Odessa, on the north-west corner of the Black Sea, is the only Russian-speaking town in the Ukraine not dominated by Russians.
It is an international trading town, built up by Europeans with an ethnically varied population — very unusual for the Russian-speaking world. It is difficult to describe the ethnic makeup of Odessa because so many people are mixed, but the three main groups are Russians, Ukrainians and Jewish people. (My father was Russian, my mother mostly Ukrainian.) The Jewish people speak Russian, but they don’t necessarily feel Russian; generally, we also don’t feel that people in Crimea, or Kiev, are like us. Each regions in Ukraine has significant differences.