Ukraine Situation Deteriorates
The image above is of Odessa's famous opera house in the summer of 2010.This structure, which opened it 1887, replaced an earlier one that had burned down. Among other things, it is noted as the spot where Russian politician Peter Stolypin was assassinatedd prior to World War I.
Unfortunately Odessa has become embroiled in the unrest sweeping eastern Ukraine and some 40 people were killed there recently in clashes between pro-Russian and pro-Ukranian supporters. Odessa is actually west of the Dnieper River, but as a major seaport it has a significant Russian-speaking population. Before World War II is was quite an international city, with large numbers of Jews, Greeks and other non-ethnicUkranians.
I have been trying to follow developments in Ukraine from a distance, and am dismayed at the anti-Russian tone of most of the news reporting here in North America. I'm not taking sides in the conflict, but I would like to see less obviously biased coverage of events there. Perhaps the best way to get the news from both sides is to check Websites such as http://rt.com (Russia Today) for the Russian point of view, and www.unian.info for information with a Ukrainian slant. The latter is especially good for its minute by minute coverage of developments.
So far violence has been relatively contained, and we can hope that continues to be the case. Ukraine is a beautiful country, and it would be a shame if it were to become a battlefield again as it was during World War II. The possibility of violence spreading beyond Ukraine into other parts of eastern Europe is even more disturbing.