Status Of “Subsidiary Protection” Granted to Donetsk Citizen in Italy

Translated by Marco Aurelio Di Giorgio


Olga, a Ukrainian citizen from Donetsk, aided by the Centre for Representation of the People’s Republic of Donetsk, obtained the status of “subsidiary protection” from the Territorial Commission for the Recognition of International Protection of the Prefecture of Torino, thus becoming for all practical purposes a “refugee”

The governmental commission recognised as actual and legitimate Olga’s fear, as a citizen, should she re-enter Donetsk, of becoming a victim of the war that is currently still underway in Donbass. 

In the specific case, the Commission had put the request on hold under the assumption that the conflict had ceased after the ceasefire and the Minsk treaties. The Representation Centre, however, through free legal assistance to the citizen, was able to prove to the Commission that, as a matter of fact, not only is the conflict still underway, but the city of Donetsk itself has always been subject to bombardment by Ukrainian Armed Forces. 

The measure of the Commission thus assumes a practically “revolutionary” significance, because it erases the euro-atlantic statements regarding the Ukrainian conflict, mystified as a simple anti-terroristic operation (ATO) against the self-declared separatist militias. 

Furthermore, this measure confirms the role of the Centre for Representation of the DPR in Torino, which, though having opened just recently, is already working at a steady pace.

The document of the Territorial Commission for the Recognition of International Protection of the Prefecture of Torino granting the status of “subsidiary protection”

Numerous requests have already arrived from Ukrainian immigrants who, instead of contacting the Ukrainian embassy, contact the Centre to obtain the passport, in this case that of the DPR (recognised by the Russian Federation) – one of these being Olga’s.

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Another three Ukrainian citizens have already presented a request for the obtainment of the status of “subsidiary protection”:

Elena from Donetsk, who lives in Torino and asked for asylum for her mother who lives in a war zone now under the control of Kiev troops;

Elena from Lugansk, with a destroyed home in Debaltsevo, who lives in Modena and has asked asylum for herself;

Alessia from Donetsk, who has asked asylum for her sister and 8 year old nephew, residents of Gorlovka, another city that is particularly tormented by the war. She fears that they may become victims of the Ukrainian bombardments.

This is how Maurizio Marrone, in charge of the Centre for Representation, commented on the result:

“The undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Amendola barely had the time to support the unanimity of the international political scenario to ‘refuse the legitimacy of the self-declared Donetsk and Lugansk authorities’ and to flaunt the ‘support to the Ukrainian sovereignty and its territorial integrity’, and furthermore to restate that the Representation of the Donetsk People’s Republic in Italy would’ve had ‘no relationship with institutions, or diplomatic status’, and here is this news to prove him wrong. And, ironically, they come from another Italian ministry, the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Clearly at Gentiloni’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs they don’t just ignore or pretend to ignore what is going on in Donbass, but also what happens in the other fields of their own government.”

Olga also wanted to express her impressions:

“I’m very happy! I’ve been waiting for this recognition for three years. It finally arrived! I was no longer hoping for it, and for this I thank the Centre for Representation of the DPR.”

“What brought you to requesting to obtain the status of ‘refugee'”?

“I left Donetsk the 22nd of April of 2014 and I arrived in Torino. After three days the Donetsk airport was closed, and war started. I thought it would’ve ended soon. Then as months passed by and my Italian partner understood that the war would not have ended soon. I couldn’t go back home, I would’ve risked ending up under the bombardments, so I asked for ‘refugee’ status.”

“Why did you contact the Centre for Representation of the DPR, and not the Ukrainian embassy?”

“Initially I requested ‘refugee’ status at the Prefecture of Torino and I was waiting for a response. Then I learned from my mother who lives in Donetsk that the Centre for Representation of the DPR was opened in Torino. I phoned Maurizio Marrone and was helped. I didn’t contact the Ukrainian embassy because we are at war: Ukraine against the DPR.”

“Having to go through Kiev to return to Donetsk doesn’t make you fear for your safety?” 

“Yes, I am very afraid to go through Ukraine.”

The measure made by the Commission now becomes an example for other similar requests.

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