He had what it takes to be a hero in the beginning. Ivan Luca Vavassori (29) was discovered as a football talent by the Ticino team at the age of eleven. From 2003 to 2009, the Italian played for the youth team of FC Lugano, reports Ticinonline. They were followed by the teams of Bra, Legnano and Vittuone. Even Bolivia signs a contract with a blonde goalkeeper. But the young man from Bergamo (I) will not make headlines as a football star.
When the Russian army invades Ukraine, Ivan Vavassori packs his things. “It will be a suicide mission,” said Ivan Il Mattino in late February. I want to fight. On the Ukrainian side. Although Ivan is Russian by birth and was adopted by an Italian couple at the age of five.
An Italian foreign fighter is fighting on the front lines
Ivan Vavassori joins the Ukrainian army. It stands on the most difficult front of this terrible invasion – in Mariupol. He publishes photos and videos of the horrors of war over and over again on Instagram and Facebook. Thousands of followers follow his posts. He quickly received his first nickname: “The Commander of Rome.” As he wraps his Kalashnikov in black tape, fans also call him “Black Eagle.”
He publishes regularly until March 18. “We are only 500 meters from the enemy lines. Without a helmet. No protection. No worries »reports Foreign Fighter from Italy. Enthusiasm fades in the face of bleak reality. “War makes me puke. I’ve been crying for several days. We are damned soldiers who kill or die ”, laments Ivan. After all, he blocks Instagram and Facebook “to protect my life,” he writes. There is radio silence.
“We are surrounded by Russians”
Family and friends worry that Ivan and his companions may have fallen. Then a message appears. “I’m alive. Five soldiers are dead, four are wounded. We are surrounded by Russians.” Ivan publishes posts regularly. Until Monday a week ago, his social media channels are quiet again. On Tuesday, a former footballer reported from a Ukrainian hospital: “I have a high fever and I am wounded in several places on the body. Fortunately nothing is broken. “Foreign Fighter is now tired of the war.” I’m fed up, I’m going home. “
But in Italy, not only applause awaits. The criminal case against Ivan Vavassori is currently under investigation by the Milan Public Prosecutor’s Office. Participation in combat abroad without the consent of the state is prohibited.