** Ukraine: Leo, baker from Mykolaiv in Milan, ‘Russians welcome to me too’ **

From Mykolaiv to Milan to make bread. Leonid Lytvynenko, aka ‘Leo’, 41, opened his ‘Leo’s Bakery’ in Corso di Porta Romana a month before the war in Ukraine, and every day he bakes Ukrainian and Italian bread and pastries. “I can’t say that I only make typical Ukrainian products – explains Leonid to AdnKronos – but also pizzas, pizza by the slice, sandwiches. My customers are Italian, Ukrainian and even Russian, for me there is no difference, everyone comes, everyone buys, the important thing is this “. Leonid has been in Italy for 5 years but the bakery opened its doors shortly before the conflict. “For two weeks I was unable to work, I was desperate” says Leonid, a native of Mykolaiv, in southern Ukraine, battered in the past few hours by relentless bombing. “My father and my wife’s parents remained in Ukraine – explains Leonid – every day we think of them and we can’t do anything. They don’t want to leave the country and now in Mykolaiv there is no water in the house for two weeks and it is difficult to live. . Every day something changes, I just watch the news. ” In his oven Leonid produces various typical sweets such as Ptashyne moloko and “a kind of Ukrainian soufflè”, the typical honey cake “that Italians like so much”, but also biscuits and ‘Kyiv bread “, made with a particular dough with 85% rye flour. “Nobody in Milan does it like this – Leonid admits – it is difficult to work with rye flour, there is no gluten, it is a bread that I make to order, even my Italian customers do they buy, they really like it “. To help his fellow citizens Leonid has collected basic necessities and has already sent” three large parcels with products also for children. “In Milan, on the other hand, he gave a hand to some acquaintances who fled the war . “We helped three families who came from Ukraine, we hosted them and then we managed to find accommodation for two friends and my wife’s sister, who arrived with her 11-year-old daughter.” It is useless to ask him how he feels. “When the heart is broken what can I say? Words fail me – says Leonid, barely holding back a nervous laugh -. More than two months have passed, the war is in the center of Europe, it is a disaster. In two days we celebrate our Orthodox Easter. Bread can be a way to unite people in peace “.