‘We told ourselves it wasn’t shelling’. The early days of Russia’s invasion through the eyes of Odesa’s residents

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Odesa was among the first cities hit on February 24, when Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The city has been continually shelled since the outbreak of hostilities. Prior to announcing the invasion, Vladimir Putin vowed to punish those responsible for the bloodshed at Odesa’s Trade Unions House in 2014. Now, Odesa residents are seeking safety in bomb shelters and are enlisting in territorial defense groups. In a report for Meduza, local journalist Mikhail Shtekel shares stories of the early days of the fighting in Odesa from the people living through it.

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