#FundReise Day 8 – Odesa

12.12.2022 | cb — No comments

Sibylle has spontaneously decided to go to Odesa. She can accompany a friend travelling back to her hometown. Odesa has recently been hit hard by Russian artillery. For months there might be problems with electricity, heating and hot water. How are people there?

This is the blog of Sibylle von Tiedemann, co-founder of Munich Kyiv Queer. She no longer wanted to just watch what’s happening in Ukraine and travelled there. In Munich’s twin city Kyiv and Odesa, she visits our friends and partners, writes this blog and collects donations.

Power: Sorry, what?
Temperature: Overheated
Donations: 4.818,67 out of 18.000 Euros
To feel and watch: Generators
All blog posts: Sibylle’s Charity Trip to Ukraine

So, Odesa! After everything went so well in Kyiv, I’ve been thinking for a while now about visiting some other city. I’m already in Ukraine, have travelled over 2,000 kilometres, and Kyiv just doesn’t reveal the whole picture about this war.

When I hear that Olha, who recently visited me in Munich, is about to travel from Kyiv to Odesa, I decide to join her. There seems to be a free seat in her night train compartment.

Olha and me on the night train from Kyiv to Odesa. Photo: Sibylle von Tiedemann

Of course, I am trying to clarify whether I take a special risk to travel there. A risk that goes beyond the regular danger a war represents. I can hardly believe I am writing this here.

However, no one can tell me exactly. Probably not, everyone says. Except for the fact that Odesa suffered considerable damage to its energy infrastructure on Saturday and will be more or less without power for months…

Kyiv’s central station, departure board with the occupied territories. Photo: Sibylle von Tiedemann

At Kyiv’s main station, they scan my luggage and passengers have to pass through a security gate like at the airport. I find it impressive to discover a departure board displaying even cities that have been occupied by Russia.

Kherson has already been liberated, you can travel there. That’s the message here. A promise for the future.

I share my travel plans with everyone….

To be on a trip with a good friend like Olha makes even night trains comfortable. Olha went to a boulder centre in Kyiv for the weekend with a friend and is now heading home. Since I don’t want to worry anyone in Germany, I decide to inform everbody about my journey.

My idea is: In case something happens to Kyiv, I want everyone to know that I am in Odesa. They might feel reassured, I hope. In reality, Odesa has massively been attacked on Saturday. Electricity, heating, hot water will probably be out for months, and instead of calming people, I get disturbed messages.

…and people in Munich get irritated

I quickly put aside the thought that the train could be bombed. That is unrealistic and has never been happened before.

Odd situation. I’m sitting on a train full of people who want to go to Odesa. I hear great stories about the boulder weekend in Kyiv and get text messages from people in Munich whe are worried about me.

So I try to calm down my friends a bit, while Olha enthusiastically plans my first day in Odesa: She proposes to go for a guided tour through the catacombs (as if it wasn’t dark enough already) or to attend an evening training at the local Krav Maga club. I have been training Krav Maga in Munich for months now. I really love it.

Breakfast for me. Video: Sibylle von Tiedemann

We arrive in Odesa on time at 6.15 a.m. Olha takes me home and notices from a distance: “Oh, it looks like there’s light in the flat!” And indeed, without even being remotely part of the city’s critical infrastructure, her home has energy.

Olha prepares kasha for me. This is kind of a porridge. It’s incredibly sweet of her and that’s why I’m recording this VIDEO. I hope that it will calm things down a bit in Munich, when they understand that we are just following our daily routine here, too.

Hotel Ekaterina in the morning sun. Photo: Sibylle von Tiedemann

After the breakfast, Olha drives to work and I’m going to my hotel. The bus is incredibly crowded because the electric trams are not working, of course. Before getting off, Olha instructs another passenger to let me know when I have to step out. He’s waving back to me when I leave the bus stop.

The Junior Suite costs 18 euros

In Odesa, I insisted to take a hotel room. However, if it’s located near the beach or has WiFi is not as interesting to me now as the question of whether there’s light and what the situation is with bunkers. I can’t find any information about that on the hotel’s website. So I simply choose an occasion in the centre. The junior suite costs 18 euros a night. War prices.

“I don’t know how long you’ve been in the country,” says the friendly receptionist and adds: “If you want to take a shower, you should do so right away. Now we have electricity, so we enjoy light and hot water, but this can change fast.” For a short moment, I wince. It’s just a fact that you have to accept.

Odesa does not have a metro and therefore you cannot hide down there as in Kyiv. Various shops indicate where to find the nearest shelters.

Since the Russian attacks on Saturday, Odesa has serious problems with supplying power. It may happen that while you are sitting in a restaurant suddenly the lights go out. This is what the VIDEO here shows.

When it gets unexpectedly dark. Video: Sibylle von Tiedemann

But Odesa also has generators. They bring light, they make noise, some of them stink. Our walk, as seen here in the VIDEO, is not necessarily cosy.

Does it bother me? Honestly, it does. Do I say anything? No. Olha is a good host and shows me her city after work.

A generator in the streets of Odesa. Video: Sibylle von Tiedemann

With our headlamps on, we stroll through the noisy city with all its generators. Me, at least, I feel distain for the Russian aggressor.

When I think about the upcoming winter, I get scared.

Sibylle in Odesa. Photo: Sibylle von Tiedemann

#FundReise #MunichKyivLove #18.000 Euro

Sibylle collects money for

Individual help

Munich Kyiv Queer has its own fundraising campaign via to support people in Ukraine with whom we have worked closely over the past ten years. Keyword: #FundReise. They are our friends and partners. We know them personally and we miss them. We can help fast, directly and unbureaucratically.

Help for War Victims

The association “Bridge to Kiev” supports people in need, especially children and large families.

Recipient: Brücke nach Kiew e.V.
Bank: Raiffeisenbank München Süd eG
IBAN: DE74 7016 9466 0000 0199 50
Keyword: #FundReise

A donation receipt can be issued for donations of 200 euros and more.

Help for LGBTIQ* organisations

To support LGBTIQ* in Ukraine we have helped set up the Alliance Queer Emergency Aid Ukraine, in which around 40 German LGBTIQ* Human Rights organisations are involved. All these groups have access to very different Human Rights organisations in Ukraine and use funds for urgently needed care or evacuation of queer people. Every donation helps and is used 100 percent to benefit queer people in Ukraine. Donate here


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