Pregnant Ukrainian beauty blogger accused of faking injuries in hospital bombing gives birth to baby girl

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·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·4-min read
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Mariana Vishegirskaya lies in a hospital bed after giving birth to her daughter Veronika in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Friday. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Mariana Vishegirskaya lies in a hospital bed after giving birth to her daughter Veronika in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Friday. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)

These are the first heart-warming images of a Ukrainian woman with her baby girl after being caught up in the bombing of a Mariupol maternity hospital - and then falsely accused by Russian officials of faking her injuries.

Mariana Vishegirskaya was today pictured with her baby and partner after surviving the hospital attack, which Ukrainian authorities said killed three people including a child.

Seventeen people were also wounded, including women waiting to give birth, doctors, and children buried in the rubble.

On Friday morning journalist Olga Tokariuk said she had been in touch with Mariana's family who had shared the news.

Mariana Vishegirskaya lies in a hospital bed after giving birth to her daughter Veronika, held by her husband Yuri, in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Friday. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Mariana Vishegirskaya lies in a hospital bed after giving birth to her daughter Veronika, held by her husband Yuri, in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Friday. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)

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.

"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."

Local reports have said the baby has been called Veronika.

Read more: Child among three dead after attack on maternity hospital

Marianna has given birth to a baby girl, her family have said(AP)
Mariana Vishegirskaya has given birth to a baby girl, her family have said. (AP)
Marianna is a beauty blogger with over 50,000 Instagram followers (Instagram)
Marianna is a beauty blogger with over 50,000 Instagram followers (Instagram)

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov justified the attack by falsely claiming it was no longer functional and had instead been taken over by the "neo-Nazi Azov Battalion."

The Russian Embassy in the UK then targeted Vishegirskaya, claiming in a tweet the local beauty blogger was covered in make-up to appear injured.

They identified her and claimed she had posed in different clothes to make it look like two pregnant women had been injured.

They claimed the photos were taken by "famous propagandist photographer Evgeniy Maloletka, rather than rescuers and witnesses as one would expect." Maloletka is not a propagandist photographer.

The embassy acknowledged she was actually pregnant but she was wearing "very realistic make-up."

They added: "Plus she could not be in the maternity house at the time of the strike, as it has long been taken by the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion who told all the staff to clear the place."

The Tweet was later removed by Twitter for violating its rules.

Another heavily pregnant woman is rescued after the bombing in the besieged city of Mariupol (AP)
Another heavily pregnant woman is rescued after the bombing in the besieged city of Mariupol (AP)

World leaders have been united in their condemnation of the attack on the hospital.

The European Commission has branded it "inhumane, cruel and tragic" and probably a war crime.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the target on the hospital was the "ultimate proof that what is happening is the genocide of Ukrainians".

Russia has claimed the reports were "fake news" and the reports of the devastation were fake and amounted to "information terrorism".

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Click on this image to see all Yahoo News UK's latest content on the Ukraine crisis

Lavrov was asked how to justify the bombing at a press conference in Turkey ahead of peace talks with his Ukrainian counterpart

“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,” the foreign minister said, according to a Sky translation.

He also claimed Ukrainian forces had taken over the maternity and children’s hospital in Mariupol, an industrial port city that has been under attack for days, and there were no patients there at the time of the airstrikes.

At the same press conference, he also claimed Russia had not invaded Ukraine.

Mariupol has been under siege for more than a week, with its people being shut off from access to food, water and electricity.

(Twitter)
The Russian Embassy in the UK accused the pictures and the reports of the bombing of being fake (Twitter)
(Twitter)
They identified Marianna in the pitcures (Twitter)

Attempts have been made to evacuate those trapped inside, but Russian troops have been accused of targeted the very routes they said would be safe.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said an attempted evacuation from Mariupol failed on Tuesday because Russian troops fired on a convoy carrying humanitarian cargo.

And on Thursday another attempt failed after Russian shelling prevented a humanitarian convoy reaching the besieged Ukrainian city, local officials said.

Petro Andrushenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, told Reuters that Russian aircraft were targeting the routes that humanitarian aid was trying to use to enter the city, and along which buses were being prepared to evacuate people.

"We try and try and try, but I'm not sure if it'll be possible today - or other days," he said by phone.

"Airstrikes started from the early morning. Airstrike after airstrike. All the historic centre is under bombardment."

The bombardment, he said, had continued "without any gaps, without any pause", hitting houses and buildings along the evacuation routes.

"They want to absolutely delete our city, delete our people. They want to stop any evacuation," he said.

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