Factchecking. Bombing of the children’s hospital and maternity hospital in Mariupol
Key facts of the investigation:
1. Russia used a fake for shelling in advance.
2. The destroyed hospital is different from the building shown by the Russian media.
3. The distance from the destroyed hospital to the building declared by the Russians is 10 km.
4. Unlike the statements of the Russian Federation, there were no military personnel in the hospital. There were also no signs of military equipment, weapons or fire positions.
5. Despite the statements of the Russian Federation, personnel and civilians, including pregnant women, were injured in the hospital. In the courtyard of the hospital, civilian transport of employees and patients was destroyed.
Chronology of events:
28.02.2022 — In a pro-Russian VK-group “Военный осведомитель” (Military Informant) was published a photo of the military of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the territory of a civilian facility in Mariupol.
07.03.2022 — Representative of the Russian Federation Vasily Nebenzya during a speech at a meeting of the Security Council at the UN declared that local nationalist battalions forced people out of the maternity hospital, shelled the building and completely destroyed the kindergarten in the city.
09.03.2022, 13:05 (Moscow) — During the briefing, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said that: “in Mariupol, the Ukrainian National Battalion drove the staff and patients out of the maternity hospital and set up firing positions in the building”.
09.03.2022, 16:00 (Kyiv) — The Russian Armed Forces bombarded the central part of Mariupol, including — Child and Women’s Health Center part of which is the Children’s Consultative and Diagnostic Polyclinic and maternity ward of city hospital №3.
09.03.2022, 19:38 (Moscow) — “Komsomolskaya Pravda” (Komsomol truth) published an article which says that at the end of February, Ukrainian soldiers took up a combat position in maternity hospital №1, while civilians were sent to other facilities or to their homes. A photo of the militaries was attached to the article next to an unknown building taken from the group “Военный осведомитель” (Military Informant), the same photo was broadcast by “Россия 24” (Russia 24) eight days before the shelling.
Mistakes of Russian propaganda
1. Russia used a fake for shelling in advance
A week before the bombing, Russian sources began to claim that the hospital was occupied by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, using a photo, probably, of a children’s educational institution instead of a hospital. Satellite image of the territory of Hospital №3, which actually fell under the bombing:
“Russia 24” 01.03.2022 (video):
“Komsomolskaya Pravda” 09.03.2022:
2. The destroyed hospital is different from the building shown by the Russian media
We want to note that the “Military Informant” on February 28, 2022 indicated that the photo shows a kindergarten, not a maternity hospital:
In fact, the photo shows the building of the Center for Children and Youth Creativity “Sunny” (CDYUT “Sunny”):
And here is a photo of the hospital that the Russians bombed:
As you can see, the same medical buildings, painted yellow-green, were bombed:
We also draw attention to the fact that Google Maps shows that on the territory of the hospital there is generally no object of such a shape as in the photo of Komsomolskaya Pravda:
A building similar in shape is located next to maternity hospital №1, which is used in the Komsomolskaya Pravda article, but it also does not completely correspond to the shape and surrounding buildings that is in the photo of the pro-Russian media.
In the photo with the military, the building has only one ledge in the middle, but on the map we can see that the buildings are completely symmetrical. Also, between the two wings of the building there are three fir trees, which are also missing from the satellite image.
3. The distance from the destroyed hospital to the building declared by the Russians is 10 km
In fact, the blow was struck at the children’s consultative and diagnostic polyclinic (DKDP), which is located 10 km from the maternity hospital №1 and 10 km from the “Sunny” Center for Contemporary Art that is shown on photo:
4. The absence of the military in the hospital
Komsomolskaya Pravda claims: “Since the start of the military operation, this Mariupol maternity hospital has been occupied by 2 companies of the 36th Marine Brigade, and all patients and staff have been redirected to other facilities, and some even go home”.
But in the video of the destroyed hospital, there are no signs of weapons or military equipment inside, and there are no fortifications for firing. However, specialized medical equipment, personal belongings and blood of the victims are clearly visible:
Also, despite the words of the Russian media about the military in the maternity hospital, there was not a single piece of military equipment on the territory of the hospital, but the burnt civilian transport of employees and patients (1video, 2video, 3video) is clearly visible.
Quote from the article of “Komsomolskaya Pravda:
“Imagine how many corpses and victims would have been if an air bomb had fell into the courtyard of the functioning hospital. And there is no doubt that the Ukrainian side would definitely show them all. At least how they are bandaged or carried to the ambulance. But where are they?”
Below is a photo of this woman from her husband’s Instagram account for 24.01.2022
It should be noted that as of 7:55 am on 10.03.2022, according to the State Emergency Service and the words of the adviser to the chairman of the Mariupol City Council, Petr Andryushchenko, the number of injured is 17 women: 3 dead, including 1 child.
The article was prepared by the Molfar team