• English
  • Français

Perception at the local scale of the conflict and the risks in Italy - by Michela Signorini, Vice-prefect, Italy

XXVIIIth European Days of State Territorial Representatives

Malmo 13-15 April  

"The consequences of the war in Ukraine – How does iti affect our countries?"

WG  A :  Perception at the local scale of the conflict and the risks (in the media, political parties, and elections, in the public opinion) 

In Italy

These extracts from press articles highlight the very strong and immediate impact of the Russian invasion on the media, at all levels, including the humanitarian (Pope Francis’s address) and political ones (implementation of the European Directive n.55 of July 20, 2001 on temporary protection in case of massive flow of displaced people). Meanwhile, a government crisis led to new elections: Giorgia Meloni became President of the Council of Ministers, succeeding, as we know, Mario Draghi, who served only 17 months in government. Anyway, these government has continued to support the Ukrainian people and the demands of Zelensky. As for the budget, there has been an increase in military spending and weapons shipments, in order to defend the freedom of a people we feel very close. This one is a very divisive issue for part of the public opinion that is against it.

Winds of war

Yesterday, February 24, Russia attacks and invades Ukraine.

The war is 2500 km away from us, but we can immediately hear its echo. Summits are held in several Prefectures to reinforce the control of sensitive targets (embassies, diplomatic and institutional buildings, airports).

The Colosseum is lit up in the colours of the Ukrainian flag and an entire community (including the Belarusians) gather in front of the Russian embassy in Rome shouting 'stop this madness'. Many people come from the western part of the country near the border with Poland.                                                                                         

(La Repubblica, February 25, 2022)


Will the EU and Italy join the war?

Zelensky calls for an immediate accession to the EU, a cease-fire, and the retreat of the Russian troops. Citizens in all Italian cities launch initiatives of solidarity and support. During the Angelus, on Sunday, the Pope quotes the article 11 of the Constitution, that reads, as we all cherish peace: "Italy shall repudiate war as an instrument of aggression against the freedom of other peoples and as a means of settling international disputes". At the same time, in Palazzo Montecitorio (the seat of the Chamber of Deputies) and in Brussels decision-makers choose to send weapons, betraying the spirit of the Constitution and of the foundation of Europe.

(La Versione di Banfi,  March 1, 2022) 

March 2, in Rome, great demonstration for peace and solidarity (people donate food and essentials, they host refugees)


What do the Italians think about the Russian invasion and the decisions taken by our government, as well as the European Union?

83% are ready to commit themselves to peace.

50% are ready to support the population.

29% are ready to welcome Ukrainian refugees in their families.  

76% are against military support. 

89% consider the withdrawal of Russian troops necessary and hope for support to facilitate humanitarian assistance (from NGOs) for the civilian population.

81% are in favor of a new treaty to demilitarize Europe, against the use of nuclear weapons, they consider cease-fire and mediation the main objectives.           

(Domani, March 4, 2022)

A special bond links Italy and Ukraine, as the former is the European country that welcomes more Ukrainian refugees. The Italian parliament has authorized the government to send weapons to Ukraine and approved an economic aid of 110 million euros to Kyiv: state of emergency until 31 December 2022.         

(Il Messaggero, March 13, 2022) 

Humanitarian aid 

The Italian mission - the Civil Protection with the logistic support of the Red Cross: 7 trucks, more than 1950 Km (headed toward Suceava, in Romania, 50 km from the border with Ukraine, 22 volunteers to deliver 224 containers of medical supplies.

Zelensky talks in Florence. 

From his bunker he speaks on video in Florence and says: ''Saving Ukraine means saving both our and your values of democracy and freedom''.                                       

(Il Messaggero, March 16, 2022)

more victims: 5 journalists killed (three Ukrainians, one American, one Irish)  

Politics - elections 

after some very complicated months for our institutional balance, political elections take place on October 22, 2022 and Giorgia Meloni is elected President of the Council of Ministers, succeeding Mario Draghi. She declares that she is committed and in favor of providing weapons: a very hard, but necessary, solution. 

“It is to support a country that defends its freedom", and she emphasizes, again,

“If Ukraine loses, it is democracy that loses.”

To finish with, 

'Easter prayer for peace

Last year, during the Easter celebrations, strong polemics rose against the church in general (but also against the Pope) after two women, one Russian and one Ukrainian, carried together, in silence, the Cross to the Colosseum. A gesture that had a very strong media impact and again, the Archbishop in Ukraine Vivaldas Kulbokas declared that the Pope had confermed his willingness to go to Mariupol, the 'martyred city', last May (2022..) as part of his commitment for peace, 'StopTheWarNow'.

“Peace is possible". 

(La Versione di Banfi, April 7, 2023 )

In conclusion, the participants in the working group shared the sensation, on the part of the citizens, of a sort of tiredness and psychological addiction compared to the first days of a war that was as violent as it was unexpected. And, too close to us ... the awareness remains that it will last for an indefinite time, and that nothing will be as before, in terms of geopolitical balance and national security, with inevitable repercussions also in the everyday life of citizens.


Vice prefect Michela Signorini

Voir aussi