Ukraine Maternity Hospital Shelling: A False Flag?
Assessing the alleged Russian strike on the Mariupol maternity hospital
The Bombing Allegations.
On Wednesday, March 9, 2022, a story broke about a Russian air strike that allegedly targeted a Ukrainian maternity hospital. According to the New York Times, “an apparent Russian strike on Wednesday damaged and destroyed buildings at a hospital complex in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, including a maternity ward.”
The New York Times acknowledged that the casualties were unknown and that it was “not clear whether the hospital was fully operating at the time of the strike or had been evacuated to some degree.” It was later reported that the shelling of the maternity hospital killed three civilians, including one child. Photographs are alleged to substantiate that the maternity hospital was in-use by civilians at the time of the bombing (though perhaps not at capacity).
Interestingly, one of the purported victims seen in the photographs is an Instagram “influencer” who lives in that city.
Her Instagram has since been scrubbed.
In any event, Ukrainian officials called the bombing a war crime and pleaded with the West that the strike necessitated intervention. Ukrainian officials called it a war crime and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky used the attack to urge tougher sanctions on Russia. The Mariupol mayor demanded the U.S. institute a no-fly-zone and “close the sky over Ukraine.”
Before March 9, Mariupol had been experiencing intense shelling from Russian forces. Both civilian and government/military buildings had been hit. A ceasefire agreement had been reached to allow civilians to safely evacuate, although Ukraine’s foreign minister alleged Russia violated the ceasefire and was “shelling the humanitarian corridor.”
According to a Reuters report published March 10, 2022, Kremlin spokesman responded on Wednesday that their “forces do not fire on civilian targets.” He clarified on Thursday that they “don’t have clear information about what happened there” and that the Russia “military are very likely to provide some information.”
That same Reuters article notes that Russian officials stated that “Russian aviation carried out absolutely no strikes on ground targets in the area.” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov alleged that “the hospital building had for days been under the control of ultra-radical Ukrainian forces who had emptied out the doctors and patients.” (Those “ultra-radical” forces would be the Azov Battalion, which according to NBC News was “founded by an avowed white supremacist who claimed Ukraine’s national purpose was to rid the country of Jews and other inferior races.”)
Lavrov even said Russia informed the UN Security Council that the hospital had been used by the Azov Battalion on March 7 or March 6, which would be a few days before the attack. Lavrov maintained “All the women in labor, all the nurses, in general, all the staff was driven out of there.”
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It’s alleged the maternity hospital was operational as of March 2, 2022, where it was requesting fuel to continue operations. With Russian shelling of Mariupol intensifying since March 2, it’s entirely possible that the hospital was abandoned since then. Or, perhaps they had a smaller operation.
Anyway, here’s where things get interesting. Video footage and photographs show a large crater in the hospital’s courtyard that was the purported “site of the shelling.” Notice the part of the building closer to the crater has less damage than the section farther away.
The source of the video claims that is where the strike hit.
The crater was huge, and supposedly caused extensive damage to nearby buildings (as seen in the photograph below). At least one car was on fire, windows are blown out, and debris is everywhere.
Certainly we are made to believe that the force of this strike was substantial.
But is that really the case? Look closely at the photograph below. A small white building next to the crater is left standing and unscathed; the yellow wall of the building is relatively free of damage; and its top windows are intact.
In the other direction, however, cars and buildings farther from the crater have more significant damage. I’m not sure that pattern of the blast or explosion or shockwave is consistent with that you might seen in an air strike. At the same time, I certainly can’t rule out that there was some type of unique radius (I’m open to any expert opinions). Unanswered questions, it seems.
Then take a close look at this picture, taken as emergency evacuation efforts from the maternity hospital were supposedly underway. This heavily-pregnant woman had just escaped the building. As one Twitter user observed, that sure is an odd time to gather supplies, build a makeshift kitchen, get a fire going, and start cooking.
I’ll add that the current claims are three dead from the airstrike, including one child. Photographers and emergency crews were present. Is there any photographic documentation of the dead or the others that were seriously injured?
Not that this wasn’t the result of a Russian strike. Put me down as not convinced either way. There is documentary evidence that civilian targets (apartments, etc.) have been struck by Russian forces.
I voice my uncertainty and present an analysis of the evidence because time and distance and the inherent nature of war make it difficult to get to the truth. War is deceit and chaos and death, a place in which the truth can stay hidden. Accusations of atrocities must be looked at with a curious mind and not be immediately affirmed or disregarded, dare we let the lies from either side win out.
I’m updating this post as more information comes through. There was footage of what was alleged to be the Azov Battalion inside this hospital. Some have said that footage is from a hospital in Odessa. Not sure if it has been confirmed either way.
Also, look at the curious pattern of damage outside the building. Based on the damage patterns, I don’t think it’s from shrapnel or debris from the alleged shelling. I lean towards it being gunfire (which may indicate prior damage to the building), thought without before/after photographs or more detailed pictures I’m not sure we can answer this one definitively. Open to expert opinions on this matter.