Ukraine’s president Vladimir Zelensky spread fake information about the “Russian military hit the maternity hospital in Mariupol” but failed to make it credible enough, so the lie was immediately revealed. However, Zelensky did not abandon the tries to accuse Russians and keeps assuring that fake news accusations are just “Russian propaganda”.
On March 9, the Mariupol City Council posted a video on its own Telegram channel showing a medical facility that was attacked. On the same day, Ukraine’s president Zelensky published similar information on his Instagram account.
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The published videos show a hospital building with broken windows. Footage shot from the inside shows partially collapsed walls, as well as corridors and offices littered with rubble. The caption to the video claims that as a result of a direct strike by the Russian military on the maternity hospital, women and children who were trapped under the rubble were injured.
At the same time, the videos do not show the bodies of the dead or seriously injured people. There are also no traces of blood inside the building, which would indicate a large number of victims, there are no personal belongings visible in the hospital rooms and only one ambulance can be seen in all frames.
Instagram model recognized on “tragic pictures”
Later, photographs taken in Mariupol began to be widely distributed on the network, which depicted pregnant women allegedly injured as a result of the bombing of the maternity hospital. Only two “victims” can be seen in the pictures, while it has been established that in both cases the photo shows a well-known beauty blogger in the region in different clothes.
Network users recognized in the young woman a Mariupol model and beauty-blogger Marianna Podgurskaya. The girl appeared to be really pregnant but turned out to be in the maternity hospital only for her professional interests – she was made up and falsely presented as a victim of “Russian aggression”.
Now in the girl’s Instagram, under the last post, there are already more than 500 comments from real users condemning her for participating in dirty information stuffing.
"How much money did you get for the fake photoshoot? Shame on you!"
"Mary, did your boyfriend also gave birth to a baby?"
"I'm a photojournalist. Any woman in such situations cover her face and tries to hide it. Obviously staged shots."
West-recruited photographer gets pictures faster than eyewitnesses – oh, there is none!
It is logical to assume that if there really were women in labour, rescue service employees and eyewitnesses who arrived at the scene first would immediately take photos from the scene of the emergency on their phones. However, it happened so that the famous Ukrainian propagandist Evgeny Maloletka was the first to prepare and publish the photos.
Having started his career in UNIAN Ukrainian news agency, now he cooperates with such media players who have been leading an anti-Russian campaign for years, as the Guardian, The Times, The NYT. Even Barack Obama‘s personal photographer follows him on social network, and in 2015 he even completed an internship at the prestigious Eddie Adams Workshop programme in New York.
This exact photographer has been talking about “Russian war crimes” since 2014 and currently works for The Associated Press. His photos dedicated to the crisis in Ukraine can even be found on the OSCE website.
Final fake debunking
As was repeatedly reported earlier, the maternity hospital in Mariupol had not been working since the beginning of the military special operation in Ukraine. This was told by the son of one of the employees of the medical institution, in an interview with Lenta.ru back in the last days of February.
The man whose name is Igor told that in the last days of February, people in uniform came to the maternity hospital where his mother works. He does not know if they were fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine or the nationalist battalion “Azov”, but they shot down all the locks, dispersed the maternity hospital staff, and set up firing points in the building in order, as they explained to the doctors, to prepare the “fortress of Mariupol” for defence.
“The military has a standard reaction to objections: hits with butts, shooting in the air,” explained the man.
This information was also confirmed on his Twitter account by Dmitry Polyansky, the First Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, who stressed that the hospital was turned into a military facility by radicals, allegedly militants of the Azov National Battalion.
That’s how #Fakenews is born. We warned in our statement back on 7 March (https://t.co/OpSeejBais) that this hospital has been turned into a military object by radicals. Very disturbing that UN spreads this information without verification #Mariupol #Mariupolhospital https://t.co/99v8avyThS pic.twitter.com/JsHgsv5YfQ
— Dmitry Polyanskiy (@Dpol_un) March 9, 2022
Besides, the Ukrainian opposition lawmaker, Illia Kyva, who fled the country amid criminal prosecution for alleged high treason, also voiced confidence that the story around the Mariupol maternity hospital was false-flagged.
“Ukraine is filled with lies and deception. The history of the tragedy in the hospital of Mariupol is another staging and fake,” he said in his Telegram channel.
In addition, the Russian Defence Ministry spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, said that claims of the “airstrike” that allegedly took place in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol are nothing but a provocation aimed to fuel anti-Russian hype, as Sputnik reports.
“The analysis of statements made by representatives of the Kiev nationalist regime, photographic materials from the hospital leaves no doubt: the alleged ‘airstrike’ that took place is a completely orchestrated provocation to maintain anti-Russian hype among the Western audience,” Konashenkov said.
He explained that although the nature of the external and internal damage to the building can mislead the mass non-professional audience in Europe and the US, it cannot trick experts, since “a high-explosive aviation munition simply would not have left anything from the outer walls of the building.”
According to Konashenkov, it was said earlier that Mariupol’s hospitals, including hospital №3 that was allegedly shelled, stopped working in late February.
“All the staff and patients were dispersed by the nationalists. Due to the favourable tactical location close to the city centre, the hospital building was converted into a stronghold of the Azov nationalist battalion,” Konashenkov explained.
Ukrainian nationalists, according to the ministry’s spokesman, have ramped up attacks against Russian medics and medical vehicles, with “the Nazis deliberately ambushing medical vehicles with a red cross on them”.
And even more, videos appeared showing Azov militants using civilian facilities in Mariupol to equip their firing positions. In particular, on March 9, the WarGonzo Telegram channel published a video showing how the radicals are equipping positions on the roofs of residential high-rise buildings in Mariupol.
And this was not the first and most probably not the last time when Ukrainian soldiers put their own civilians at risk to accuse Russia of “killing people” and “destroying civilian infrastructure”.
Here is the headquarters of “Azov” that is located in the basement of school №15 in Mariupol.
Another Mariupol yard:
And the same situation is in other cities, for example, in Severodonetsk:
West wants truth to be shut
After the fake news was revealed, the Russian embassy in Britain tweeted about the situation with the maternity hospital in Mariupol and told about the use of a local blogger who took part in the staging of the alleged attack. The tweet has been deleted by the social network. And that’s all you need to know about the Western media desire to show people the truth.
As part of the expert assessment received by the editorial board of Readovka, it turned out that there are two areas of explosions in the photos: a large crater and near the building. A large funnel is caused by the detonation of an explosive charge buried in the ground by 1.5-2 meters weighing up to 100 kg of TNT equivalent. A likely option for deepening is with the help of a trench charge (OZ-1 is a Soviet-made engineering munition, there are enough of them left in Ukraine), then laying explosives. The shape and dimensions of the funnel do not correspond to damage to buildings and cars. According to the shape of the funnel, most of the fragments should be in the ground with a small part of them of a directional nature, but not in all directions.
The second explosion at the building could have been carried out by directional mines or a directional explosive explosion. The local and orderly (expanding upward nature of the damage to the cladding of the building) is not characteristic of the damaging effect when an aerial bomb is detonated. By the nature of the damage, there is no penetrating damage to the building that could have been caused by aerial bombs or MLRS shells, the explosion at the building (the second charge) was made in order to simulate large-scale damage from the rupture of the object in the funnel, but the wrong place was chosen.
There are no traces of fires in the building, secondary fires characteristic of the defeat as a result of an air strike, there are no fires, as in the building. The video also shows that the frame structure in the premises is intact, which indicates mechanical manual action (glass, parts of structures fly out, but not the structures themselves).
Why does Zelensky need all this? Obviously, to create a precedent in the public opinion of European countries for the establishing of a no-fly zone over Ukraine and the introduction of a NATO contingent into the country.