The author of the article writes about the identity of Odessa as about the kind of local identity that manifests itself in the historical context. He researches the individual examples of the local cultural specificity, appealing to the thoughts of authoritative writers and scientists. Odessa’s identity was formed through the influences of different factors, some of which were even contradictory. This gave rise to its uniqueness. It is characterised by liminality, independence (autonomy), cosmopolitanism. But it is important to understand that those influences were not equal, and their effects were often used for creating the ideological doctrines of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the presented research, the author reveals the formative mechanisms of some stereotypical images that the concept of identity consists of. These mechanisms express open or hidden Russian imperial strategy of colonisation. That is why the eff orts to glorify the local and specific are questionable. In this context, the well-known Odessa cosmopolitanism is often explained. But sometimes it is incorrect to understand it as the effect of the historical process of assimilation by the national, linguistic, or religious denominational groups which took place in the city during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The article is also about the discrimination against the culture of the national minorities, who in the so-called Odessa myth are represented in a fragmentary and incomplete way. Ukrainian element was also discriminated against. This may seem paradoxical, as Odessa and the Black Sea region are a natural part of the Ukrainian cultural space.