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The woman in this photo is dead

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One of the women injured in the Russian bombing of the pediatric and maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, died on Wednesday 9 March, the same day as the attack. She just hours before she died she had been photographed by Associated Press (AP) as she was being carried away from the hospital lying on a stretcher. The photo had been taken from newspapers around the world, including the Postbut also from the Russian propaganda, which had claimed that the injured women were actually actresses and that inside the hospital there were only soldiers, and not civilians.

(AP Photo / Evgeniy Maloletka)

The story of the woman was rebuilt from AP, who between Friday 11 and Saturday 12 March visited the hospital on the outskirts of Mariupol where the people who were in the bombed structure had been transported. Quoting the surgeon who had operated on her urgently, Timur Martin, AP wrote that the woman had a shattered pelvis and a dislocated hip. When she realized the possibility of losing the baby, she would ask the doctors present “to kill her.” The doctors were then able to perform a caesarean section, but the newborn was dead. Her mother died shortly after.

Everything happened so quickly, he wrote AP, that the hospital had not even been able to register the woman’s name. Shortly after her death, her husband arrived and removed her body, preventing it from ending up in the mass graves that Mariupol residents they are digging to cope with the enormous losses caused by the bombing. For more than a week in the city there has been no electricity and running water. Operating theaters in hospitals, such as the one where the woman was hospitalized, run on autonomous generators.

Shortly after the bombing, another photo was circulating, portraying the influencer Marianna Podgurskaya, whom Russian propaganda had accused of being a paid actress to pretend to be a victim of the attack. Podgurskaya was also evacuated to the same hospital where the woman in the photo died, but unlike her she managed to give birth to a girl, Veronika, and now she is fine.

– Read also: Russian misinformation about a pregnant influencer at Mariupol hospital