Mariupol Hospital Bombing Victim Gives Birth as Russia Accuses Her of Being 'Crisis Actor'

A pregnant woman in Ukraine who escaped a Russian airstrike on a hospital in Mariupol on Wednesday has given birth to her baby.

Ukrainian journalist Olga Tokariuk shared a picture of the pregnant woman, identified as Marianna, and gave an update of her condition on her Twitter page.

"I received an update from a relative of Marianna, a pregnant girl from Mariupol's bombed hospital," Tokariuk wrote on Twitter on Friday.

"They were able to reach her on the phone briefly. Last night at 10 p.m., Marianna gave birth to a baby girl. They are ok. but it's very cold in Mariupol and the bombing doesn't stop."

Since the picture and word of the bombing of the hospital has spread through Western media, Marianna has become a target in misinformation campaigns against Ukraine.

Pro-Russian groups on the social media platform Telegram have accused Marianna of being a "crisis actor."

They said Marianna could not have been at the hospital as the Russian government had said that the hospital was used by Ukrainian neo-Nazis and had no civilians present, according to a Newsweek translation of the messages.

This is in reference to a claim by the Russian Embassy in the U.K. that alleged the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion told all staff to clear the place. This tweet from the Russian Embassy has since been deleted by Twitter.

Following condemnation of the bombing, Russian officials have offered a mix of responses.

"Russian forces do not fire on civilian targets," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, according to a Reuters report.

"We will definitely ask our military, because you and I don't have clear information about what happened here. And the military are very likely to provide some information."

However, other officials were more aggressive in their response to the condemnation and said that the attack was staged by the Ukrainian government.

"Russian aviation carried out absolutely no strikes on ground targets in the area. The alleged air strike was completely a staged provocation, that can deceive the Western public but not an expert," Igor Konashenkov, chief spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, said.

"This is information terrorism," foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, according to Reuters.

Earlier in the week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the air strike in a video from Kyiv and accused Russian "invaders" of bringing "evil" to Ukraine.

"What kind of country is this, the Russian Federation, which is afraid of hospitals and maternity hospitals and destroys," Zelensky said in a video, according to a BBC report.

"Did someone in the maternity hospital abuse Russian-speakers? What was that? Was it the 'denazification' of the hospital. It is beyond atrocities already. Everything that the invaders are doing to Mariupol is beyond atrocities already.

"Today, we must be united in condemning this war crime of Russia, which reflects all the evil that the invaders brought to our land," Zelensky said.

Newsweek has contacted Ukraine's and Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment.

Follow our live blog for updates on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Ukraine pregnant
A picture of a woman in Ukraine's city Mariupol after an airstrike from Russia. The woman in the picture, named Marianna has been accused of being a "crisis actor" by pro-Russian war supporters. Yevhen Maloletka/Yevhen Maloletka