The Russian ambassador to Rome has filed a legal complaint against the Italian newspaper La Stampa for a piece weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of a hypothetical assassination of Russia's leader.
In an article published this week, the Turin-based paper explored a scenario whereby Russian President Vladimir Putin is killed by one of his confidants in order to end the war in Ukraine. In the piece, the journalist listed pros and cons and sketched out prognoses about what could follow.
Ambassador Sergei Razov filed a complaint with the prosecutor's office in Rome on Friday morning for incitement and advocacy of a crime.
"The text contemplates the assassination of Putin," the diplomat told reporters, according to a translator. "This is unethical, immoral and against the rules of journalism." He said he now trusted the Italian judiciary to investigate.
The newspaper and several politicians strongly condemned the envoy's actions.La Stampa editor-in-chief Massimo Giannini praised the "wonderful" article by a renowned war reporter, who concluded that an assassination of Putin would potentially make the situation worse.
This, he said, was exactly the opposite of what Ambassador Razov was accusing the newspaper of. "But that is how Russia is today," Giannini said.