Subject of Viral “Woman On A Stretcher” Ukraine Photo Dies
The image that became a center of propaganda and viral discussion in Ukraine has a tragic, senseless ending.
A pregnant woman wounded in the Russian bombing of a Ukrainian maternity hospital has died along with her baby, reports say.
Images showed her on a stretcher following the air strike in Mariupol last Wednesday, in which at least three other people were killed.
After the place where she was meant to give birth was attacked, she was taken to another hospital.
Her baby was born by Caesarean section, but showed no signs of life.
The surgeon, Timur Marin, told the Associated Press news agency that the woman’s pelvis had been crushed and her hip detached.
Medics said that as they were trying to save her life, she realised she was losing her baby and shouted, “Kill me now!”
When it became clear to them that the child was stillborn, they tried to resuscitate the mother, but realised after 30 minutes that it was hopeless.
Doctors said they did not have time to take the woman’s name before her husband and father came to retrieve her body.
That meant she did not end up in one of the mass graves being dug for victims of the Russian shelling of the city, they added.
After the bombing of the hospital, Twitter removed two posts by the Russian embassy in London which claimed the attack had been faked.
The embassy’s tweets made unfounded claims that the hospital was not operational at the time and that injured women pictured at the scene were actors.
The embassy also cast aspersions on another pregnant woman, photographed escaping from the wreckage of the hospital, who gave birth the day after the bombing.
The image of Mariana Vishegirskaya, her face bloodied, descending rubble-strewn steps was widely shared amid outrage at the attack.
In response to assertions that she was not actually pregnant, the BBC’s disinformation team found evidence that contradicted the allegations.