Who carved a swastika on a woman's body? An Italian photographer who fell victim to propaganda

We publish another independent investigation by the Molfar team. Today we will consider a very interesting case: body scarring, Nazi symbols and fake accusations. This is a terrible crime and we are very sorry for this girl. We honor her death. But our task is to show how russian propaganda cynically uses such terrible things for its own purposes.

In general: we found the real participants of the event, established their motives and came to an objective conclusion.

If you do not have time to read the whole investigation, then here is a short summary with conclusions.

Briefly about the results of the investigation

The woman was photographed by Italian photographer Gabriele Micalizzi, who was part of a team of russian soldiers. In his Instagram, he wrote that the woman was tortured to death, had a Nazi swastika carved on her body and then strangled. An interesting fact is that he concluded that the Ukrainian military did it because the woman's body was covered with a jacket from the Armed Forces of Ukraine uniform set. There is no other evidence. The photographer left a note that in fact "at the moment I have no other information and details about the case" – but the russian propaganda media has already used this information to their advantage.

We searched for the photographer and found that he had been showing events in Ukraine since 2015. And he did it exclusively from a pro-russian position. The reason is also very interesting – his friend died in 2014, when the war in Ukraine began in the Donbass. Then russian propaganda said that the shooting and murder were the work of Ukrainian nationalists – and he believed. Direct quote:

“The head of the army of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic claims that the position was shelled by the Ukrainian army”.


So, as a man under propaganda, he began to seek revenge. That is why he showed history exclusively from a pro-russian position. That is, it became one of the tools of propaganda. As for the swastika, this case is not related to the activities of the photographer.

As for the swastika. Earlier, the russian side has been spotted creating swastikas on the territory of Ukraine to confirm the statements of russian propaganda about the "spreading of Nazism in Ukraine." Russian mercenary Pavel Fuks was involved in these cases. A direct quote from a journalistic investigation.

“Multiple sources tell Rolling Stone that a Ukrainian businessman offered payouts for a false flag operation aimed at bolstering Putin’s claim that Ukraine was a Nazi hotbed”.


That is, Italian photographer Gabriele Micalizzi has fallen victim to propaganda paid for by President Putin in Ukraine since early 2014. That's the whole truth. Next we will provide facts that you can understand – all photos of this person reflect the official statements of russian propaganda, the tool of which was the photographer himself.

How the Italian photographer Gabriele Micalizzi has been showing the war in Ukraine since 2015

Before the war:

— In February 2015, he was in Donetsk, took a photo of the destroyed airport and a photo for an article about one of the commanders of the pro-russian separatists of Donbass Mikhail Tolstoy, "Givi", who commanded the "Somalia" battalion and took part in the capture of the airport.

— On February 21, 2022, he was in Donetsk, took a photo of a car with a pro-russian inscription for an article about russia's recognition of the DPR and LPR as independent republics.

Since the beginning of russia's full-scale war in Ukraine, he has made three posts on Instagram: 

The first post is a close-up of a russian tank traveling to Mariupol.

The second post is a photo of destruction and corpses from Donbass with the caption "dirt, blood and death". Several photos in the post were taken in the village of Mykolaivka, Volnovakha district, which has been under russian control since February 24, 2022. Some photos from the post published on the CESURA website in the description (photo 1, photo 2) indicate the location of Mykolayivka near Bugas. Also in the last photo in the post at the background you can see a tank with the so-called "russian swastika" - marked "Z".

The third post is a post with a swastika on a woman's body and a signature stating that in the basement of the school, which was allegedly used as a base of Azov militants, the DPR army found the corpse of a woman with traces of beatings, torture and a swastika carved on her body, covered with Ukrainian military uniform. In addition to the corpse, there are also photos of destroyed Mariupol. Comments on the post are disabled.

Additional evidence that the swastika photograph is the work of russian propagandists

The first mention of this woman was in a video of American journalist Patrick Lancaster on March 27. It was filmed in the basement of school №25 in Mariupol, according to the journalist, weapons and uniforms of Ukrainian soldiers were found on the spot. Also in the video, a DPR fighter with the call sign "Squirrel" and a chevron on the sleeve "sex, weapons & corvalol" comments on the situation in russian. According to him, the Ukrainian military left their uniforms in the basement, changed into civilian clothes, took ammunition and ran away. Evidence that the uniform belongs to the Ukrainian army shows stripes with Ukrainian flags and names written in Ukrainian letters, the DPR fighter admits that chevrons that would prove membership in specific units "few", the video shows three chevrons of the National Guard, one of which is the chevron of the tank search department. He says there were probably fighters from the Azov Battalion as well – but without evidence.

He also claims that military women were at the base, based on the fact that they found a size 38 uniform. In addition, evidence that this base belonged to the Ukrainian military is called the Ukrainian flags and blue stripes on a civilian car scattered in the basement.

Other videos on the Patrick Lancaster channel since the beginning of the war were filmed in the territory of Ukraine temporarily occupied by the troops of the russian federation and the DPR, all of which reflect the position of russian propaganda. Prior to that, since 2014, the channel has covered events in the Crimea and Donbas, also by propagandist claimings.

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