War in Ukraine, the Italian ambassador in Kiev: «Awakened by bombs. The city is ghostly, but let’s stay here “

Pier Francesco Zazo: «There are endless columns of machines. The Italians remained in the city, they have their family and business here. And they didn’t think war was really breaking out ”

“I can’t hear it, the lines don’t work well, they’re overloaded.” In the background are the excited voices of the embassy staff. “I’ll put you on hold, I don’t understand who you are, wait a minute.” The ambassador turns to his collaborators, the climate is agitated. ‘Were you able to get in touch with Kharkiv? (the second largest city in the country by population, ed) “. Voices in the background, more phone calls, “we can’t find the consul.” Pier Francesco Zazo he did not have an ordinary awakening. He is our ambassador to Kiev for just over a year. He tells, a few minutes after the first explosions, how he learned the news of the invasion by Russia. “I was in residence, the bombs woke me up at 4:30 in the morning.” Since dawn they have all been in the offices of our diplomatic headquarters.

How is the situation now?

“The city is ghostly, deserted, those who are left seem locked in the house.”

Are people running away?

“There are endless columns of cars, thousands of people are fleeing to eastern Ukraine.”

News of the Italians?

“For now there is no alarming news, they have all stayed in the city, so they preferred, they have family and businesses here, and they did not really believe in an attack”.

Other voices in the background. Other collaborators. “We are not sure but it seems that they have entered Kharkiv.” “Did she fall?” Asks the ambassador. Ambassador can you still hear me? “Very badly, but now I have to leave you, excuse me.” At 200 meters from the Cathedral of Saint Sophia, the same distance from the Dnieper, the Italian embassy in Ukraine remains open and operational for now. No personnel transfers. A lot of excitement. For the moment there is no time for fear.

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