Twitter Removes Russian Embassy Tweet About Ukraine Hospital Bombing

The UK outpost's allegation that the Mariupol maternity hospital was full of "radicals" was branded “fake news” by the culture secretary.
A car burns after the destruction of Mariupol children's hospital as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues
A car burns after the destruction of Mariupol children's hospital as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues
Handout . via Reuters

Twitter has removed a misleading tweet by the Russian Embassy in the UK that alleged the bombing of a Mariupol maternity hospital was fake.

The social media giant took down the false claim a few hours after it was published by the London-based Embassy, leaving a message in its place explaining that the tweet “violated” the platform’s rules.

Culture secretary Nadine Dorries retweeted the message and said: “This is fake news.”

The tweet, reported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, was a summary of the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov’s latest comments about the deadly incident. It read: “The maternity house was long non-operational.

“Instead, it was used by [Ukrainian] armed forces and radicals, namely the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.”

This is a right-wing militia battalion which formed after Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014. The Kremlin has been excusing its attacks on Ukraine by claiming it wants to “de-nazify” the country.

The tweet concluded: “Moreover, Russia warned UN Security council about this three days ago.”

The attack on civilians injured 17 people, including doctors, expectant mothers and children, and killed an additional three people.

Ukraine has since dubbed the bombing a “war crime” and renewed its calls for a no-fly zone over the country to prevent further attacks.

The Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy also claimed there were people stuck under the rubble of the collapsed building.

Ukrainian MP Inna Sovsun, deputy leader of the Holos Party, pointed out there is photographic evidence of women being carried out of the hospital.

“You did see the picture of the pregnant women taken out of that hospital. They were there.

“They were really pregnant, they were really hurt. And we had three people at least killed, confirmed, in that attack.”

During a press briefing on Thursday, Lavrov dismissed the “pathetic outcry” over the “so-called atrocities” inflicted on Ukraine by Russia.

He alleged that the maternity hospital was now a base for “radicals”, according to a translation from the BBC.

The politician also claimed there had been no patients in the building for the three days leading up to the attack, “so draw your own conclusions as to how the public opinion is manipulated worldwide”.

He alleged: “Unfortunately, the other side of any situation is never looked at.”

Lavrov also became irate when journalists asked him about the pictures of children being hurt by the attack.

He said: “This is the third time I’ve had to speak on the maternity and children hospital. And you’re just not listening. And nobody will say that three days ago at the security council of the United Nations we explained what happened with that ward.”

He even claimed, “we have not even attacked Ukraine”, playing into Russia’s refusal to admit that it initiated a war with Ukraine, and stated Moscow had no plan to attack other nations either.

The Russian Embassy also tweeted in support of the false allegations that one pregnant woman pictured at the scene was an actor. This tweet has not yet been deleted.


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