Meeting between the twin cities of Odessa and Oulu was scheduled a week ago on Wednesday, when Russia’s attack was only a threat. Original agenda for the meeting – festives of twin cities 65 years collaboration and cultural co-operation – changed to status update on how the City of Oulu could help Odessa through the war.
“We didn’t expect that Russia would attack Ukraine. It was a shock to us. But there is no question about it: we will defend our country until the last man standing. We will defend our city Odessa and every citizen in our city is united. Everyone is committed to help our army in all possible ways – not only in Odessa, but throughout the whole Ukraine. We are grateful of all the support European countries have given to Ukraine, we really feel that you and the whole world are on our side”, Mayor of Odessa, Gennadiy Trukhanov says.
He doubts that the ordinary Russian people have enough rightful information about what is happening in Ukraine at the moment.
“If only Russian people would know the barbaric behavior of the Russian army in Ukraine – attacks towards civilians with missiles – they would not approve it”, Trukhanov believes.
Ukraine is sovereign
Mayor Trukhanov underlines that Ukraine is sovereign, a peace loving European country.
“Our freedom and sovereignty is under threat. We will defend it fiercely. We are not afraid, but convinced that we will win this war. The Ukrainian people and our government is grateful for all the support – financial and material – that the European countries, Finland and Oulu are addressing us at the moment”, he states.
The future view
Mayor Trukhanov is convinced that Ukraine will be the winner of this war.
“I am sure that we will be fostering our relationship with our European partners in the future. And the time will come, when we are able to continue our collaboration between Oulu and Odessa!”, he states.
City of Oulu supports Ukraine
On Monday the city of Oulu decided to give 100 000 euros financial aid to Ukraine through the Red Cross. Up to date Finnish municipalities have raised over 2 million euros for Ukraine in addition to medical equipment and other necessities.
Public buildings have been illuminated with Ukraine flag colors blue and yellow across Europe, as well as in Oulu.
On Saturday candles will be lit for children in war zones in Ukraine at the Oulu theater starting from 3pm.