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Salvini Says Pro-Ukraine Italian Neo-Nazis Were Plotting to Assassinate Him

Italian police raided a bunch of Ukrainians earlier this week, seizing an arsenal of small arms, Hitler memorabilia, even a missile. 

CNN insinuated that the Ukrainians were pro-Moscow rebels who were plotting to assassinate Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini. Predictably, the opposite was true... according to the police, the Ukrainians were supporters of the government in Kiev


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Transcript:

Ukraine reached the headlines in Italy today. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, said that a group of Ukrainian citizens was preparing an assassination attempt on him. They were detained with weapons from machine guns to missiles. CNN journalists rushed to say that they're rebels from Donbass. However, the police have completely different data. They said that the Italian police detained Ukrainian Neo-Nazis - fighters from punitive battalions.

Andrey Grigoriev has the details of that scandal.

The Turin police lay nationalist symbols and a whole stockpile on the tables. Dozens of handguns and even an air-to-air missile. The latter, judging by the marking, belonged to Qatar's armed forces. They arrested three people, including a member of the New Force Party. Extremists prepared an assassination attempt on the Italian Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini. He confirmed that today.

Matteo Salvini, Italian Minister of the Interior: "We got a signal that a Ukrainian group wanted to assassinate me. I don't think that I did anything bad to Ukraine. In this case, obviously, it wasn't a crazy person or a daydreamer. And I'm glad that the threat led to the discovery of the stockpile."

As soon as the "Ukrainian group" was mentioned, CNN immediately issued its own version.

“The stockpile was discovered by police who were investigating Italians "with extremist ideology" who had fought alongside Russian-backed separatist forces in Donbass, last July.”

Euronews echoed its American counterparts but clarified on the website, however, that initially, everything was different in the police press release.

“On Tuesday, the police statement text was corrected, the mention of which side the suspects were fighting on was removed.”

We asked the Turin police for clarification.

“You should send an email to us. Afterward, based on the information we receive, we'll contact the department responsible for that.”

But they never replied to the official request. Here are screenshots of the official website. The original message is the exact opposite of what the American and European press published.

“The investigation began about a year ago when the police headquarters in Turin began to monitor a group of people associated with the political movement of the far-right who fought in the Ukrainian region of Donbass against separatists.”

The new release is more neutral.

“Monitoring a group of Italian fighters with extremist views, who in the past took part in the armed conflict in the Ukrainian region of Donbass.”

Today's Salvini's statement will deteriorate the relations between Rome and Kiev. In Italy, the Ukrainian nationalist, Vitaly Markiv, has just been convicted for 24 years. He fought on the side of the Ukrainian government for sure. It's proved that Markiv was involved in the murder of the journalists Andrea Rocchelli and Andrei Mironov, who worked in Donbass. After the judgment was passed, the nationalist, Yarosh, called on to take Italian citizens hostage en masse.

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