The Russian propaganda machine continues to spread messages to try to contrast the information on the massacres of civilians that are taking place in Ukraine. Within the country, Russia exercises censorship to such an extent that most international media have had to leave for fear of reprisals if they do not follow the official line. Outside, their supporters, their embassies and their leaders repeat the same mantras over and over again: they are not attacking civilians (although the UN already estimates the dead at least 550 civilians, including 44 children), they have not invaded Ukraine (although their troops they are trying to break through on all fronts), they are not attacking the country but rather it is “a special operation” (although the bombings have been going on for two weeks) and it is all because Ukraine must be “denazified” (although Ukraine is a democracy with less far-right than many other European countries).
PHOTOS | The attack on the Mariupol maternity hospital, in pictures
This Wednesday, the attack on a children’s and maternity hospital in besieged Mariupol shocked the world. In the attack, at least three people died and another 17 were injured, including several children, according to data released by local authorities. However, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, denied this Thursday before the international media present in Turkey that there were patients in the hospital and accused “the Western media” of only presenting “the Ukrainian point of view” and of being participants in a “Russophobia directed from the US”.
Without denying that the bombing took place, Lávrov has assured without evidence that this hospital center was in the hands of an extreme nationalist group called Azov and other radical organizations. “It was a base of the ultra-radical battalion,” Lavrov added.
The Russian minister has said that these radicals had expelled from the hospital all the patients housed in it, as well as the health and service personnel. So far, the Russians have not produced any evidence showing that the hospital was indeed without staff or patients or in the hands of such groups.
But Lavrov is not the only one who has assured that the victims of this attack were “fake”. “This is how fake news is born,” Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, wrote on Twitter. Before the UN Security Council, alluding to the fact that the information on victims arriving from Mariúpol is provided by local authorities.
Twitter deletes messages from the Russian embassy in London “for breaking the rules”
Also the Russian embassy in London, has tweeted a series of messages in which, to support this argument, they go a step further and give names and surnames to one of the girls, who appears injured and pregnant in the images after the bombing, accusing her of faking it. Some of her messages have been deleted by Twitter for “breaking the rules” of this social network.
According to the tweets already deleted from the embassy and that are being spread through their related accounts, it would be Marianna, a beauty blogger who is accused of “playing the same role as a pregnant woman” in the attacked hospital and in her network profiles . In addition, they point to the AP agency photographer Evgeny Podgurskaya, who captured the scenes after the bombing, as the architect of the alleged manipulation, accusing him of being a “famous propagandist.”
Media such as the BBC and the New York Times verified the authenticity of the videos released after the attack.
Supposedly, it would be a young woman from Mariúpol who has a beauty blog and who has published several images on Instagram showing off her pregnancy.
In his Telegram profile, which he opened the day after the invasion to spread service information about places to take refuge, his last messages are from last February 28, when he published a list of shelters in Mariúpol. Since then, she has not posted anything else online.
The website Maldita.es has tried to verify the identity of the protagonist of the images and see if the victim of Mariúpol and the Instagramer are the same person. The Microsoft Azure facial recognition software considers that, with more than 76% confidence, it is the person injured in the Mariúpol explosion, but Maldita.es has not been able to independently confirm that it is the same.
The fact that she has an Instagram profile does not make her a false victim, as they say from the Russian embassy in London, which has come to ensure without evidence on Twitter that “she has very realistic makeup” alluding to the blood that shows in the photographs, and they insist that he could not be in the maternity, since he was evicted by the members of the ultra battalion.
Local authorities in Mariupol, a city besieged in recent days by Russian forces and their rebel allies, have reported that more than a thousand people have perished in this area and that the bodies are being transferred to mass graves. Organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have also denounced a serious humanitarian situation.