Pregnant woman injured in Ukraine hospital bombing gives birth

Marianna Podgurskaya has reportedly given birth to a baby girl

Joe Middleton
Friday 11 March 2022 22:17 GMT
Mariupol children's hospital destroyed by Russian bombs
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A Ukrainian beauty blogger who injured by Russia’s bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol has reportedly given birth.

Horrifying pictures emerged on Wednesday of victims leaving the medical centre after a bombardment by Russian forces in the besieged southern Ukrainian city.

Marianna Podgurskaya was one of the women at the hospital waiting to give birth and was pictured heavily pregnant with injuries to her face as she walked down a staircase in teddy bear pyjamas, clutching bags of her possessions.

Journalist and disinformation researcher Olga Tokariuk said she has spoken to Ms Podgurskaya’s relatives who confirmed she gave birth to a baby girl on Thursday night.

She tweeted: “I received an update from a relative of Marianna - a pregnant girl from Mariupol’s bombed hospital. They were able to reach her on the phone briefly.

Marianna Podgurskaya was targeted by Russia’s London embassy on social media
Marianna Podgurskaya was targeted by Russia’s London embassy on social media (AP)

“Last night at 10pm, Marianna gave birth to a baby girl! They are ok, but it’s very cold in Mariupol and the bombing doesn’t stop.”

Russia’s London embassy caused outrage on Thursday claiming Ms Podgurskaya had faked her injuries. The embassy tweeted photos of her leaving the hospital bloodied and injured and anotherof her holding beauty products to claim she “played roles” and the photos were taken by a “propagandist”.

Nadine Dorries, the UK culture secretary, was one of many people who denounced the embassy’s tweet, calling it “fake news”.

In another related tweet, Russia’s London embassy said: “The maternity house was long non-operational. Instead, it was used by [Ukrainian] armed forces and radicals, namely the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion. Moreover, Russia warned UN Security Council about this 3 days ago.” Both of the tweets have now been removed for violating Twitter’s community guidelines.

After the attack on the hospital - which reportedly killed least three people and injured 17 others - Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of war crimes and said “what is happening is a genocide of Ukrainians.”

In response to the accusations that Russia bombed a hospital filled with mothers and children, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told a press conference the attack was justified.

This map shows the extent of Russia’s war in Ukraine
This map shows the extent of Russia’s war in Ukraine (Press Association Images)

He said: “With regards to the maternity hospital, it is not the first time we have seen pathetic outcries concerning the so-called atrocities perpetrated by the Russian military.”

Mr Lavrov also claimed that there were no patients in the hospital at the time of the bombing and that Ukrainian forces had taken over the hospital.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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