For years, the Italian animalist has been running a facility for animals 45 minutes from Kiev: «This is madness, all this is madness in 2022. Would you like to help us? Stop Putin »
Andrea Cisternino in 2012 founded an animal shelter of 20 thousand square meters 45 minutes from Kiev. Since the war in Ukraine began, he has decided not to leave or even to return to Italy, the country where he was born. «For years I have been taking care of 400 animals, which I have saved from mistreatment and breeding – said Andrea Cisternino yesterday, in connection with“ La vita live ”- and I decided to stay, not to abandon them. Building this refuge cost a lot of effort, I’m not leaving ». He said these few sentences live on Rai 1 while inside his refuge “Italia Kj2” he was in the dark, after an alarm that had recently gone off in the area. Until yesterday he updated his Facebook page with the story of what is happening, and in his last post he wrote: “Here I am, we are all in all fine even if they shoot”. The previous day he had filmed Russian military helicopters flying over the shelter. «This morning the sky around the shelter was red – he said – continuous artillery shots even during the night, you can’t sleep. 15 minutes ago I saw an artillery shell fall far from the shelter but I could smell the smell of gunpowder very well, I could hear military columns moving in the distance, planes went by. May God help us and curse those who wanted to start all this ».
Cisternino, a former fashion and costume photographer, initially moved to Ukraine together with his wife Vlada Shalutko to report and fight the killings of stray dogs, including shootings, poisonings and mass graves. Then he opened his shelter, welcoming and saving animals that would die or face a cruel fate. In his refuge there are dogs, cats, horses, cows, pigs, goats, sheep, geese and chickens, and lately he has said that he has stocked up on food for all of them and for his family.
In these days he says to pay attention to every noise, because “we live with anguish but we try to be positive”. Reached by the journalist Maria Paola Battista Cisternino he says: «We go on day by day hoping that everything will be resolved and that we all get out of it well, including animals. Life in the Refuge goes on normally, at least we try to make it look like this, we do the daily work for the Refuge and the animals. I hope nothing will happen to me as I hope for collaborators and animals then… someone will decide ».
And when asked what message he has for the West he replies: «The message is that this is madness, all this is madness in 2022. To help us we can do very little or tell Putin to stop. You can think of us and if someone wants to help us with donations he can go to the site: www.rifugioitaliakj2.org ».
Andrea Cisternino, born in Rome, despite his fear has therefore decided to continue his life and his project, to continue to protect his oasis at all costs until it is possible. “I have decided that I can also die here – he wrote on Facebook on February 24 – for my animals”.
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