A Ukrainian social media influencer with more than 600,000 followers is facing backlash for revealing the location of a military hospital treating soldiers hurt while battling Russian forces, just hours before it was struck by a missile strike that resulted in the deaths of at least four civilians.
Anna Alkhim posted an appeal for aid for the Dnipro facility in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, claiming that injured Ukrainian troops were receiving treatment there. However, hours after she had her post on Thursday, a Russian missile attack on the field hospital resulted in the deaths of four people. Besides 30 others were wounded in the attack, including two boys, aged three and six.
Alkhim said in the tweet that hospitals six and nine housed a large number of Ukrainian soldiers seeking medical attention and requested her followers to bring clothing and food to collection sites.
Although it's unclear if she included images in her message, the details she did give are believed to have been sufficient for the Russian military to issue strike coordinates.
Alkhim later deleted her post, but not swiftly enough to prevent the Russian soldiers from obtaining the information, although there is no conclusive evidence connecting the attack to the influencer's post.
Regional governor Serhiy Lysak said that a 69-year-old man was killed as he passed the clinic, and another man's body had been recovered from the wreckage. Later two more bodies were found in the rubble, taking the death toll to four, while 30 others were wounded.
Local media have accused her of releasing information that allowed Russian forces to target the clinic.
Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, denounced the attack as a "crime against humanity" and said it reduced the structure to ruins.
He stated that both a veterinarian and a psychological clinic had been attacked, adding, " Only an evil state can fight against clinics. There can be no military purpose in this. It is pure Russian terror."
After facing criticism, Alkhim was quick to defend her actions, saying: " Firstly, I made a publication yesterday, because half of the inhabitants of Dnipro had it. And let me remind you that I am one of the few influencers who fills her stories and feed with publications about the war.
"I have volunteered and supported Ukraine from the first days of the war."
"But you don't give a f*** about it, because you need to post me on your stupid channels," she added.
Officials have advised influencers and media personalities from sharing sensitive material online since Ukraine was placed under martial law after Vladimir Putin's invasion at the beginning of 2022.
The State Emergency Service of Ukraine said on Friday: "As a result of a missile strike, a three-story building of a medical institution was partially destroyed in the city, followed by burning, as well as a fire in an adjacent building.
"The fire at the medical facility was extinguished in an area of 1,000 square meters.
"In the one-story building of the veterinary clinic, the area of the fire was 200 square meters. Rescue units have already dealt with it.
"Two people died on the spot, and another 23 were injured, including two children born in 2020 and 2017. In total, 52 rescuers and 18 pieces of equipment were involved from the State Emergency Service for liquidation of the consequences."
The Dnipro explosion took place just before a three-day siege on Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. The stack started on Sunday and continued on Monday with a rare daylight attack.