Photo from UNIAN

The first part of The Wrong Place documentary was aired at the Italian Senate this week to address a high-profile case of a Ukrainian national guardsman Vitaliy Markiv, whose sentencing in Italy Ukraine has branded "politicized" and in Russia's interests.

The authors of The Wrong Place dig deeper into the circumstances of the deaths of Italian reporter Andrea Rocchelli in Donbas six years ago, according to RFE/RL.

They also look into the charges pressed against Markiv who was part of the Ukrainian Anti-Terrorist Forces fighting off Russian hybrid proxy forces in eastern Ukraine.

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Cristiano Tinazzi, the documentary's director, says the task of the journalistic investigation was to probe the Rocchelli-Markiv case more deeply, rather than defending the positions of defense or prosecution.

"With this film, we propose to open a debate to better understand a resonating case, we propose to go all the way to find the truth," said Eleonora Mongelli, deputy head of the Italian Federation for Human Rights.

It is noteworthy that the event was attended by a representative of the Democratic Party (with the government coalition), Senator Roberto Rampa.

Read alsoUkraine's envoy urges Italian media to objectively cover Markiv case"I'm a convinced pacifist, but I realize that in a time of war, unfortunately, soldiers are bound to kill. At the same time, it is impossible to imagine that murder cases are initiated regarding all tragic incidents occurring at war. I think this film will help achieve the desired result by providing new elements for a deeper understanding of the case," he said.

The audience was shown a 35-minute fragment, where the authors revealed new facts and talked with witnesses who have not been involved in the trial.

Vitaliy Markiv case: background

  • Deputy platoon commander of the Ukrainian National Guard's first battalion, senior sergeant Vitaliy Markiv was detained in Italy on June 30, 2017, on suspicion of the murder of Italian journalist Andrea Rocchelli and his Russian interpreter Andrei Mironov amid a mortar attack in Donetsk region in May 2014.
  • According to the Ukrainian investigation, the two were killed in shelling by Russian-led troops.
  • Ukrainian National Guard officials insisted that the Ukrainian battalion was not armed with mortars in 2014.
  • The jury in the court of Italy's Pavia on July 12, 2019, sentenced the Ukrainian guardsman to 24 years in prison. He is also to pay compensation to Rocchelli's family.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Prosecutor General's Office to immediately address the issue of Markiv's return to Ukraine.
  • On November 20, Ukraine filed an appeal against Markiv's verdict.
  • It had to be considered by a Lombardy appellate court in the spring of 2020. On March 10, 2020, an Italian appellate court in Milan postponed a hearing in the case of Ukrainian national Vitaliy Markiv over the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on August 28 said a court in Italy on September 29 will start hearing an appeal in Markiv's case.