Photo by Media Center Ukraine – Odesa: Ilona Remyhaylo, manager of the Palace Del Mar Hotel; Natalia Humeniuk, head of the joint coordination press center of the defense forces of South of Ukraine; Vladyslav Balinsky, ecologist, head of the NGO “Zeleniy list” (Green Leaf); Serhiy Chutkyi, head of mine risk management at the NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association”
August 10, 2023, 15:56

Operational situation at sea has not changed, the word is up to the authorities to open beaches or not – Southern Ukrainian Defense Forces 

The missile threat is still high, and the mine danger off the coast of Odesa region has only increased after the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam was blown up. Natalia Gumenyuk, head of the Joint Coordination Press Center of the Southern Defense Forces, said this at a briefing at the Media Center Ukraine – Odesa on the possibility of opening some beaches in the region for recreation.

“The position of the military is unchanged – the operational situation has not changed, the missile threat is high, the enemy is mainly shelling the region from the sea. Mine danger has increased after the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station dam was blown up. The current has brought many dangerous “surprises” that we do not know about. Storms and currents can raise them from the bottom,” – Humeniuk said.

She added that Russia could have laid new mines to block shipping after withdrawing from the grain deal.

“We have reported all this, and then it’s up to the authorities. Only after all security measures are taken can the beaches be opened,” – the officer warned.

Ecologist Vladyslav Balinsky noted that the beaches of Odesa region are dangerous not only because of mines, but also because of the masses of dirt carried by the current.

“The current is still washing away the pollution that has been accumulating for decades since the creation of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station dam. And there is a danger of this dirt getting into the water area. Exceedances of the norms of some harmful substances in water have already been recorded. Even the trees and bushes brought by the current could have mines entangled in them,” – the expert noted.

Ilona Remigailo, manager of the Palace Del Mar hotel, noted that the business is suffering greatly from the ban on visiting beaches, but is listening to the recommendations of the authorities.

“Our main advantage is the sea. And when people try to book a room, they always ask if they can swim. We answer that, according to the authorities’ decision, swimming is now prohibited. That’s why our hotel is only 30% full, which is very little. If we get permission to swim, we hope that at least in August we will be able to work at least,” – Ilona said.

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