Russia plans to use a member of the “Brothers of Italy” party, which is expected to win the upcoming Italian elections, to try and justify the seizure of Ukrainian territory. We’re talking about Maurizio Marrone, a controversial right-wing radical politician.
Marrone is listed as one of the “observers” for illegal referendums
He was on the list of purportedly “independent observers” from the EU nations who the invaders want to use to organize unlawful “referendums” in the temporarily controlled territories of Ukraine.
Maurizio Marrone is infamous for being the head of the self-proclaimed representative office of the Donetsk separatist group “DPR” in Turin, Italy. His main political activity is being a municipal deputy of the Piedmont province from the “Brothers of Italy” party.
Marrone is a representative of the “DPR” separatist group in Italy
Maurizio Marrone has visited the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions twice, which are controlled by the Kremlin-backed forces of the “DPR” and “LPR” Russian-backed separatist groups (“DPR” – Donetsk “people’s republic” & “LPR” – Luhansk “people’s republic”). He illegally entered the territory of Ukraine, crossing the border with the Russian Federation in an area uncontrolled by Ukraine.
Maronne actively supports the aggressive policy of the Russian Federation and President Vladimir Putin. He also organized rallies in Italy in support of the “DPR” separatists.
Maurizio Marrone is considered to be the organizer of the denunciation of Ukrainian serviceman Vitaliy Markiv. In July 2017, the soldier was detained in Italy on suspicion of being responsible for the killing of a photojournalist, Italian citizen Rochelli near Sloviansk in 2014. In a notable case, the Milan Court of Appeal tried Vitaliy Markiv in November 2020, ruled not guilty, and released him.
Marrone might, however, have a commercial interest in working with Moscow. According to Crime-Ua, the militants of the “DPR” may be planning to establish supplies of coal mined in the occupied territory of the Donetsk region to African nations. He allegedly received the task of protecting and lobbying to carry out the illegal scheme in Italy.
According to Russian propaganda media, there are proposals to hold a referendum in the occupied territories of Ukraine on November 4 in circles close to Putin.
Russian invaders face problems with the preparation of illegal referendums
According to the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Russian invaders face big problems with the preparation for pseudo-referenda, in particular, due to the successful counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, strong activity of the resistance movement in the occupied territories, and public sentiment that remains on the side of Ukraine.
Puppet observers – an attempt to legitimize internationally the seizure of Ukrainian territories
The Russian invaders want to utilize “independent observers”, including EU citizens, to “legitimize” the pseudo-referendums and the seizure of Ukrainian territories in the international arena, the MDI reported. In this way, Putin’s regime is trying to create an image of “legitimate voting” for the world, obviously with the help of propaganda mouthpieces.
The tactic of using puppet “observers”, who mostly represent right-wing radical and neo-Nazi movements in Europe, is not new for Moscow in an attempt to legitimize the seizure of the Ukrainian territories that violate international law. Such “observers” from EU countries were present at the pseudo-referenda organized by the “DPR” and “LPR” Russia-controlled separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in 2014.
Ukrainian intelligence has previously published a list of “independent observers” whom Russians plan to involve in the so-called “referenda” in the temporarily occupied territories. Marrone’s name was actually on the list.
Marrone is becoming toxic for the party
In light of the upcoming parliamentary elections, it is unclear if Marrone will stay in the ranks of the “Brothers of Italy” party given how toxic his presence has become. The political force that will likely take office has already started to make connections internationally.
The path of strengthening relations with Kyiv is particularly significant in light of Russia’s war with Ukraine and the confrontation between the West and Moscow. This is related to Italian Senator Adolfo Urso’s recent trip to Ukraine, as a prominent member of the “Brothers of Italy” party. The senator highlighted in a brief tweet that Italy “supports Ukraine together with European partners and Western allies” after the meeting in Kyiv with the Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba.
It will now be interesting to see how the blatantly anti-Ukrainian Marrone’s efforts interact with the party’s sympathy for Ukraine.