The Russian embassy has sparked outrage and is being slammed for spreading fake new. On Thursday, the Russian embassy in London accused a Ukrainian beauty influencer of being a crisis actor at the devastating maternity hospital blast that killed three people, including a young girl.
The Russian embassy claimed that Marianna Podgurskaya, a pregnant survivor of the Mariupol hospital attack, was a beauty blogger, who posed as a victim, in Kremlin's desperate attempt to deny attacking mothers and their babies. However, the Russian embassy, which attacked Podgurskaya online on Wednesday, is now being slammed for spreading fake news to prove Russia's innocence.
The Russian Embassy in the UK named Podgurskaya in a series of tweets on Thursday after a photo of her fleeing with blood on her face made headlines around the world.
The embassy claimed that the blogger was wearing "some extremely realistic make-up," and she was not in the hospital at the time of the strike. It further claimed that the hospital had been "long non-operational" and was being utilized by a "neo-Nazi" Ukrainian military group, without offering any evidence.
"It's the indeed pregnant [Ukraine] beauty blogger Marianna Podgurskaya," the embassy claimed.
"She actually played roles of both pregnant women in the photos."
The embassy also slapped a big "FAKE" over the photographs of Wednesday's massacre in Mariupol, claiming the hospital exclusively housed neo-Nazi fanatics. Only a claim that the photographs were shot by a "renowned propagandist photographer" â mentioning an award-winning war photographer who covered the invasion for the Associated Press â was offered as proof.
The same journalist had obtained horrifying photographs of people being buried in a mass grave in the city before the hospital attack, which the Red Cross described as "apocalyptic."
However, the Russian embassy's claims were slammed by almost everyone online. The tweet has also been deleted for violating Twitter's 'community guidelines' but that didn't stop people from slamming the embassy for spreading fake news.
Podgurskaya is the unlucky double victim of the blame game. First, she somehow survived the attack on the maternity hospital. Second, many started believing in the embassy's claim and started slamming her online.
While the embassy's claims have been debunked by multiple journalists, Podgurskaya's Instagram account, which has nearly 50,000 followers, has been swamped with hateful messages.
On Thursday night, there were more than 25,000 comments on her photograph, where some users accused her of taking part in a "shameless" "fake photo shoot." The bulk of these comments were in Russian.
While Podgurskaya's identity as the injured woman in the hospital photos has yet to be established, she is based in Mariupol and recently uploaded an Instagram photo of her massively pregnant tummy.
Despite this, the embassy said that "she could not have been in the maternity house during the strike since it has long been taken over by the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, who told all the employees to clear the area."
It's true that Podgurskaya is a beauty blogger and it's also true that she is presently pregnant. The only question is if she is the same woman who was photographed in the aftermath of the hospital attack in Mariupol.
Many believe that the woman is Podgurskaya. By looking at Marianna's social media activity, the claim that she was faking her pregnancy with "very realistic makeup" may be easily refuted. After being pregnant for a few months, the Ukrainian blogger revealed her pregnancy on Instagram in January.
Her announcement roughly translates to, "Our little happiness is already on the way and I decided to share this good news with you."
Podgurskaya has around 47 thousand Instagram followers. Her major focus appears to be haircare, based on her Instagram bio, and her lovely golden locks demonstrate that she knows what she's talking about. She also offers advice on makeup, skincare, and other topics. The influencer appears to be in high demand, with numerous advertisers contacting her to sell their products.
She is also one of the lucky few to have survived Thursday's attack. Three people died during the bombing with one of those victims being a young girl. 17 people, including doctors, children and expecting mothers like Marianna, were injured during the bombing.