ 30 Zhukovskoho Street +38 (048) 728-84-82 Park Residence 85 Frantsuzky Boulevard +38 (048) 780-03-00 P1 Prosecco&Crudo Bar 1 Lidersivskyi Boulevard (M1 Club Hotel) +38 (048) 705-88-70 The Roastery by Odessa $$ Arkadia Parkway +38 (093) 787-87-85 Tihiy Bar 19 Hretska Street +38 (048) 700-13-19

Odessa Listings RENTAL CARS Avis Rent a Car&Leasing 25 Tsentralnyi Airport Street +38 (067) 218-21-41 Autobond ѕ Hretska Square 602 Office +38 (048) 700-39-99 VRC 16B Bunina Street +38 (048) 734-57-77 Master Car 7 Osipova Street +38 (048) 775-22-99 RESTAURANT / CAFE / PUB Belleville cafе 8/3 Shevchenkо Avenue +38 (048) 757-85-57 Benedikt. World of breakfasts $$ 19 Sadova Street +38 (048) 759-99-95 Bernardazzi $$$ 15 Bunina Street +38 (048) 785-55-85 BISTEKKA. Steakhouse&Bar 12 Deribasovska Street +38 (048) 737-57-07 Steakhouse-Bar619422038078936 Bize $$ 26 Lanzheronivska Street +38 (048) 784-02-68 Bratia Gril $$ 17 Derybasivska Street Arkadia Parkway +38 (067) 599-33-99 Bodega 2K $ 32 Hretska Street +38 (096) 524-16-01 Budapest $$$ 34 Zhukovskoho Street +38 (048) 787-86-86 Casa Nova $$ 4 Deribasivska Street +38 (0482) 33-54-55 Caesar Restaurant $$ 10 Deribasovska Street +38 (048) 740-45-45

City Garden Restraunt&Lounge $$ 10/12 Havanna Street +38 (048) 702-88-11 Cooper Burgers $$ 19 Hretska Street +38 (048) 700-13-19 CooperBurgers

Jazzy Buzzy $$ 19 Uspenska Street +38 (048) 777-20-31 Jardin French Restaurant $$$ 10 Havanna Street +38 (048) 700-14-71

Corvin Pub $$ 17 Lanzheronivska Street +38 (0482) 33-88-00

Kadorr Restaurants $$$ 66/3 Frantsuzky Boulevard +38 (048) 705-99-01

CUBE Un/Healthy Bar 10 Rishelievska Street +38 (063) 378-44-26

Kumanets 7 Havanna Street +38 (0482) 37-69-46

De Vine restaurant 1 Soborna square +38 (048) 793-04-73 DeVineOdessa

Klara-Bara $$ 28 Preobrazhenska Street +38 (0482) 37-51-08

Dizyngoff $$ 5 Katerynynska Square +380 (050) 542-42-16 Eleven Dogs $$ 11 Havanna Street +38 (048) 788-66-88 elevendogs11 Fanconi 15/17 Katerynivska Street +38 (048) 234-66-66 Forty Five Booze&Bakery $$ 1 Katerynynska Square +38 (095) 045-45-45 cafefortyfive Fratelli $$ 17 Hretska Street +38 (048) 738-48-48 fratelli.odessa

Kotelok mussel bar $$ 17 Sadova Street +38 (048) 736-60-30 kotelokodessa Larec $ 1/1 Viry Kholodnoi Square +38 (048) 726-04-09 Le Grand Cafe Bristol $$$ 15 Pushkinska Street +38 (048) 796-59-00 Lustdorf $$ 140V Lustdorfska Rode +38 (048) 777-96-77 Maman $$ 18 Lanzheronivska Street +38 (048) 711-70-35 Maristella Restaurant $$$ 2A Chervonykh Zor Street +38 (048) 771-27-91

Frebule $$ 21A Frantsuzky Boulevard +38 (048) 788-16-68

Meduzza $$ 25 Arkadia Beach +38 (093) 591-07-77

Gogol Mogol 2 Nekrasova Lane +38 (048) 784-55-84

Molodost $$ 19 Hretska Street +38 (048) 704-13-19 bar.Molodost

Grand Prix $$ 24 Bunina Street +38 (048) 785-07-01

Mom in Cube $$ 17 Leontovicha Street +38 (048) 783-50-17

Invogue Cafe $$ 25 Katerynivska Street invoguecafe

Omega Three $$ 5 Lanzheronivska Street +38 (048) 796-89-81

Irish Pub Mick O’Neills $$ 13 Derybasivska Street +38 (048) 721-53-33

Onegin Art Cafe 54 Pushkinska Street +38 (048) 784-03-10 Oneginartcafe

Palace Del Mar Restaurant $$$ 1 Kryshtalevyi Lane +38 (0482) 30-19-00 Pivnoy Sad $$ 6 Havanna Street +38 (048) 777-88-88 Pizza & Grill 13 Vorontsovskyi Lane +38 (048) 770-08-07 Prichal №1 $$ 3 Otrada Beach +38 (048) 722-33-11 Profitroli the cafe cake shop $$ 17 Bunina Street +38 (048) 785-85-86 22 French Avenue +38 (048) 784-84-33 8a Shevchenko Avenue +38 (048) 701-80-80 Salieri $$ 14 Lanzheronivska Street +38 (048) 725-00-00 San Michele 8 Mayakovskoho Lane +38 (048) 759-69-58 Sherlock Cafe $$ 11 Bunina Street +38 (0482) 32-12-00 Sherlock.Odessa Silence espresso-bar 1A Gretska Street +38 (048) 737-68-68 espressobar Terrace. Sea View $$ 1B Lanzheron Beach +38 (048) 777-88-86 terraceseaview The Churchill 1 Sabansky lane +380 (67) 711-03-10 The-Churchill The Dom Restaurant $$ 55 Uspenska Street +38 (068) 808-08-80 The Fitz 6 Katerynivska Street +38 (068) 810-20-70 The-Fitz-998515800187366 Tokyo House $ 11 Risheljevska Street +38 (048) 785-09-09

Traveler’s Coffee $$ 14 Derybasivska Street +38 (094) 917-54-07 True Restaurant 1 Sabansky lane +38 (048) 799-77-97

Invogue Fashion Group 25 Katerynivska Street +38 (048) 731-47-67 invogueodessa

Tulka $ 46 Koblevska Street +38 (0482) 33-32-31

Isabel Garcia Arkadiyska Alley store №62 +38 (096) 137-19-26 City-Centre, 2, Nebesnoy Sotni Ave +38 (097) 492-95-92

Venskyi Shtrudel 17 Lanzheronivska Street +38 (048) 796-96-99

Frey Wille 29 Katerynivska Street +38 (048) 714-48-78

White Whalle $$ 3/7 Vitse-Admirala Zhukova Street +38 (097) 058-80-83 whitewhale.od

Kokon 31 Hretska Street +38 (048) 705-50-87 TRAVEL AGENCY

Zelen 85 Kanatna Street +38 (098) 878-37-00

Avers-Tour 4 Spiridonivska Street +38 (048) 700-54-81


Navigator 7 Mayakovskoho Lane +38 (0482) 34-38-87

Ark SPA Palace 1A Henuezka Street +38 (0482) 32-83-28 Dukovski baths 28/1 Balkovska Street +38 (0482) 33-34-54 Fitness stadium 1 Marazliivska Street (Chernomorets stadium) +38 (048) 701-72-72 Maristella 2A Chervonykh Zor Street +38 (048) 772-32-02 Nemo Fit&SPA 25 Lanzheron Beach +38 (048) 720-70-77 Yoga Maharadj 12 Bunina Street +38 (048) 709-20-00 Wellness SPA Formula 12 Tchaikovsky Lane +38 (048) 728-99-21 STORE Barbara Bui 39 Kateryninska street +38 (048) 722-77-77 Book 3/7 Vitse-Admirala Zhukova +38 (063) 410-33-36

TPP Tour 19 Troitska Street 03 (048) 722-55-55 tpptour.odessa Tudoy Sudoy 6 Nekrasova Lane +38 (048) 700-60-50 Join Up 1A Tamozhena Square +38 (048) 737-79-77 Pina Colada 35/37 Risheljevska Street +38 (048) 715-50-50 KYIV Arbequina Restaurant 4 Borisa Grinchenko Street +38 (044) 223-96-18 Indie bookstore Harms 45a Volodymyrska Street +38 (068) 308-88-93 Odessa Restaurant 114 Veluka Vasilkovska Street +38 (044) 238-84-13 Hilton Hotel 30 Tarasa Shevchenko Boulevard +38 (044) 393-54-00 hilton-kyiv



Musician Rozhden Anusi muses on his favorite place in Odessa: The PSrec Art Space be for any musician – is probably the recording studio. It’s the place where I truly am able to focus my feelings into a composition. PSrec was created to be a cooperative household for creative people. It houses an architecture bureau, a recording studio – that I use – and a dance studio that focuses on hip-hop dancing and other street styles. This unique work place was built by my friends; it has a basketball court with a fence covered with graffiti. In some magical way, the kids on the floor above catch on to the creativity at the basketball court and start singing or rapping. I first came to this creative space to write my first single Truth from the album of the same name. The power of the place helped to push this album into its imaginative shape. Since that day, I have loved these walls marked by tags and that simple, steel staircase that takes you to the microphone.

photo by Pavel Fedorov

Odessa loves and fulfills me and my mood immediately changes as soon as I approach the city limits.

When I come back home – all of my collected problems and stresses from the outside world automatically fall away. When I get to my house, my mother and father are waiting for me with dinner ready. As soon as I call my friends, they start mixing up cocktails for us to enjoy.

Odessa loves and fulfills me and my mood immediately changes as soon as I approach the city limits

Odessa is home to beaches and the sea, and also food which arrived here from various countries from all around the world – this bright spot on this planet has so much to offer. Odessa is not just streets and squares, houses and sights however. First and foremost, Odessa is the people who live here, the people who appreciate life, good taste, and

style. Odessa becomes a second home for everyone who has ever been influenced by her motherly hospitality.


I wrote my first album and also recorded it in this city. I fully intend to come back here again to write my second album. The most valuable place for me in this city – as it must

Odessa Listings


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.