A few weeks earlier, Ms. Glodan had called Ms. Iliashenko to tell her that she was starting to feel uneasy about the mounting violence. She said she had moved her family from their high-rise apartment, close to Odesa’s airport, to her mother’s home in the Tairove district, which is further from the city center.
The two friends talked and agreed that if the apartment the family abandoned was hit, it would be time to leave Odesa. Instead, the mother’s home was destroyed.
The two women met while studying journalism at the University of Odesa, and since then their lives ran in tandem. After college they started their first jobs at the same time and found husbands who became good friends. They bought neighboring apartments and were always rotating through each other’s front doors, planning parties, exchanging pets, looking after plants and later, children.
“We were planning on raising our families together. She was always telling me that we were in our prime, with such amazing opportunities — she believed we had great lives,” Ms. Iliashenko said, between sobs. She spoke in a phone interview from Warsaw, where she has been staying for the past few weeks.
She described her friend as strong-willed and industrious with a warm sense of humor. She loved her work in public relations, but had a talent for painting and an ear for poetry. “She built everything that she had. I admired her very much,” Ms. Iliashenko said.
In the weeks following the invasion, the two friends told each other they doubted the war would come to Odesa, and they believed the conflict would be over in three weeks, Ms. Iliashenko said. They tried to distract each other by cooking meals together and dreaming up vacations their families could take when the war ended.
Ms. Glodan’s husband, Uri, who survived the attack, was around the corner at a shop when the missile struck, Ms. Iliashenko said.