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Italian Diplomat By Day, Fascist Rock Star By Night


ROME – An Italian diplomat who was spotted last year performing on stage in a fascist rock band has been brought back from Japan, Corriere della Sera reported.

Controversy had erupted when Mario Vattani, visiting home at the time during his stint at the General Consul of Italia in Osaka, was seen singing the praises of the Italian Social Republic, the fascist regime led by Benito Mussolini. He also slammed the current Republic, which he is supposed to represent, saying the political system born in 1946 was "based on lies and cheatings' and founded by "Italian Mafiosi brought home by the Americans."

The foreign ministry employee, who was recorded on video praising the fascist regime, has to leave his position and has been suspended for a few months, but he keeps the same job rank within the administration, Corriere wrote.

The singer, whose stage name is Katanga, has filed an appeal against his suspension at the regional administrative tribunal.

Umberto Vattani, the father of Mario and himself a former ambassador, stood by his son, saying he was "the victim of a hasty trial."

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Black Sea Survivor: Tale Of A Ukrainian Special Agent Thrown Overboard In Enemy Waters

This is a tale of a Ukrainian special forces operator who wound up surviving 14 hours at sea, staying afloat and dodging Russian air and sea patrols.

Black Sea Survivor: Tale Of A Ukrainian Special Agent Thrown Overboard In Enemy Waters

Looking at the Black Sea in Odessa, Ukraine.

Rustem Khalilov and Roksana Kasumova

KYIV — During a covert operation in the Black Sea, a Ukrainian special agent was thrown overboard and spent the next 14 hours alone at sea, surrounded by enemy forces.

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The agent, who uses the call-sign "Conan," agreed to speak to Ukrainska Pravda, to share the details of nearly being lost forever at sea. He also shared some background on how he arrived in the Ukrainian special forces. Having grown up in a village in a rural territory of Ukraine, Conan describes himself as "a simple guy."

He'd worked in law enforcement, personal security and had a job as a fitness trainer when Russia launched its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022. That's when he signed up with the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Main Directorate of Intelligence "Artan" battalion. It was nearly 18 months into his service, when Conan faced the most harrowing experience of the war. Here's his first-hand account:

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