Let’s get out of the bunker

There is a picture of Andy Rocchelli that strikes a chord more than any other one. It is the one depicting children hiding in the basement during the war in Ukraine. For getting a picture like that you need time. You need to gain the trust of the civilians, experience their own war, observe without judging.

Documents like this one make history, they condition our consciences and they end up addressing the history of the humankind. Documents like these ones can extract a drop of beauty in a ocean of sorrow, and maybe help us to improve ourselves.

Andy died in that war, killed in a rough attack tightened against civilian reporters. What happened is now an open wound for the whole community and for the people around Andy. But it is also a symbol of the permanent threat towards whom choose to be witnesses of the darkest side of our smashed humankind. It is thanks to them that we know and that we learn. It is thanks to them that we can roll up our sleeves and try to improve ourselves.

People like Andy Rocchelli, anywhere in the world, are accidental heros. It is our own responsibility to fight so that they won’t have to be that anymore in the future. They need to simply be what they were meant to be: our own conscience, our way of knowing, our right to improve ourselves.

It is for this exact reason that the trial currently held at the Pavia Court represent a civil fight of the highest symbolic value for everybody. It is necessary to find out what happened in that awful day in 2014. It is a must to find out the truth. It is mandatory to draw a line for reminding the community that crossing that line would mean commit an unforgivable crime  against the community itself.

More than ever now participation is required. Civil voices are required to arise and demand justice. For Andy, for reporters around the world and for all of us.


22nd February 2019: hearing in the Court

Two agents of the of the Special Operation Squad testified:

  1. The first one reported that the images and videos projected many times during the trial were extracted by him from the devices confiscated to the accused. His deposition was short and very technical, focusing mainly on the modality of data extraction.

  2. The second agent instead took part to the investigations previous to the arrest of the accused, as well as to the following analysis of the confiscated material and the information released by the accused during the interrogatories. He gave a clear and detailed description of what emerged during the investigations and confirmed the position of the accused upon the Karachun hill, the type of weapon owned by the GNU and the corresponding range / pull length: all of this matched with the depositions so far, as well as the reconstruction of events done by the Pavia public prosecutor’s office and the one given by the journalist William Roguelon, who survived to the attack.



8th February 2019: hearing in the Court

Two Senators of the Ukrainian Government were summoned to testify. After Vitaly Markiv was arrested in August 2017, both of them voluntarily presented themselves to the public prosecutor’s office of Pavia as the maximum experts of the event. Their deposition had been received and recorded by the Special Operation Squad in Milan: the two senators had given two contrasting versions of the events.
During the hearing, their versions has been analyzed again in front of the Court.
Both conversations have been extremely disagreeable due to the sense of reticence, weakening of the truth and significant will of not telling the truth to the Court, from the witnesses. Moreover there were many difficulties with the translation.

Bogdan Matkivskyi
In May 2014 he was on the Karachun hill from which the attack killing Andy and Andrej came. He was the head of the platoon 2 in Slaviansk, not the Markiv’s same one);

  1. Reticent towards the presence of written documents attesting Markiv’s presence in the site (documented by the selfie video found among the sequestered material): he also mentions some tables with orders, shifts and position of each soldier;
  2. Confirms that each soldier wouldn’t move from the assigned position;
  3. Underlines the difference among the role of the Ukrainian National Guard and the role of the Army: the first one is a reserve military unit subject to the Government, that was disbanded in 2000 and then funded again in March 2014. The controversial Azov e Donbass battalion are a part of the GNU and they are mostly made by Ukrainian, European and even Italian volunteers. The accused was part of the GNU. The Army is the legitimate army, subject to the Ministry of Defense and lead by the general Zabrowski.
  4. The senator also confirms that the Army used to have mortars as part of their equipment.
  5. The witness and the jury are shown a sketch made by the witness himself representing the peak of the Karachun hill and the positions of the military equipment and the accused. The sketch is confirmed and compared with the video selfie mentioned above, as well as with the different declarations granted during the conversations taken place in August.
  6. Recognizes almost all the names of the soldiers listed by the public prosecutor Zanoncelli.
  7. Even though he was on that hill on the 24th May 2014, the senator asserts that he only got to know around mid June or even July about the killing of Andy and Andrej.

Andrii Antonyschak
He is currently a senator in Ukraine and was one of the Heads of the National Guard. During the hearing he was wearing the singular uniform full of pendants. Following below are his declarations:

  1. He got to know about the events at least one month after the attack. He had never been on the Karachun hill before mid-June.
  2. No written orders for attained.
  3. Reticent regarding the National Guard territorial jurisdiction;
  4. The National Guard did not have mortars as part of their equipment;
  5. Markiv’s position: he could have seen the area of the attack if he had turned his head of just a few degrees. But the senator specify that it was not the soldiers’ task to turn…
  6. Recognizes some names of the other soldiers listed by the public prosecutor.