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Blogger Reveals How She Was Used to Create Fake News About ‘Russian Air Strike’ on Mariupol Hospital

Photos snapped by an Associated Press photographer of a pregnant woman at a demolished Mariupol hospital which Western media claimed had been “bombed by Russian forces” spread like wildfire, with US and European officials and media characterising the incident as evidence of Russian “war crimes”.

The Russian MoD dismissed the allegations.

Marianna Vyshemirskaya, a Mariupol beauty blogger who has been turned into a symbol by Western media to shore up claims that the Russian military deliberately bombed one of the city’s maternity hospitals on 9 March, has come forward to explain what really took place.

In a series of story posts on her Instagram page, Vyshemirskaya, whose name was erroneously reported as “Vyshegirskaya” in many Western reports, stressed that the hospital was not struck in an air strike, but apparently shelled by artillery.

Marianna Vyshemirskaya news

Vyshemirskaya also explained that immediately after the shelling, photos of her and other women were taken without their permission by an Associated Press reporter wearing military fatigues and a helmet.

“I spent probably 30 minutes near the maternity hospital. This was where I was photographed. I was the last one to be photographed. When I saw the Associated Press reporter taking pictures I asked him to stop because I didn’t want or need this. He answered ‘Yes, yes, okay’, but after I and a policeman who agreed to accompany me to the second floor of the building to get my things came back down he again started snapping us”, the woman said.

According to Vyshemirskaya, even Ukrainian law enforcement told the reporter not to shoot, with the photo correspondent ignoring them at first, before finally leaving after being warned a second time.

“I did not give my permission for my photos to be taken and published. They published them by their own initiative”, Vyshemirskaya stressed.

The woman said that two days after the incident, Associated Press reporters came back and asked her for an interview. “I replied that I am apolitical and did not want to give any interview. They said ‘We are also apolitical, but we’ve published your photos on the Internet’”, she recalled.

That’s when the slew of fakes and information attacks began, she said. “Because the situation that developed, which they plopped me into –because I never agreed to have my photos published, I was forced to comment, since my situation was considered a fake, that there was nobody in the maternity hospital. I said there were women in labour and pregnant women in the hospital…They also asked me if there was an air raid. I replied that no one heard an air raid. Explosions took place but there were no noises before or after them [to indicate aircraft]. This information didn’t seem to be to their liking. They cut it out”, she said.

In a separate interview published Saturday, Marianna said she and her husband went to Mariupol’s Maternity Hospital # 3 after being rejected by Maternity Hospital #2, which was not accepting patients, and Maternity Hospital #1, which she said had been “occupied by the military”.

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya mentioned Ukrainian troops’ occupation of Maternity Hospital #1 in an address on 7 March.

Vyshemirskaya also revealed the difficult conditions at the hospital, saying that husbands of the pregnant women had to live in the hospital’s basement, and that food had to be prepared in a field kitchen in the yard. Vyshemirskaya said Ukrainian troops at the hospital did nothing to help, and one day even came and took food away from staff, saying they had not eaten in days.

‘Information Provocation’

Four people were killed, one baby died as a stillbirth, and at least 17 others were injured in the Mariupol hospital attack.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called the incident a “heinous war crime” by Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said it was evidence that “a genocide of Ukrainians is taking place”.

Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov dismissed claims of Russian involvement as an “information provocation by Kiev”, noting that a ceasefire regime had been declared by Russian forces on 9 March to allow for the evacuation of Mariupol’s residents, and that Russian aircraft did not take to the skies over the city that day. The Russian military also warned repeatedly about the presence of Ukrainian troops and neo-Nazi Azov militants at the city’s hospitals.

After being published by the AP on 10 March, photos of a battered Marianna carrying a blanket against the backdrop of the bombed out hospital spread like wildfire online. The news agency ran the story with the lead: “A Russian airstrike devastated a maternity hospital Wednesday in the besieged port city of Mariupol amid growing warnings from the West that Moscow’s invasion is about to take a more brutal and indiscriminate turn”.

The photos were immediately picked up and used extensively by a host of other outlets, from the BBC and CNN to The Guardian, The Mirror, and a host of other outlets as a symbol of “Russian torture and brutality”. An ill-fated series of tweets by the Russian Embassy in the UK saying that the incident appeared staged sparked further outrage, and ultimately prompted Twitter to remove them.

Vyshemirskaya’s story is the latest in an increasingly dense ecosystem of fakes, misinformation, and disinformation which has appeared online during the Ukraine crisis, from the legend of Snake Island, where the Ukrainian troops that Russia was feared to have indiscriminately cut down later appeared alive and well in Crimea, to the famous “Ghost of Kiev”, the mythical Ukrainian fighter ace reported to have shot down an innumerable number of Russian planes.

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  1. Many videos posted by Ukranians are from a movie set. The whole thing is to create an information warfare to fool the Western puiblic. The legacy media loves to spread lies as long as it is favourable to their narrative. We all know what they did for Big Pharama.

    An expose is at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cp41QhVEFZQ just uploaded by Mr Lira.

  2. The western world media has turned even more corrupt, pushing propaganda for the big interests that control them, rather than unbiased truth. We unknowingly for most of our lives have always suffered a battle to hear what is real and what is the truth. Its usually spun by American interests for US benefits. I used to believe all the retorec and im of British decent. Today with mobile apps, phones, internet, its not quite as easy to hide the truth anymore. I think it was Gates who said, the big problem we have is social media. So big pharma & big interests created “fat checker”. Another propaganda outfit full of spin.
    Haha. What a joke. I say stop taking their drugs, stop buying their products.
    Question all their stories and narratives and you will see the real truth. A good start is to read “The Real Anthony Fauci ” by Robert Kennedy, best seller last year.

  3. but it was shelled by Russia?…are we splitting hairs here….and Marianna Vyshemirskaya what did Daddy do in the war?…..sounds like she is a pro Donbas incursion voter…all ugly.

  4. The source of this article is Sputnik News, as mentioned in the disclaimer. Russian state controlled media. Do you consider this a carefully vetted source?

    • An you don’t think the BBC is a UK state controlled source? Or ABC in Australia? All Western countries have state controlled media? And how does privately owned media like CNN make it somehow they will tell the truth, when they are owned by the same companies which own western arms companies? How many times have western media lied in the past about events? CNN, NBC are full of fake news every day, about every topic. Too many times to count about western media. The lady posted on her Instagram account. And you don’t think Russia has a right to put forward its point of view? Why do they have to censor Russian media? What are they afraid of? They want to control sheep like you. You are not intelligent enough to consider both sides of an argument!

    • Michael Lay you are unfortunately a good example of the general stupidity of western society because you think if something comes from the BBC or western media it must be true and anything from Russian media it must be false. You know it is western countries and companies like YouTube who are banning Russian media? So much for your ‘freedom of the press’. You don’t have any freedom of the press but here’s the crazy thing, you actually think you do, so you are living in a world of make believe. How is it that all western mainstream media all have same the same narrative? Howcan that be possible? It’s obviously controlled, coordinated information you are receiving and western audeiences are too stupid to stop and think how can all these media companies be saying the same thing, when there are ALWAYS TWO SIDES TO A STORY> The information you are receiving is carefully controlled and manipulated and coordinated to make you think it must be true. As th guy above said the woman is a famous blogger on Instagram, she posted this online for the world to see but in your blind stupidity you immediately think it must be Russian misinformation

  5. Hello, sorry, first of all I’m sure many people do not realize the scope and strength of the Russian propaganda.

    And how does this her interview refute the reportage of the Associated Press? They’ve made conclusion on what their reporter has seen and filmed, you can find now his full draft footage on the internet. The people on the scene heard 2 explosions. What did these explosions cause those are just their guess.

    Speaking about real fakes:
    At the same time she confirms that the first photo published by AP was not her, but another girl, severely injured, that subsequently died. “I wasn’t dressed or makeup”, states Vyshemirskaya. Meanwhile the Russian state channels claimed the woman was the same “actress” redressed, and that the maternity hospital was long ago occupied by “Azov”. While Vyshemirskaya clearly confirms that the hospital was used for its intended purpose (as much as it’s possible in situations of war), describing it all.
    From the other side, according to the Russian initial (because Russia has to change its position often, adapting it to the new circumstances) official position, Vyshemirskaya was just an actress, and now she is the victim of the Ukrainian military?:D
    How can you even slightly be led on by the Russian propaganda?

  6. Anonymous, ” the Russian propaganda ” was made mute by its complete ban and massive penalties for even referring to any russian sanctioned sources. While the scope might and strength of the Western propaganda is out if proportion. The only reason alternative information breaks through because of the numerous lies and hypocrisy of the West. What you point at are not lies but a mistaken conclusion, which was corrected by the Russian media by publishing the truthful interview with the girl (without making it sound in tune with the original claims). The hospital WAS MADE to be a military target by the Ukrainian forces after occupying it.They neglected their own citizens who needed medical assistance and they always do as it helps to create a picture of Russian atrocities for the Western public.


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