Ukrainian war: photo of pregnant Mariana Vishegirskaya goes around the world

Millions of people around the world shared the fate of Mariana Vishegirskaya. She is one of the many faces of an inhuman war because her photo has circulated so much in the media that it is one of the best known. Today the Ukrainian woman, who fled a bombed-out clinic in Mariupol while pregnant, speaks to a major Western broadcaster, Britain’s BBC, for the first time. “My photo was used to spread lies about the war,” she said, blaming Russia.

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Kremlin circles accuse Mariana Vishegirskaya of acting

Blogger Mariana Vishegirskaya lies in a hospital bed with her daughter

Blogger Mariana Vishegirskaya with her newborn daughter.

© dpa

Vishegirskaya became known for a photo that shows her wrapped in a blanket with bloody wounds on her face. It was posted on March 9, the Ukrainian blogger is very pregnant and about to give birth. She must flee because the hospital where she wants to give birth is badly hit and damaged by Russian bombs.

Two days later, she gives birth to her daughter Veronika in another hospital. While many people are interested in the fate of mother and child, others are making serious accusations against her. She is an actress. The photo outside Mariupol hospital was fake, the Russian Embassy in London claimed in a series of tweets that have since been deleted. Russian diplomats even claimed that Vishegirskaya was “playing” not one, but two different women.

Video: Russian troops destroy maternity hospital in Mariupol

His daughter Veronika “decided to show up at a difficult time”

She then saw herself and her family exposed to a wave of “misinformation and hatred”, the Ukrainian told the BBC interview: “I received threats that they would come and find me , that I would be killed, that my child would be cut to pieces would do it.”

She felt “like in an information battle”, she told BBC reporter Marianna Spring. About her daughter Veronika she says: “She decided to appear in a difficult time, but it is better that she arrived in these circumstances than not at all.”

Influencer Mariana Vishegirskaya accuses photographers

Blogger Mariana Vishegirskaya tries to escape from hospital while pregnant

This photo also went around the world: Mariana Vishegirskaya, very pregnant, after an attack on the Mariupol hospital.

© German Press Agency

She also tells the British broadcaster how the famous photo was taken. Mariupol hospital was badly hit by two explosions on 9 March. She sought protection in the air-raid shelter and was injured by shards of glass, she explains her bleeding wounds in the photo.

A doctor told her she didn’t need stitches. But she wanted to return to the hospital to collect personal belongings, she told the BBC. “Everything I prepared for my baby was in this maternity ward.”

Twitter deleted the tweet from the Russian Embassy in England


The Russian Embassy shared this tweet. Twitter then deleted it.

As she waited to collect her belongings, she was photographed by Associated Press (AP) reporters, Vishegirskaya continues. When she left the hospital, she was photographed again by the AP. These images spread rapidly.

Circles close to the Kremlin were just as quick to let it be known on Telegram channels that they had been staged. Vishegirskaya was an actress, the blood on her face was just makeup, she was accused. Russian officials and state media seized on the allegations.

Blogger Mariana Vishegirskaya with her daughter

Mariana Vishegirskaya after the birth of her daughter, who is held in her arms by her husband Yuri

© dpa

Vishegirskaya told the BBC she only found out a few days later. Her Instagram account was “flooded” with “threatening messages” and insults, she says.

The fact that his story could be hijacked in this way is to blame for the AP reporters. Journalists only released photos of her. Why didn’t the journalists “interview other pregnant women who could confirm that this attack really happened?”, She wonders. (uvo)

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