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How a Putin admirer was hired by the Italian Senate

Irina Osipova passed a public competition to work in the upper chamber of Parliament in an administrative capacity. Her nomination drew heavy controversy due to her personal links with the Kremlin and pro-Russian figures – as well as the Italian Defence

Irina Osipova will work in the Senate. The 35-year-old, Russian-born Italian citizen successfully passed a public competition to work as a parliamentary coadjutor – i.e. someone who aids with the organisation and functioning of the institutional body, carrying out administrative and secretarial tasks and is able to access archives and classify documents. She’s set to start on November 1.

  • The news immediately sparked controversy due to her links with the Kremlin and overtly pro-Russian positions, with many questioning whether her profile is suitable for working at the heart of Italian institutions.

A Putinist in Italy. Ms Osipova was born in Moscow and has been living in Italy for almost 20 years. In 2011 (she was 23), she founded the RIM – Young Italo-Russians Association, which supported criticism against European sanctions on Russia. In 2014, she began collaborating with the Lombardy-Russia Association founded by Gianluca Savoini, who facilitated exchanges between the League’s Matteo Salvini and the Kremlin. Then she ran for the Rome Municipality in 2016 with Brothers of Italy, headed by current Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, which she apparently still supports despite its firmly pro-Atlanticist positioning.

  • During those years, she forged (heavily documented) ties with far-right figures, including Yan Petrovsky and Vladimir Verbitchii, both members of the Rusich – a simil-Nazi military formation associated with the Wagner Group and the Kremlin – and the Italian foreign fighter Andrea Palmeri, who fought in the Dombas in 2014 alongside Russia’s paramilitary forces.

From father… The new Senate employee is the daughter of Oleg Osipov, who’s closely connected to the Kremlin’s power structures as former head of Rossotrudnichestvo – an influential agency within the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs sanctioned by the European Union as an instrument of influence abroad. He has also directed the Russian Centre for Science and Culture in Rome.

… to husband. In 2019, Ms Osipova married Luca Pedetti, a 44-year-old Italian entrepreneur and business executive who founded a startup, Pepeeta, which dealt mainly with technology, blockchain and distributed systems. Evidence gathered by La Stampa before he shut down his social media accounts shows him and his wife at the Russian Embassy in Rome as well as invitations from several divisions of the Italian Armed Forces.

  • The Italian news outlet was also able to obtain a copy of his CV from the Defence’s website. In it, Mr Pedetti alleges a past job as a consultant for aerospace company Finmeccanica (now Leonardo), where he “provided integrated logistical support” for systems that were then “supplied to the Italian Armed Forces.”
  • He also details other supposed links with NATO and the Italian Armed Forces and Defence ecosystem, boasting of joining projects and participating in roundtables with high-level institutions, as La Stampa reported.

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