The journalist who cooperates with the Russian Federation
Gianantonio Micalessin, Italian citizen, is a journalist and filmmaker with a focus on war and conflicts. Together with journalists Almerigo Grilz and Fausto Biloslawo, he founded Albatross Press Agency, a journalist agency, in 1983. It specializes in international politics, with a special focus on conflict zones.
"We don't work for anyone, we don't have accreditation, we pay for this 'smart vacation', as they call it, with temporary jobs,"
– a testimonial reads.
In the early 80's, the three founders who dreamed of becoming journalists, got caught in the most important conflict of the time. Two months after launching the organization, Albatross Press Agency went to Afghanistan.
As a journalist, Giannantonio Micalessin covered the War in Afghanistan, the First and Second Russian-Chechen War, and the Civil War in Syria, where he always supported the policy of Russia.
Additionally, he produced a fictitious documentary from Russia in 2017 that spread lies about the Maidan movement. It specifically alleged that "Georgian snipers" were shooting at protestors. The claims made in the video were disputed in court successfully with documentary proof of the shootings on Maidan, including information from the Ukrainian Border Guard Service.
When one compares his works, it becomes clear that Giannantonio Micalessin has always worked near places where Russia had a conflict, from his very earliest activities. Working remotely as a Russian agent of influence who is an Italian national is an old good method that produces results and does not leave a paper trail.
The Italian journalist breaks Ukrainian law
The Law of Ukraine forbids any illegal crossing of the state border of Ukraine outside of the checkpoints. But this Italian chose to cross into Ukraine through Russia. Additionally, he stays in the temporarily occupied area to report and market his contents to TV networks. He is in the business of getting footage and materials that he can then (re)sell.
Micalessin condones Russian narratives
As usual, Micalessin wholeheartedly supports the Russian side in his works and justifies all the criminal activities occurring in the temporarily controlled lands. He also “believes” in the show that Putin is putting on. All in all, Micalessin promotes information that is helpful to Russia in its information war on the Italian media space. He shamelessly imposes pro-Russian justifications.
The military journalist reports on events taking place in the temporarily seized territory, pretending to be an independent correspondent. But he shows up there as a Russian, as an occupation authority. To the international and Italian audience, he wants to come across as someone who is introduced to the temporarily held territory and has blind faith in the Russian-made game. He disseminates all of these materials through the Italian media, misleading the general public. And this is clearly his goal.
It is noteworthy that Mikalessin's citizenship allows the Kremlin to present to the Russian society his position, which converges with Moscow's propaganda, as if a significant part of Italian society thinks so. While the disinformation of Italian and Russian citizens continues, there is a need for a legal assessment of Micalessin's activities.