Zelensky accuses Russia of genocide after maternity hospital bombing in Mariupol
Russia has claimed that a pregnant woman injured in the bombing of Mariupol is actually a beauty blogger with "realistic make-up" in a series of abhorrent, now-removed Twitter posts.
The country stands accused of carrying out an “atrocity” after an airstrike completely destroyed a maternity hospital in the besieged city, killing three people, including a six-year-old child, and injuring more than a dozen others including women in labour, according to Ukrainian officials.
The horrendous attack reportedly left young girls and boys buried under the wreckage as rescue workers were left trying to dig them out.
The attack left at least 17 people injured and it took place during an agreed ceasefire period that was meant to allow civilians to evacuate the surrounding southeastern city.
Harrowing pictures show a woman fleeing the scene of the bombing – and the official twitter account for the Russian embassy in the UK posted claims by foreign minister Sergeĭ Viktorovich Lavrov which along with a graphic claiming the reports were ‘fake’.
The posts now appear to have been removed by Twitter for "violating the Twitter rules".
The tweet read: “FM #Lavrov on the #Mariupol attack: The maternity house was long non-operational. Instead, it was used by armed forces and radicals, namely the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion. Moreover, #Russia warned #UN Security Council about this 3 days ago.”
Responding to a comment which asked whether people had been “disguised as pregnant women”, a follow-up post claimed that blogger Podgurskaya was pretending to be pregnant in the images.
“No, it's the indeed pregnant beauty blogger Marianna Podgurskaya,” the post continued. “She actually played roles of both pregnant women on the photos. And first photos were actually taken by famous propagandist photographer Evgeniy Maloletka, rather than rescuers and witnesses as one would expect.”
The account also tweeted: “She has some very realistic make-up. She is also doing well with her beauty blogs. She couldn’t be in the maternity house at the time of the strike.”
The attack on the hospital was condemned internationally, with British prime minister Boris Johnson saying: “There are few things more depraved than targeting the vulnerable and defenceless. The UK is exploring more support for Ukraine to defend against airstrikes, and we will hold Putin to account for his terrible crimes.”
The White House, in response to the attack, said it was “horrifying” to see military force used against innocent civilians.
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