The Ukrainian military lacks ammunition to defend the port city of Odessa, says Governor Marchenko during a visit by Minister of State for Culture Roth. With the help of the World Heritage status for the old town, this wants to create a protective shield for the cultural identity of Ukraine.
During the visit of Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth to Odessa, the governor of the region, Maksym Marchenko, pointed out the need for military support. "We have the same problem here as in all of Ukraine," Marchenko said in an interview with the Green politician. "We need certain types of anti-tank, anti-aircraft and anti-ship weapons," the military said. "The reserve of ammunition we have is not enough to defend the city."
Roth and Marchenko also spoke about the blockade of grain shipments through Ukraine's main seaport. Around 20 million tons are stored in the silos. According to Marchenko, the start of the next harvest is in two weeks. According to Marchenko, Ukraine currently only sees a solution via a green corridor through the blockade by the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Marchenko stressed that a guarantee from Russia was necessary.
The grain shipments could be phased out if no Russian warships came. The question, however, is which guarantees Russia can credibly give. "For the green corridor, Russia must clear the Black Sea region," said Marchenko. This takes two weeks. Roth is in Odessa at the invitation of the Ukrainian Minister of Culture Olexandr Tkachenko. The city is not only considered a cultural metropolis, but is also of strategic importance, mainly because of its large port. Recently there were reports of rocket attacks in the Odessa area.
Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth therefore sees the cultural identity of the country as threatened. "This war is also a war against culture, against the culture of democracy," said the Greens politician. Roth is the first cabinet member to visit Odessa since Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine began. After more than three months of war, 375 cultural institutions were destroyed or damaged, said Roth. 137 churches are also affected. "It becomes clear that it's about attacking Ukraine's cultural identity."
Roth promised the country support. "We are now trying to set an international example by supporting the nomination of the old town of Odessa as a World Heritage City." The international community must take responsibility accordingly. This may also be an additional protective shield against attacks.
She also spoke out in favor of giving Ukraine candidate status for the European Union. It is "also about values that we share: the values of freedom, justice and a life in peace". The Minister of State pointed out that Germany is also supporting the digitization of archive holdings in Ukraine. "Libraries and old archives are also attacked here, that is, the memory of cities, of communities, of a society."