This Friday, March 11, many social media users questioned the veracity of the emblematic photo of a pregnant woman who had allegedly been injured in a Russian bombardment of the maternity and child hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine last Wednesday. According to multiple media reports, the hospital had been evacuated in late February and is now allegedly occupied by the Azov battalion.
In a thread of posts, the Correo del Alba team has shown how Ukraine’s propaganda industry is trying to deceive international public opinion.
The image taken by a photographer from AP was quickly disseminated through social media, arousing astonishment and empathy; and also suspicion at the same time. According to international news agencies, the name of the injured woman was Marianna Podgurskaya. In news articles in other sources, she is still named Marianna but with the last name Vishegirskaya, which may be her maiden name; this has not yet been clarified.
¡MONTAJE MEDIÁTICO! Se devela manipulación mediática realizada en hospital bombardeado en Mariupol-Ucrania, mismo que había sido evacuado desde febrero. ¡🧵! #CorreoDelAlba #NoticiasRusiaUcrania #PildorasInternacionales#10Marzo#MujeresEnCiencia pic.twitter.com/XpHI6TaiO7
— Correo del Alba #CorreoDelAlba (@correodelalba) March 10, 2022
However, while this young woman was being removed from the hospital in the presence of cameras and with detailed photographic coverage, it can be seen in videos that, apparently there were no other sick people, no other pregnant women, no newborn children, nor medical personnel or nurses in the hospital premises. It has been alleged that this was the case because the propaganda machine tried to ensure that she was the only survivor of the bombardment. Even while she was being escorted from the damaged building, Marianna was able to make a change of clothes.
Who is she?
The young injured pregnant woman turned out to be an actress, blogger and influencer, with hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, and her content is about beauty and self-care. Everything indicates that the videos from the hospital was part of a staged scene at the maternity hospital in Mariupol, which was unused and had become a hideout for the neo-Nazi Azov battalion, which is integrated in Ukraine’s army.
Many social media users commented that, if there was so much coverage for a single person and if the media had access to the “bombed” hospital, why are there no photos of more people injured or even deceased? Some asked if Marianna was in Ukrainian military. It appears that this hospital incident was another fake news to increase Russophobia, similar to when mannequins were used to simulate corpses to claim that they were Ukrainian civilians killed in Russian bombardment.
Featured image: Marianna Podgurskaya, Ukrainian woman claimed to have been injured in the Russian aerial bombing of the maternity hospital in Mariupol, Donetsk. Photo: Twitter/@correodelalba
(RedRadioVE) by Victoria Torres
Translation: Orinoco Tribune