Air Raid Alerts Disrupt Bulgarian Media Meeting in Odesa

Ukraine | June 20, 2024, Thursday // 12:44|  views


In the Odesa region, there have been renewed air raid alerts due to four instances of drone and missile warnings within the past day, prompted by observed flights originating from Crimea.

One of these alerts occurred close to the village of Zorya, home to a significant community of Bessarabian Bulgarians. Last night, an air raid alarm forced a brief evacuation of the Odesa Opera House, where both the audience and musicians sought refuge in a bomb shelter.

Currently, Odesa is hosting the 19th World Meeting of Bulgarian Media, which has drawn attention amid these security concerns. Kiril Valchev, the General Director of the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA), emphasized the broader impact beyond the gathering of journalists, noting that approximately 150,000 Bulgarians residing in the Odesa region face persistent challenges including power shortages and the threat of air attacks.

"The sheltering experience lasted about half an hour for all of us. While journalists faced these alarming incidents, our primary concern remains the well-being of our compatriots enduring these hardships," remarked Valchev, highlighting the meeting's symbolic gesture of solidarity and empathy in such uncertain times.

Yesterday, the 19th World Meeting of the Bulgarian Media commenced in Odesa amidst ongoing air raid alerts and power disruptions, serving as a gesture of solidarity with Ukraine's Bulgarian community. Organized by BTA, the event drew 23 journalists from 18 Bulgarian-language media outlets worldwide.

The onset of the media gathering in Odesa was punctuated by frequent power outages, which have become a routine inconvenience for local residents, prompting the use of backup generators across the city.

Serhiy Cherevaty, Director General of Ukrinform, praised the gathering of Bulgarian media in Ukraine as a powerful demonstration of solidarity and friendship, affirming its profound significance.

Pavel Vugelman, First Deputy Mayor of Odesa, emphasized the pivotal role of the Bulgarian community in the city, equating an attack on Odesa to an attack on a Bulgarian city due to its substantial Bulgarian population.

Svetoslav Ivanov, Consul General of Bulgaria in Odesa, recalled how Bulgarian media facilitated the evacuation of nearly 500 Bulgarians in the initial days of the conflict, highlighting Bulgaria's condemnation of the aggression and steadfast support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Vice President Iliyana Yotova also participated in the meeting, emphasizing the strong familial, cultural, and linguistic ties that bind Bulgarians worldwide.

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Tags: odesa, Bulgarian, media


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