An Italian freelance journalist who went missing late last month while covering the conflict in Ukraine is being treated in a Russian hospital, the Defense Ministry in Moscow reported on Thursday.
Mattia Sorbi was rescued by Russian forces after a car he was traveling in towards the frontline triggered a mine, the ministry said in a statement. It claimed that the people from the Ukrainian side who had helped the Italian reach his destination had deliberately set him up, hoping that his death could be blamed on Russia.
The online news outlet www.today.it has reported that Sorbi had been injured, citing sources in the Italian Foreign Ministry as saying that he had been “involved in an incident” while covering the combat in southern Ukraine.
Arndt Ginzel, a fellow Italian reporter currently based in the city of Nikolaev, said on social media that he had been unable to contact Sorbi since August 31. Sorbi had told him that he had left Nikolaev and traveled in the direction of the village of Aleksandrovka in Kherson Region some 50km away.
Kherson Region is predominantly controlled by Russian troops.