Odessaōdĕs´ə, Rus. ədyĕ´sə [key], Ukr. Odesa, city (1989 pop. 1,115,000), capital of Odessa region, in Ukraine, a port on Odessa Bay of the Black Sea. The third largest Ukrainian city after Kiev and Kharkiv, Odessa is an important rail junction and highway hub and is a major industrial, cultural, scientific, and resort center. Grain, sugar, machinery, coal, petroleum products, cement, metals, jute, and timber are the chief items of trade at the port of Odessa, which is the leading Ukrainian Black Sea port. Odessa is also a naval base and the home port of a fishing and an antarctic whaling fleet. The city's industries include shipbuilding, oil refining, machine building, metalworking, food processing, and the manufacture of chemicals, machine tools, clothing, and products made of wood, jute, and silk. Large health resorts are located nearby. Odessa has a university (est. 1865), an opera and ballet theater (1809), a historical museum (1825), a municipal library (1830), an astronomical observatory (1871), an opera house (1883–87), and a picture gallery (1898). Ukrainians, Russians, Jews, and Greeks predominate in Odessa's cosmopolitan population.
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