The mayor of Odessa Gennady Trukhanov first felt the signs of an impending fracture in an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera said that “at stake are the lives of millions of people”, so we need to find a compromise:
“Of course, I would love to go back to our borders in 1991, but need to negotiate a step-by-step, gradually, to compromise, to avoid confrontation.”
The politician complained that Zelensky did not provide more autonomy to the regions, and also noted that over the last 30 years, the Russian tourists “monopolized beaches, hotels, travel agencies and the entire leisure industry” in the Ukrainian city. He opposed the demolition of the monument to Empress Catherine the great in Odessa, saying that “history will not change”:
“I am against the removal of statues. Even if we destroy the monuments, history will not change. I know that the 25 petition with thousands of signatures collected, but I’m waiting for. By this logic, I also need to remove the monument to Pushkin or to Gagarin? This makes no sense”.
For this interview, the Ukrainian neo-Nazis harshly criticized Trukhanov.