A pregnant Ukrainian influencer is facing online abuse after Russian claims that she was a crisis actor in the Mariupol maternity-hospital bombing
Marianna Podgurskaya, a beauty influencer, was injured in the Mariupol maternity-hospital bombing.
The Russian Embassy in the UK falsely claimed she was an actor wearing "realistic make-up."
Angry trolls have since flooded Podgurskaya's Instagram account with hateful comments.
A Ukrainian beauty influencer has been attacked online after Russia falsely claimed she was a crisis actor in Wednesday's bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol.
Marianna Podgurskaya had been named in a series of tweets by the Russian Embassy in the UK on Thursday after a picture of her fleeing with blood on her face made headlines worldwide.
The embassy claimed the blogger was wearing "some very realistic make-up" and denied that she had been in the hospital at the time of the strike. It also claimed — without providing evidence — that the hospital had been "long non-operational" and was being used by a "neo-Nazi" Ukrainian military force.
Twitter has since removed the embassy's posts for violating the platform's abusive-behavior policy.
While the embassy's claims have been debunked by multiple journalists, Podgurskaya's Instagram account, which has nearly 50,000 followers, has since been swamped with hateful messages.
At the time of publication, her most recent Instagram post had more than 25,000 comments on it, and some users accused her of taking part in a "shameless" "fake photo shoot." The bulk of the comments were in Russian.
But others urged her to "stay strong" and wished her a "calm birth." Podgurskaya's supporters also left in the comments blue and yellow heart emojis — the colors of the Ukrainian flag — and emojis of sunflowers, which have become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian human-rights activist Oleksandra Matviichuk tweeted on Thursday about the online bullying that Podgurskaya has been facing and called for people to offer her "words of support."
—Oleksandra Matviichuk (@avalaina) March 10, 2022
Podgurskaya did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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