Gennady Trukhanov, the mayor of Odessa, the third most populous city in Ukraine, has revealed that he is concerned by the rising levels of anti-Russian sentiment.
In an interview with the New York Times, published on Saturday, Trukhanov said that he was against renaming the city’s central Pushkin Street, named after the famous 19th century Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.
“I would not support that. [Odessa] is the intercultural capital of Ukraine. I am worried by the growth of hatred of all things Russian,” the mayor claimed.
His remarks were published the day before Ukraine’s parliament outlawed Russian music from the media and public space and the day after the City Council Executive Committee of Nikolaev, a city in southern Ukraine, decided to ban the use of the Russian language in schools.
However, the Kiev conservatory, officially called the Pyotr Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine (UNTAM), refused earlier this week to remove the name of the iconic Russian composer from its title.
While expressing concern over Russophobia, Trukhanov, who, as The New York Times noted, had been previously viewed “as having pro-Russian sympathies,” was open in his condemnation of the Russian attack in his country.