On March 16th, 2023, Mayor Gennadiy Trukhanov of Odesa, Ukraine visited Yokohama City in Japan to express appreciation for the support Yokohama has shown Odesa during the difficulties it has faced due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and to discuss post-war reconstruction.
Odesa and Yokohama have enjoyed a close sister city relationship since 1965, and for over 50 years these cities in Japan and Ukraine have supported each other through cultural exchange and cooperation, international delegations, and more. However, since the Russian invasion Ukraine in February 2022, Odesa and many other cities in Ukraine have been put in dire straits and subjected to the realities of Russian attack.
In response, Yokohama has shown increased support for its sister city Odesa in its time of need, enacting many programs to support Ukrainians, such as monetary donations to the Ukraine Red Cross, a donation of water purification equipment to Odesa, and a delivery of thousands of cold weather items and clothing to supply and protect Odesa citizens from the harsh winter.
During this visit to Yokohama, Japan, Odesa Mayor Trukhanov gave a speech at the Yokohama City Hall to an audience that included Yokohama Mayor Takeharu Yamanaka, the Yokohama City Council, and online viewers. Mayor Trukhanov focused his speech on expressing his and Odesa’s gratitude to Yokohama for the support the city has provided, and speaking on further strengthening cooperation for post-war reconstruction.
The same day, the Mayors of Yokohama and Odesa signed a “Memorandum of Understanding on Technical Cooperation for Sustainable Urban Development,” the two cities agreeing to work together on the restoration and reconstruction of infrastructure facilities in Odesa. The terms of the MoU indicate that both parties are committed to collaborating in the restoration and reconstruction of urban infrastructure in Odesa and surrounding cities, and will share any essential information related to that mission within the bound of law and security interests, and that the exact method of cooperation and details on implementation will be determined later through separate discussions between the two parties.
This visit has led to Yokohama and Odesa further strengthening relations, and as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, Yokohama has shown that it will continue to work with its ally and sister city Odesa in supporting it through and beyond these difficult times.