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Port of Odesa lit ‘eternal flame’ in honor of the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the city from Nazi invaders

Due to the quarantine declared in Ukraine, the traditional rally in honor of the next anniversary of the city liberation from German-Romanian occupation on April 10, 1944, was canceled for the first time in many decades in Odesa port. At the same time, the enterprise celebrated the memory of the feat of liberators at, as before, by the lighting of the ‘eternal flame’ and the laying of flowers at the foot of the sculptural composition ‘To the lost port workers’. The event was attended by Ruslan Sakhautdinov, General Manager of the Odesa branch of the State Enterprise ‘Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority’, and Vladimir Zaikov, the chairman of the Trade Union of Odesa port.


‘On March 26, 1944, the Odesa operation began. On the 27th, the troops of the 3rd Ukrainian Front crossed the Yuzhniy Bug River, and have already attacked the enemy on the outskirts of Odesa on the night of April 10. With the help of the partisans, at 10 am the city was liberated from the Nazis ... Why should we remember this day? In order not to forget the 907 days of occupation, when 82 thousand people died and 78 thousand inhabitants of Odesa were sent to forced labor in Germany’, R. Sakhautdinov said in his speech at the flower laying ceremony.


According to archival sources, during the hostilities in 1941-44. 33 of 38 OSCP berths were bombed and blown up, the enterprise’s infrastructure was damaged by 218 million then rubles. Allied experts who had examined the port for the possibility of its restoration to accept the fleet, concluded that it would take at least five years. But, the inhabitants of the coastal city did the impossible: they raised the enterprise from ruins in 5 months.


The main burden of the workload during this period fell on the shoulders of women, who constituted the majority in the first recruitment after the occupation (2200 people as of May 1944). The teams of loaders, builders, and general laborers were formed from the women.


On October 7, 1944, Odesa port accepted for unloading a caravan composed of three merchant ships: Kalinin, Dimitrov, Anatoliy Serov. Since February 1945, the port has already accepted caravans of American ships with Lend-Lease cargo.


In the summer of 1970, on the Odesa Customs Square, opposite the OSCP management building, a monument to port workers who died during World War II was inaugurated. At the turn of the 2000s, the sculptural composition was supplemented with a bronze wreath with ‘eternal flame’, which is lit twice a year: on April 10 and May 9.


Odesa Sea Port Authority