This is Marianna Vyshemirsky. In March this year she found herself at the centre of a propaganda war between Russia and the West.
This photo of her, while pregnant at a maternity hospital in Mariupol went viral. Ukraine alleged that the hospital was hit by a Russian airstrike. These were the photos used to stir horror around the world at Russia’s alleged actions.
Some Russians then accused her of being a staged actor. And she received abuse from the Russian side. But Marianna is critical of the journalists who she said misrepresented her. As it turns out, she voiced no criticism to me of the Russian army and only criticized Ukraine.
Marianna is from Makeevka in Donbass. She lived there until 2019 under Ukrainian shelling. She’s now moved back there with her daughter. She is a Russian citizen.
Marianna’s story is reminiscent of the famous picture of Omran during the conflict in Syria. His photo was used to stir outrage in the West against the Syrian government. It turned out that his family were not against the Syrian Government.
As the propaganda war between East and West increasingly intensifies, the images of innocent civilians are being used to stir outrage. Pictures, as they say, speak a thousand words. It is likely, only a matter of time before another such image goes viral that turns out, to not be all this seems