Russian warships have been moving ominously in the sea between Odesa and Crimea. Each morning, Odesa’s remaining residents wake up and check their progress
The tourist cafes are behind barricades. The grand opera house is surrounded by a wall of sandbags. Tank traps block the approaches to the legendary Potemkin steps. Nobody in Odesa can quite believe that Vladimir Putin would launch an assault on this city, a place bound to Russia by family, literary and cultural ties, a place of almost mythical resonance for many Russians.
But then, Putin’s armed forces have done lots of things in recent days that seemed unthinkable just two weeks ago.