Authorities in an Italian city said Tuesday that they would no longer host an exhibition and conference on the “rebirth” of the Russian-occupied city of Mariupol in Ukraine, a decision welcomed by the government in Kyiv.

The Russian cultural association in Emilia-Romagna, a region in northern Italy, had rented the civic hall in Modena for the “Mariupol – Rebirth after the war” event on Jan. 20.

But the municipal council said the event “had taken on characteristics of a demonstration of open support for the invasion war undertaken by Russia against Ukraine.”

Communications from the association were not consistent with a commitment made to respect the values of the Italian constitution, it added, “in particular to observe the ban on professing and/or practicing fascist and racist ideology.”


Oleg Nikolenko, spokesman for Ukraine's foreign ministry, said it had asked Modena to withdraw permission for the “propaganda” exhibition.

“We sincerely welcome this decision. We are grateful to both the city hall and Ukrainians in Italy who did not allow Italian society to be misled about the consequences of Russian crimes in Mariupol and Ukraine,” he said.

Mariupol, a port city on the Azov Sea, fell to Russian forces after being virtually razed in a month-long siege in spring 2022, and has since been occupied by the Russian army. 

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Citizens, businesses and institutes in all countries must be vigilant in not allowing russian government affiliated persons (putin supporting olympic athletes, politicians, kleptocrats), businesses or events to be hosted in their nations towns or facilities. Russia intentionally funds such events to try to gloss over, or legitimize their regime as being something other than what it has regressed to becoming: a failing thug state.

There is no possible monetary gains associated with assisting that criminal state that can absolve anyone that assists it in trying to publicly distract from its crimes...or NATO allied sanctions (Turkey!). The putin regime has more than earned their international condemnation and isolation. Let's not take what they've earned that away from them.

So thanks to those in Italy who caught Russia's latest sneaky maneuver and did the right thing. Do not let your courts even humour a lawsuit against your nation for any losses russian regime interests incurred in cancelling these events. Russia's malicious regime has consistently not honoured the laws of civilized nations and global institutes and need not be now protected by these.

Ciao Bella Italy!