Marianna, the pregnant woman whose photos in the compound of a bombed maternity hospital in the city of Mariupol went viral around the world, has now recounted how she became the “face” of that fake news campaign in which Russia was accused of the war crime.
Marianna Vyshemirskaya, a beauty blogger and resident of Mariupol, denied the Russian airstrike on the maternity hospital in that Ukrainian city and stressed that it was instead shelled by artillery. “There was no [airstrike], no one heard anything, not even those outside,” Marianna said on an Instagram post.
Vyshemirskaya also claimed that immediately after the shelling, an Associated Press reporter, wearing a military uniform and helmet, took photos of her and other women without their permission.
She added that when she realized that he was photographing her during the evacuation, she objected, but the “journalist” ignored her requests and those of the Ukrainian military who also asked him not to take photos.
“I looked up at the window, and then I turned my head and saw a soldier with a helmet,” Vyshemirskaya said on video. At that time she was standing outside the hospital, waiting to be evacuated. “I noticed he had something fluffy in his hands and I understood he was filming me. I asked him to stop filming because obviously it was not a good time for that. I didn’t want to be seen there. What is the point of that? He told me ‘ok’ and left. Then again when we were leaving the basement on the first floor, there was a reporter. The same one. He started filming me again. Other people asked him to stop filming but he ignored them. They asked him again and afterwards he left.”
You remember Marianna?
Here’s the part of her interview, in which she confirmes:
🔹 🇺🇦 military did occupy the Mariupol maternity hospital #3 (#humanshields)
🔹 they provided no help, and even took their food
🔹 there were no airstrikes
🔹 A cameraman was on-site on March 9 pic.twitter.com/Qdv4uYmkHA
— Russian Mission in Geneva (@mission_russian) April 1, 2022
After the alleged bombing of the maternity hospital, Marianna gave an interview to journalists from the same agency (AP) where she said that she had not heard the sound of any air raid or airplane, but it was never published. That was when the wave of fake news and media propaganda began, she said.
She also explained the matter of the photographs of herself in three different attires at three different locations in the hospital grounds. “That was not me,” she said, referring to the photos and videos showing a woman being carried out on a stretcher. “It was the woman who passed away. She was carried out first because she was in a critical condition… She was admitted at the hospital but neither she nor her child survived.”
“They didn’t make me change my clothes or put make up on me,” she added, discarding the rumors that she was a willing participant in the set-up. “Due to the situation that occurred, in which they put me—because I never accepted my photos to be published—I was forced to comment, since my situation was considered fake, that there was no one in the hospital. I said that there were women in labor and pregnant women in the hospital.”
Vyshemirskaya was sent to another hospital where she gave birth to her child the day after the incident. She said that the AP reporters followed her there too. “They asked if there was an airstrike and I replied no. Even the people that were in the streets didn’t hear anything. There were explosions, but there were no noises before or after [indicating the presence of planes]. It seems that they didn’t they like this information.” She also denounced that said interview was never uploaded; that she has searched for the interview on the internet after she returned home but could not find it anywhere.
In another interview for the Telegram channel Barbieatwar, Marianna said that she and her husband went to Mariupol Maternity Hospital No. 3 after being rejected by Maternity No. 2, which was not accepting patients, and Maternity No. 1, which, in her words, had been “occupied by the military.”
Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya had mentioned the occupation of Mariupol’s Maternity Hospital No. 1 by Ukrainian troops in a speech on March 7.
Vyshemirskaya also described the difficult conditions in the hospital where she was. She explained that the husbands of the pregnant women had to live in the basement of the hospital, and that food had to be prepared in a field kitchen in the street. She added that the Ukrainian troops at the hospital did nothing to help, and even came one day and took the food away from the staff, saying they had not eaten for days.
On March 10, Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Major General Igor Konashenkov called the alleged Russian airstrike on the Mariupol maternity hospital an orchestrated set-up.
On the same day, Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that the hospital building had become a base for the Ukrainian nationalist group Azov Battalion. He further informed that, at the UN Security Council meeting, the Russian delegation presented evidence that the maternity hospital was taken over by radicals long ago and that pregnant women and staff were evacuated from the place.
Ukrainian parliamentarian Ilia Kiva too commented that the story of the attack on the Mariupol maternity hospital was a set-up. On March 8, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) military decried that Ukrainian Azov nationalists were using civilians as human shields.
Featured image: Marianna Vyshemirskaya, the pregnant woman evacuated from a Mariupol maternity hospital, whose photo was used without consent for a mainstream media fake news. Photo: AP/Mstyslav Chernov
Translation: Orinoco Tribune