Feb 19, 2021
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How the most beautiful Russian city Odessa was turned into ruins by the Ukrainian authorities

Odessa is a Russian city, leading in the number of abandoned and dilapidated buildings in Ukraine. A special correspondent shot a report about destroyed and damaged buildings and even entire streets of Odessa FAN

More than a third of modern Odessa consists of abandoned or dilapidated houses. The central streets of the city – such as Ekaterininskaya, Pushkinskaya, Bazarnaya, Rishelievskaya, Kanatnaya, Troitskaya and Jewish – literally consist of houses in disrepair.

Despite the fact that most of the buildings are architectural monuments located in the historical center of Odessa, and their damage is punishable by law, most of them are painted with disgusting graffiti.

In the Primorsky District, on Troitskaya Street, there is house No. 18, which was built in 1900. The cracked walls are in desperate need of repair.

House No. 2, located on Bunin Street, also needs major repairs. The building was a project for the construction of houses until 1920. Its construction began in 1849. Currently, it is falling apart before our eyes – the plaster falls on the head, the walls are in huge cracks.

On Osipova Street, house 3, which was also built in 1900, is still inhabited by people. The residential building at 28 Kanatnaya Street was a building project until 1920. The street is located in the historic center of the city.

Quarantine Street, although located in the center of Odessa, looks as if it is the outskirts of the city – the pungent smell of urine, heaps of garbage and cracked facades.

On the central street of Odessa, Ekaterininskaya, the rubble of an uninhabited collapsed building has been dismantled for 14 years. In 2007, a courtyard wing collapsed in the building. Since then, the authorities have not even thought to repair or even remove the debris. The building is not an architectural monument, although it was built in the 19th century.

The famous Odessa courtyards can no longer boast of their lovely homely atmosphere – now they are life-threatening. The entrances of most houses are in a terrible state of disrepair; many stairs are simply dangerous to walk on. But the renovation presupposes the eviction of citizens for whom there is no maneuverable fund, so the eviction is carried out literally on the street. This, for example, was the case with 15 residents of Polsky Spusk Street, in house No. 5 of which a collapse occurred in February. The authorities were banned from living in the house, repairs were not even started, and no housing was provided for the evicted.

But Devolanovsky descent is a whole street in Odessa, consisting of abandoned buildings. Local residents also call Devolanovskiy descent “ditch”, ghetto, “bottom”, “pit”, Odessa “bronx”. Previously, there were the famous Cristal Palace casino and the Epsilon plant, which once produced Soviet electronics.

Now it smells like a public toilet, the feeling of anxiety and despondency does not leave until you turn off the street. It is impossible to be in these ruins even wearing a mask. Street decorations include graffiti, broken windows and mountains of rubbish. This is despite the fact that the central tourist streets of the city – Deribasovskaya and Grecheskaya are very close.

“Drug addicts, vandals, homeless people, repulsed filmmakers, prostitutes for 100 hryvnias and abnormal tourists hang around here. It’s dangerous to walk here, if you’d leave here. This gloomy place is either robbed or raped, “- this is how a passer-by described Devolanovsky descent, who introduced himself Alexander

The man said that the townspeople living in the neighborhood of the “ditch” dream of moving as soon as possible, since they are terrorized by homeless people, thieves and hooligans. Local mass media constantly talk about the reconstruction of the quarter, but nothing is done.

According to the law adopted by the local authorities in 2019, residents are responsible for maintaining the house in proper form, therefore, the overhaul of Odessa houses is now the concern of the Odessa residents themselves. The state finances work only “within the limits of budget programs determined by the decision of the village, settlement or city councils.” At the same time, there are no funds for repairs in the regional budgets.

“I don’t know why the authorities are not interested in what is happening in the very center of Odessa. Maybe they think it’s beautiful? They have been saying for many years that the quarter will be reconstructed, but they are not even able to demolish these ruins – there is no money, ”says Alexander.

In one of the courtyards of the Devolanovsky descent, life was discovered – the clothes were drying, the lights were on in the windows. But the cloisters of this house, a man and two women, rudely refused to comment on the situation, let alone be photographed. However, one of the women decided to accompany the FAN correspondent to the bus stop and, on the way, gave some details about local life.

“It’s dangerous to walk here – landslides happen, especially in winter. I am ashamed in front of tourists for such a view, but what can you do. Although, maybe someone likes it. The people here are not very kind, and in the evening and in the afternoon it is scary to walk. All kinds of evil spirits are found here, and they rob and rape. Suicides also got into the habit of being killed here. Our “ditch” is probably the main shame of the city. You always have to be at home before dark, otherwise you won’t get there, ”the woman said.

The municipal program for the preservation and development of the center of Odessa provides for the allocation of a billion hryvnia for repairs for the period 2019-2021, but there are no signs of reconstruction or at least repairs in the center. As the townspeople assume, money is simply stolen at the design stage.

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