HomeWorld NewsUkraine navy band plays 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' to lift spirits
Ukraine navy band plays 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' to lift spirits
Ukraine navy band plays ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ while hunkering down behind sandbags in Odesa in symbolic act summing up the country’s determination
Residents of Ukraine’s maritime city Odesa are preparing for Russian attack
But a group of navy musicians played ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ to lift spirits
They also put on an impromptu rendition of the Ukrainian national anthem
‘We did not surrender Odesa to Hitler, and we will not surrender it to anyone else,’ said the director of the Odesa Philharmonic
A Ukrainian navy band in Odesa decided to lift the city’s spirits by playing catchy songs in front of sandbags placed to defend against Putin’s invasion.
Footage shows the military musicians blasting out renditions in front of the Odessa National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, surrounded by defenses.
‘We did not surrender Odesa to Hitler, and we will not surrender it to anyone else,’ said Galyna Zitser, director of the Odesa Philharmonic, which on Tuesday put on its first performance since the crisis began, at the request of a local company seeking to celebrate a holiday.
Members of a Ukrainian military band play during a concert held for the residents next to the fortifications near the Odesa Opera and Ballet Theater
The Odesa Philharmonic, which on Tuesday put on its first performance since the crisis began, at the request of a local company seeking to celebrate a holiday
The navy musicians in uniform put on an impromptu rendition of the national anthem, and Bobby McFerrin’s 1980’s chart hit about overcoming tribulations
From time to time they hear the distant sound of explosions as they continue playing
The navy musicians in uniform put on an impromptu rendition of the national anthem, and Bobby McFerrin’s 1980’s chart hit about overcoming tribulations.
‘I can’t say that I’m not scared, I am very scared, especially when we see this news, broken cities, dead soldiers,’ Zitser told Reuters.
‘We pray for the president, for our military, that God would give them the strength and health to protect us.’
The orchestra’s website strikes a similar tone, informing its audiences that concerts are postponed ‘due to the imposition of martial law in Ukraine’ and urging them to stay calm and trust only ‘reliable official sources’ before signing off: ‘Glory to Ukraine!’
Odesa has so far escaped shelling but its one million people are nervously waiting to see if their historic city will be next to suffer the heavy Russian bombardment after Kyiv and Mariupol to the north and east.
The defiance is written in the giant blue and yellow banner ‘Odesa-Ukraine’ draped atop the sandbags in the near-deserted city center, and even music has been pressed into the national cause of raising morale.
The sea is central to Odesa’s status as an important trading, industrial and transportation hub.
High among people’s fears is the threat of attack from the water, across which lies the Crimean peninsula invaded and annexed by Russia in 2014.
Locals have been filling bags with sand on the beach and taking part in weapons training. And on Monday Ukraine’s navy said its forces defending the Odesa region hit a Russian vessel in the Black Sea with gunfire.
That threat means that Vasyl Miloserdnyi, 61, and his wife have not gone on their usual long sea walk since Russia’s invasion on February 24.
Miloserdnyi said that from time to time they hear the distant sound of explosions and they, like their neighbors, have sealed their apartment windows with adhesive tape as a precaution.
Sandbag barricades are constructed as part of defense preparations due to ongoing Russian attacks on Ukraine
A member of the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces guard in central Odesa
Metal barricades placed to the streets as part of defense preparations for the sea-port city
But there has been no panic, he said – the shops have food, there is cash available, for now, and farmers from surrounding villages bring milk, meat and eggs to the markets.
‘Odesites did not panic, they did not pull the last pieces of food off the shelves,’ he said.
‘We hope that all this will be resolved soon, it will end.’
A spokeswoman for the mayor said they had no statistics on how many residents had left the city.
She said there were many at the railway station from different towns around the Odesa and Kherson regions, mostly waiting for evacuation trains going mainly to Lviv in the west.
Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a ‘special operation’ that is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy its neighbor’s military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists. It denies targeting civilians.
Until February 24, the date of the Russian invasion, the Odessa Opera was preparing for the premiere of an opera named ‘Katerina’ by Alexander Rodin.
Alexander Rodin, a composer from Kyiv, called for an end to the war, saying: ‘We believe that we will be heard! We believe in victory and Ukraine!’