Homegrown Whistleblowers

Russian propaganda and officials gleefully announced the “disclosure of a fake” by Ukraine about a bombed-out maternity hospital. There is supposedly a lot of evidence that this is actually a production. On what facts are the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Permanent Representative to the UN and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation relying on when asserting this? This is a traditional mixture of: several reliable facts that have nothing to do with the Russian version; several free assumptions; several false statements hidden behind the phrases “everyone knows that”; several supposedly expert assessments without references to experts and scientific sources.

  1. It’s not in the maternity hospital, but in the ophthalmology department. There is no medical equipment inside .

In fact, this is really not a maternity hospital, as such (here, it must be admitted, the Ukrainian side is slightly distorting, but this is quite understandable in this situation). City hospital No. 3 of Mariupol was bombed. On its rather large territory, located in the very center of the city, there are three main departments: regular, children’s and maternity. Each of them has its own divisions: in the children’s department – ophthalmological, neurological, etc.; in the maternity department – the department of pathologies of newborns and the maternity department itself.

The explosion took place in the yard of three buildings located in a U-shape, one of which is marked on the map as the “Department of Pediatric Ophthalmology”. The purpose of the rest is unknown. The maternity ward is located about 200 meters south of the explosion site. Most likely, with an explosion of such force , at least the windows were also blown out there. But since this building, marked on the map as a “maternity hospital”, is not reported and it is not shown in the reports, it can be assumed that it really did not work.

All the people in the frames come out of the “ophthalmological” building. However, firstly, the website of the maternity hospital says that due to repairs it was moved to another building (we have not yet been able to accurately identify the buildings on the map).

Secondly, it is not known in what form the hospital functions during the blockade and storming of the city by Russian troops. It is likely that many patients were taken out at the beginning, the normal work of the clinic is most likely disrupted. It is possible that patients who remain or enter it during hostilities are located in such a way as to optimize the work of personnel and protect people as much as possible during shelling. That is, it is difficult to say where and how many people were there, but the authors of the “exposure” are not interested in this question.

In the same building, the destruction is filmed on video. AP video footage shows at least one crib, two neonatal boxes, and a phototherapy machine being used on infants.

Another video shows the destroyed chambers and some administrative rooms, which could also be located in a large building.

That is, direct lies are used (there is no medical equipment) and free assumptions are used under circumstances that are actually unknown.

2. The same model plays several affected women. This is a fashion model. She is not at all pregnant .

Yes, it looks like the Mariupol fashion model really ended up in a bombed-out hospital. She has two Instagram accounts : in one she talks about her private life, the other is dedicated to the “ beauty ” style. It contains pictures of her in the late stages of pregnancy. True, in a private blog, she published pictures in January, where there was no mention of any pregnancy. But the shooting was done in Turkey, where in the current January the temperature ranged from +7 to +14. It is quite difficult to imagine with such a selfie in a swimsuit. It is enough to scroll through the blog a little to understand that this was filmed while traveling with my husband last summer.

As for the “second role” – a woman being carried on a stretcher – judging by the timing of the photos (and the image data is automatically transferred to the description of the image in the agency’s feed), this was filmed about 15 minutes before the frames with the “photo model”. In 15 minutes, of course, you can change clothes. But the resemblance of the two women is very relative, and the footage is shown at low resolution, which makes it impossible to compare details. It seems to me that the face of the woman on the stretcher is noticeably larger and “heavier”, and the nose, in contrast to the clearly snub-nosed fashion model, is straight. Yes, they both have abrasions on the left eyebrow in about the same place, but again, due to the low resolution, it is difficult to see the details. Yes, a similar type of person, of which there are many in those parts. Yes, both are pregnant (but that’s what a hospital with a maternity ward is for). But if I had not had an initially prejudiced view, it would not have occurred to me to identify them.

In addition, the whistleblowers seem to have failed to agree on who should be considered the “actress in the production”:


Repeatedly mentioned officer Anastasia Bagriychuk does not at all look like a woman from the frame, besides, her photo is shown 10 years ago, now she should be older. Now the name of Marianna Vishegirskaya (and not Podgurskaya) has been officially confirmed, as well as the fact that she eventually gave birth to a daughter.

3. There are no doctors and patients in the maternity hospital; it has long been seized and turned into a military facility by Azov fighters.

There are several “proofs” for this. Firstly, this was allegedly “reported by the hospital staff”.

In fact, the only evidence cited is the following text from Lenta.ru:

“At the tents where refugees are taken in, a man walks. He is on edge and does not let go of the phone, his face shows that he has not been without sleep for several days. His name is Igor, he spent about a day on the road to get to Bezymennoye from the Crimea. He constantly approaches the military, employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, asking to see the lists to find out if his elderly parents were able to evacuate from Mariupol. He is trying to go along with the soldiers towards the front line, closer to the city. Igor said that in the last days of February, people in uniform came to the maternity hospital where his mother works. He does not know whether they were fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine or the nationalist battalion “Azov” (banned in the Russian Federation). The military knocked down all the locks, dispersed the staff of the maternity hospital, and set up firing points in the building in order, as they explained to the doctors, to prepare the Mariupol fortress for defense .

That is, an unknown man in a not quite sane (as Lenta herself describes him ) state allegedly retold the alleged words of his mother to the correspondent. Neither the name of the hospital employee, nor the man’s data, nor even the video recording of this interview – nothing!

Secondly, the same phrase circulates in numerous publications: War correspondents report: since the start of the military operation, this Mariupol maternity hospital has been occupied by 2 companies of the 36th Marine Brigade, and all patients and staff have been evicted to other facilities, and some have gone home » . It is nowhere accompanied by references to the source of information, but initially found in the publication of Komsomolskaya Pravda, which also does not bother to explain what kind of “war correspondents” and to whom they reported this.

That is, a classic trick is used: everyone refers to each other with the words “everyone has known for a long time”, while no real evidence and sources simply exist.

Finally, there is a photograph of a kindergarten allegedly occupied by the Ukrainian military. Two kindergartens, the 49th and the 83rd, really adjoin the territory of the third city hospital. Only in their configuration they do not at all resemble the building in the picture. In such buildings with six ledges, several kindergartens of Mariupol are actually located – they are located on the outskirts of the city, far from the city hospital. In addition, in those areas, as can be seen on the map, there are other buildings of the same type of development, which are not kindergartens at all. I am sure that with due effort it is possible to accurately determine the location, but this is not done, apparently deliberately.

“Hiding behind the kids”? Yes , God is with you – what kind of children are in kindergartens in a situation where the whole city is sitting in basements because of your shelling!

Photo shown:

Kindergartens around the hospital have a very different shape:

Схожие с приводимым, но в других районах города:

4. The nature of the destruction is not typical for the alleged source of the explosion. “ Glasses just flew out of the buildings and nothing else.”