Ukraine's historic port Odesa designated UNESCO World Heritage site

The United Nations' cultural agency UNESCO decided to add the historic center of Odesa in Ukraine to its World Heritage List on Wednesday.

Called the Pearl of the Black Sea, Odesa developed as a port city during the age of the Russian Empire. It flourished as a strategic hub of maritime trade, where a variety of cultures and nationalities mingled.

The historic center of Odesa was also inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The city has come under attack by Russian forces and the Museum of Fine Arts was damaged.

Under the World Heritage Convention, parties should not take actions that damage World Heritage sites.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said that designating Odesa a World Heritage Site embodies a collective determination to ensure that the city "is preserved from further destruction."