An Italian pro-Russian fighter and former bartender has been killed during fighting in southeast Ukraine.
Elia Putzolu, a 28-year-old Italian national from the island of Sardinia, has died after he volunteered to fight for the Russian army in Ukraine.
This occurred in the city of Donetsk in Ukraine on Sunday, 16th October, according to local media reports.
Despite the fact that the exact circumstances surrounding Putzolu’s death remain unclear, Italian news outlets said that the pro-Russian fighter died “on the battlefield” as a result of the injuries he sustained while fighting.
His death has also been confirmed by The Farnesina or the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Putzolu reportedly worked as a bartender after moving to Milan.
He then moved to southern Russia before he settled in the Donbas region of Ukraine in 2019.
The 28-year-old went on to volunteer to fight for the Russian militia in Donetsk, which is one of the cities that have been annexed by Russia.
Putzolu’s family have reportedly asked for his remains to be returned to Italy.
Local media outlets speculate that his love for Russia may have been linked to the fact that one of his grandmothers was Russian.
Vittorio Nicola Rangeloni, an Italian freelancer in Ukraine, called the late fighter a “dear friend.”
He added: “He learned the language and lived for over a year with the militiamen (in) Donetsk (while) sharing a thousand difficulties, with the desire to help.”