Fascinating Vintage Photos Show Life In Odessa, Ukraine From The 1980s

In the 1980s Ukraine was under the rule of the Communist Party of Ukraine and the country was moving towards independent Ukraine. The economy of the country was drowning, the growth rate was declined, and the agricultural production was adversely affected by a series of droughts, a lack of incentives, and excessive centralization in collective farm management. The Chernobyl disaster proved to be the last nail in the coffin.

Ian Berry, a photographer documented the last years of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic in his photographs. Here below are some of his photographs that capture life in Odessa from the 1980s.

#1 Ballerinas take a break to chat and relax during a break in rehearsals.

#2 Men and women market stall holders shelter from heavy rain under plastic sheeting whilst sorting their onions.

#3 Dance gymnasts twirling ribbons in time to piano music.

#4 A woman looks through a cafe window whilst bus tour guide checks names.

#5 A lady cleaner with her tiny dog working on a wintry street.

#6 A couple of stout ladies enjoy the sun amongst the beach crowd.

#7 Two men buying beer from a street kiosk in the rain whilst another lays drunk on the ground.

#8 A couple share an intimate moment seated on a park bench whilst a woman next to them relaxes with her shoes off.

#9 A woman cuddles a dog she hopes to sell at the pet market whilst others look on.

#10 A mother explaining to her young son the contents of a painting in the museum.

#11 Boy in toy soldiers hat playing table football whilst another sports a black eye, in the grounds of a local kindergarten.

#12 Men working in the Stroigidravlika factory making engines for cranes, excavators etc.

#13 Countryside visitors overlooking the famous Potemkin Steps and the port whilst the group has their photograph taken. Cranes, ships, train and offices in the background.

#14 A woman in an amazingly decorative sun hat holds her child whilst chatting to another lady on the beach.

#15 Woman cleaning the window of a grocery store with fruit and vegetable paintings.

#16 A woman waiting on the street ignores a drunk seemingly comatose behind her.

#17 One of the outstanding pupils at the famous Stolyarsky Music School playing on his violin with a piano accompaniment. Photographs of famous ex pupils on the wall.

#18 Woman hanging out washing in a patch of sunshine in an overall view of the city.

#19 Couple unconsciously duplicate the gesture with their shopping bag of of the statue of Duke Emmanuel de Richelieu at the top of the famous Potemkin Steps.

#20 Men gather to talk in the early morning mist and rain in the Shevchenko Park.

#21 Old man with his bundle of wood and cardboard hurries along in the cold with the Opera Theatre in the background.

#22 A woman sweeps the street in front of a grand old house with a statue of two loin cloth wearing men holding up the world.

#23 An elderly man dressed against the wet weather makes his way through the puddles in a dreary suburb of tower block flats whilst a Russian made car passes in the background.

#24 Elderly lady with walking stick passing a window advertising a fruit drink.

#25 Two men confer in the early morning mist with the towers of St Panteleimon looming in the background.

#26 Family sitting on a bench in the park catch the last rays of the sun whilst the man wears his grandaughters hat and the mother reads.

#27 A young girl playing the piano under instruction at the famous Stolyarsky Music School with a portrait of Lenin on the wall.

#28 A rainy wintry scene in the city first founded by Queen Catherine 2nd in 1794 and later influenced by the first governor Duke Emmanuel de Richelieu who although a Russian, grew up in Paris and used Viennese architects.

#29 Children in period costume rehearse for a theatre performance.

#30 Men wearing caps and winter clothes discuss the merits of a bird at the pet market.

#31 Women tending a market stall shelter from heavy rain under plastic raincoats.

#32 A woman trying to sell a flower to a man unloading packages in the rain on a shopping street.

#33 Thousands of birds gather in the wintry trees in front of city buildings. The foundations of the city were ordered by Russian Queen Catherine 2nd in 1794 but the architecture was inspired by Duke Emmanuel de Richelieu who grew up in Paris and wished the new city to be even more beautiful.

#34 Children playing the local version of “Ring a ring of roses” in a government kindergarten.

#35 A couple of lovers meet on a balcony overlooking the port with a hammer and sickle sign and ships in the background.

#36 Producers warch a backstage rehearsal of a marionette show in the theatre.

#37 Men buying beer from a kiosk to drink on the street in the city.

#38 Members of a navy youth group in uniform guarding a war memorial.

#39 A curious man in his fur hat waiting to board a bus in the city centre.

#40 A party of women after a traditional event in the city centre.

#41 The crows spills over into the water on a crowded beach.

#42 Ukraine ballet company performance onstage at the Odessa theatre and opera house.

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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