A pregnant Ukrainian influencer wounded when Russia bombed a hospital has been cyberbullied since being falsely accused of being a crisis actor.
Earlier this week, searing images of heavily pregnant Marianna Podgurskaya descending the stairs in the ruins of a hospital with blood running down her face went viral. The world reacted with condemnation and horror to the bombing, whichkilled three, including a child.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr ZelenskyydescribedRussia’s bombing of the maternity and children’s hospital in Mariupol as a “war crime.”
Podgurskaya gave birth several hours after the hospital was bombed.
Russia subsequently falsely claimed that the photos of Podgurskaya and the bombing were staged. It also accused the new mother, who is a Ukrainian beauty influencer, of faking her injuries.
Twitterdeleted tweetsby the Russian government making these false claims about the bombing and Podgurskaya. A Twitter spokesperson told the Daily Dot that the tweets violated its policy that prohibits denying violent events.
Russia’s false claims have continued circulating in far-right and conspiracist circles. A Telegrampostseen by thousands described footage of the bombing as an “Oscar level production.” Many wrote abusive and derogatory comments about Podgurskaya.
Russians and their sympathizers have also reportedlydirectly harassedPodgurskaya online. According to Insider, one of her recent Instagrams has more than 25,000 comments.
Oleksandra Matviichuk, head of the Ukraine Center for Civil Liberties, tweeted, “Russians are bullying Marianna on Instagram.”
As of Friday morning, Podgurskaya had set herInstagramaccount to private.
人world rallied behind Podgurskaya in response to reports of her being cyberbullied.
“The world weeps for what she has had to endure, and wraps Marianna and her baby in love,”tweetedone supporter.
Others blasted Podgurskaya’s attackers.
“Shame on all the idiots who harassed and spread misinformation about this woman,”saidone.
Russia has continued targeting civilians in its invasion of Ukraine.
On Friday, the United Nationsreportedthat Russia has bombed at least 26 hospitals and healthcare facilities in Ukraine, including the one in Mariupol where Podgurskaya was injured.