Tech

Twitter deletes Russian Embassy tweets about Ukrainian maternity ward bombing

Business Insider US
Chesnot/Getty Images
Chesnot/Getty Images
  • Twitter on Thursday deleted three tweets from the Russian Embassy in the UK.
  • The tweets alleged that a pregnant woman injured in a maternity ward bombing was a crisis actor.
  • Marianna Podgurskaya is a beauty blogger, and multiple pictures on her Instagram show her pregnant.
  • For more stories visit www.BusinessInsider.co.za

Twitter on Thursday deleted three tweets from the Russian Embassy in the UK, which alleged without evidence that a Ukrainian woman injured in a Russian bombing of a maternity ward was a crisis actor.

A Twitter spokesperson told Insider the platform removed the tweets for violating the platform's Abusive Behavior policy, specifically those covering the "denial of violent events."

Russia's attack on a maternity ward in the city of Mariupol on Wednesday has drawn international condemnation, as well as attempts from the Kremlin to deny responsibility and spread disinformation regarding the bombing. On Twitter, Russian embassies and diplomats have pushed out a series of unfounded claims to allege images and reports from the attack were somehow faked. 

In one now-removed tweet, the embassy alleged without evidence that the maternity ward was "long non-operational" and that it was being used by a "neo-Nazi" Ukrainian military force. Another claimed that the injured woman — Marianna Podgurskaya, a beauty blogger — was pretending to be pregnant in photos taken of her after the incident that showed blood on her face.

In a third tweet that was taken down, the Russian Embassy said "she has some very realistic make-up" and continued to deny without evidence that she was in the maternity facility "at the time of the strike." 

These claims were debunked by multiple journalists and fact checking organisations. Podgurskaya's Instagram account has multiple pictures that feature her pregnant and her location is tagged as Mariupol, the city where the bombing occurred. Podgurskaya's photo, taken by Associated Press photographer Mstyslav Chernov, has widely circulated following the bombing and become an emblem of the attack. 

Despite a lack of evidence, unfounded claims about the attack circulated in far-right forums and pro-Russian channels, where users posted images and threads parroting the Kremlin's conspiracy theories.

The attack on the ward left at least three dead, including one child, and injured 17 others, according to the Associated Press which cited city officials. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday called the attack an "atrocity," and accused Russia of committing genocide in Ukraine.

Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.

Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.

Rand - Dollar
16.62
-0.6%
Rand - Pound
19.89
-0.6%
Rand - Euro
17.05
-0.4%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.32
-0.7%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.8%
Gold
1,768.53
+0.2%
Silver
19.27
+0.3%
Palladium
1,951.50
+0.6%
Platinum
868.00
-0.1%
Brent Crude
102.77
-10.4%
Top 40
58,953
0.0%
All Share
65,006
0.0%
Resource 10
59,416
0.0%
Industrial 25
80,333
0.0%
Financial 15
14,357
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo