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Odessa: Pearl of the Black Sea

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Located on the coast of the Black Sea, 31 kilometers (19 miles) north of the Dniester River and 443 kilometers (275 miles) south of Kyiv, is Odessa – a major seaport and transportation hub of southwestern Ukraine. As the third most populous city of Ukraine, the city of Odessa is also known by other names such as “Pearl of the Black Sea,” “South Capital,” and “Southern Palmyra.” Odessa’s architectural style is uniquely influenced by countries like France and Italy and cover a range of periods, from the Renaissance, to the Classics, to Art Nouveau.

Aside from being a major port, Odessa also has educational centers, museums, and theaters. This includes the renowned Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy research center. The Odessa National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater is considered as one of the most beautiful theaters in the world and is regarded as a significant monument of Eastern Europe.

The entrance to the city of Odessa from the harbor is via the famous Potemkin Stairs. As the Potemkin Stairs connect the harbor to the city, the Black Sea is an important point of access for economic trade and maritime defense for Odessa. Of economic importance, the Black Sea connects eastern European countries with world markets. Odessa accounts for most of the freight turnover for the Black Sea.

The Port of Odessa is one of five major Ukrainian ports. Odessa has modern docks and shipyards that offer ship repair and construction. In addition, there are equipment and facilities to deal with various cargo types, for example, crude oil, vegetable oils, sugar, grains, and fruits. Aside from being a commercial port, the Odessa port is also Ukraine’s naval base.

Recently, our Most Beloved Supreme Master Ching Hai also mentioned the Port of Odessa in relation to global food security. “Because Russia, they control the Black Sea. And the Black Sea is where many of the imported products also come into Ukraine. So if they're not coming, then the Ukrainian people are also short of a lot of things. And if their produce cannot go out to be distributed to other countries or all the organizations, then also the world becomes hungry.”
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