The main Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, published an interview with the mayor of Odesa Hennadiy Trukhanov on August 29, who revealed his opposition to the demolition of the monument to Russia’s Catherine II and his openness for compromise with  Russian invaders.

“I am against the demolition of statues. Even if we destroy monuments, history does not change. I know that a petition with 25,000 signatures has been collected, but I am waiting. With that kind of logic, should I also remove the monument to Pushkin or Gagarin? It makes no sense,” he told Italian readers.

This mayor’s personal statement is probably based on the opinion of many Odessans, who do not approve of the petition to place the statue of an American gay porn actor in place of the German-born Empress who founded Odesa.

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It is worth reminding that Odesa sent an official request to UNESCO to include her historical city centre in the World Heritage List, which makes it inappropriate to touch any historical monument.

Moreover, Trukhanov said that he believes Ukraine will be victorious and noted that Odesa has not been fiercely bombed like Kharkiv, because Vladimir Putin wants to conquer it untouched:

“Yes, he will try again: he is obsessed with our city. He does not want to bomb it like Kharkiv, he wants it intact. I am not a pessimist, I believe that we will win in the end. But the war remains long and difficult. Our offensive on Kherson is slowly under way, and Putin continues to hope for the encirclement of Odesa from the north in order to connect with “Transnistria”.

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According to the mayor, the time has come to take the path of negotiations and try to find a compromise, otherwise the war could last for years.

“I think it is important to act politically, because the lives of millions of people are at stake. I don’t want to be misunderstood. Obviously, I dream of returning to our borders in 1991, but we need to negotiate step by step, gradually seek compromises, and avoid confrontation,” Trukhanov added.

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With regard to the fierce debate created in the Ukrainian media on this topic, Trukhanov called the news that he advocated negotiations with the Russian Federation a provocation by the Russian media.

“I am quoting Russian news agencies: ‘Odesa Mayor Hennadiy Trukhanov called for negotiations with Russia.’ I am forced to officially state that this is a lie from the first to the last word. I can only note with pleasure that the media of Kremlin occupiers resort to fakes, whose purpose is obvious – to incline Ukraine to negotiations,” as published on his Facebook page.

Trukhanov reprimanded the Ukrainian media for reprinting the Russian fake.

“In order to avoid further idiotic manipulation, I am forced to briefly repeat the same words that I have been saying since February 24 – the occupiers must be expelled from the entire territory of our country. We will fight until our final victory. The president is the leader of the nation. Crimea is Ukraine. We believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine! Victory will be ours!”, he wrote by way of conclusion.

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