Russia describes image of pregnant woman after bombing of children’s hospital as “fake”

A pregnant woman is carried away on a stretcher by some men after the bombing of the children’s and maternity hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol. It’s an iconic photo that leaves no one indifferent. “Fake news,” the Russian embassy said in a tweet. The image seems to have become the basis of an information war between Russia and the west.

Images have been published worldwide of patients fleeing the hospital in Mariupol or being carried away on stretchers after a Russian army bomb hit the maternity and children’s wards.

In London, the Russian embassy wrote on Twitter yesterday that the hospital has been out of operation for a long time, so no patients could be affected in Mariupol. To get the latest stories, install our app here.

Russia, therefore, claims that the photo of the pregnant woman is “fake”.

Another image that Russia says has been “staged”.
Another image that Russia says has been “staged”. ©AP

According to Russia, the woman on the stretcher is Marianna Podgurskaya, a “model who plays an injured pregnant woman”.

The woman is injured in the head, but according to Russia, that is “just very realistic make-up”. The poignant image was taken by Evgeniy Maloletka, “a photographer involved in Ukraine’s propaganda,” Russia claims.

Twitter deleted the message from the Russian embassy.
Twitter deleted the message from the Russian embassy.

Ukraine says three people were killed and 17 injured in the bombing of the children’s and maternity hospital in Mariupol. Ukrainian authorities have not confirmed the woman’s identity, but she was pregnant and present in Mariupol at the time of the Russian bombing. Twitter eventually deleted the message from the Russian embassy.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said the news was “Russian disinformation”. “You have seen the increase in the number of civilians who have been targeted, injured, and killed by Russian attacks,” the spokesman said. Claiming that victims are actually so-called crisis actors is a common disinformation tactic.

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