The beleaguered city of Mariupol, as is widely being reported, seems about to fall to Russian forces. It may even have fallen already, depending on who you listen to.
The corporate-run mass media will no doubt shed its crocodile tears over the Fall of Mariupol… for about a week. And then the focus – and the news agenda – will shift to elsewhere.
The more time passes, the less the major media will want to talk about what has unfolded in Mariupol (a stronghold of the Azov Battalion): because, once the daily news bombardment and manufactured emotionalism stage of the cycle has passed, they won’t want people to linger on the subject, for fear that information contradicting the MSM narrative will inevitably start to gain more traction.
One thing they certainly *won’t* be talking about months from now is the supposed ‘barbaric’ Russian attack on the maternity hospital in Mariupol. In fact, they’ve stopped talking about that particular story for some weeks now, deciding to focus all their attention on the horrendous events in Bucha instead (which also has a highly questionable narrative).
And with good reason. That entire story has completely collapsed.
But we should not be willing to let this subject go away: we should not be willing to let either the false narrative manufacturers or their mass media enablers and cheerleaders to get away with the cynical propaganda operation that was the maternity hospital saga.
Because, as we will see, both the mass media in general, and the Associated Press in particular, are entirely complicit in both the worldwide propagation of a staged/manufactured story and in the mistreatment of at least one heavily pregnant woman.
I covered the maternity hospital controversy already on this site, over a month ago: see here. In that article, I was clear about why I thought the maternity hospital narrative was either a fabrication or a stage-managed event for propaganda purposes. I won’t go over all of that here again.
But there are two newer items that have emerged since then, which both needed to be added to the evidence.
I covered both on the YouTube channel, such as in this video here.
The first, and most important, is that the famous pregnant woman in the polka-dot outfit seen exiting the hospital with a bloodied face in those famous images several weeks now has now been both properly identified and interviewed.
And boy, does her account of the events paint the mainstream narrative in a bad light.
She herself has essentially debunked the prevailing/staged narrative of the maternity hospital attack. Remember, the maternity hospital attack was *the* big media story five weeks ago: presented more or less as the war crime of the century and milked for all it was worth by the global mass media – even though, as I argued here, the story made no sense, had no logic, and was clearly based on dubious ‘facts’.
To be clear, there were two women whose photographs (courtesy of the AP photographers) went all over the world and were made to be the photographic evidence of Russia’s barbarism in Mariupol: one was the woman photographed on a stretcher, the other was the woman in the polka-dot top, staring directly into camera.
The woman on the stretcher later reportedly died – though the strange way her death was reported in the newspapers was one of the things I focused on in the article from a month ago.
It’s the other woman who has now spoken about what she experienced that day.
In two recent interviews (both of which I link to in the YouTube video above: they should both be checked out), Marianna Vyshemirskaya gives her side of the story. Among other things, she basically complains that she was used (against her will) by the media to forward their propaganda exercise.
In particular, she complains about the Associated Press photographers (who she says were on the scene suspiciously early) and who were aggressive and invasive towards her, even in her obvious distress.
These are the same AP photographers, let’s bear in mind, who the Russian Foreign Ministry had said were propaganda photographers. And, in a video from a few weeks ago, I commented on a newspaper piece I’d come across, which was reporting on how those AP journalists had escaped from Mariupol. In that piece, as I noted in the video, the Ukrainian fighters (Azov Battalion, as is usually the case in Mariupol) were on record as being particularly concerned that the AP journalists were not captured by Russians… because, and I quote, ‘if they catch you, they will get you on camera and they will make you say everything you filmed was a lie‘.
In other words, their chief concern was that the AP journalists would reveal (or ‘admit’?) under Russian pressure that they had colluded with Azov to stage the maternity hospital attack and frame it as a Russian war crime.
I posted that video because I thought it was odd that this was their main concern, as reported in mainstream press (it was in London’s Metro newspaper, Tuesday 22nd March 2022: I can’t find a full version of the article online, but part of it can be read here).
Couple this then with the interviews Marianna Vyshemiscaya has given… and the picture becomes relatively clear.
Marianna, who moved to Mariupol from Donetsk two years ago, is clearly angry in her interviews and feels she has been abused by the Associated Press for propaganda purposes. As she describes it, the AP photographers (who, again, she says were on the scene suspiciously early) did not behave respectfully towards her at all. Moreover, this was a woman who was clearly injured and in distress at the time: not to mention heavily pregnant.
‘There was something about those AP reporters I didn’t like‘, she says at one point in one of the interviews.
The impression is that neither the Ukrainian fighters nor the Associated Press journalists were particularly sympathetic towards her or even all that concerned for her safety: her real value to them was as a propaganda tool.
They just wanted those photos – and that narrative.
And then her image was sent all over the world to appear on the covers of newspapers everywhere. One would assume the photographers’ attitude towards the woman on the stretcher was similarly cynical.
For the record, Russia’s suggestion that the two women were in fact one and the same person was something I didn’t agree with in my article from a month ago (and I still don’t: especially now that Marianna has given her story). However, that aside, the Russian claims that the AP propaganda specialists were simply staging an ‘event’ seem more and more plausible – though, of course, the media roundly mocked and dismissed those suggestions, while Western politicians pushed on with trying to get the International Criminal Court involved.
In my previous article on the maternity hospital incident, I was in little doubt that the prevailing version of events was false. This was for several reasons: one of them being the very odd reporting of the death of the woman on the stretcher, another being the curious language used in some of the mainstream news reports, and another being the pure illogic of Russian forces targeting a maternity hospital.
Unsurprisingly, the common source-text for the media’s reporting of that (still unnamed) woman’s death was of course the Associated Press: and that report, as I discussed at the time, was so lacking and so problematic that it is rather extraordinary the major media organisations even bothered copy-pasting it into their coverage.
What’s clear then is that the AP was intimately involved from start to finish in the maternity hospital propaganda operation.
Whether Russian forces directly attacked the hospital (at which Azov fighters were stationed) or whether the Azov caused the damage themselves, what’s clear is that Azov was based there: and that the Associated Press was colluding directly with the Neo-Nazi Azov fighters to create this ‘event’ for the world media.
So, you know… fuck the Associated Press.
Among other things Marianna says in her interviews, she seems to be unclear as to where the attack on the building had come from and who was responsible. She certainly expresses scepticism in the attack having come from the air – which was what was claimed by the major media outlets.
Again, I’ve linked to both interviews in the YouTube video for anyone who wants to watch them in full.
And, again, don’t expect the maternity hospital attack to be talked about anymore.
Certainly, I wouldn’t expect the ill-treated Marianna Vyshemiskaya to be interviewed on CNN, Sky News, MSNBC or any other major news network: the mass media has already gotten what it wants out of her – which was for her image to be used (without her consent) as the centerpiece of a concerted propaganda operation.
Now that she actually wants to speak for herself, she is unlikely to find many sympathetic platforms to take up her story. Kudos to Italy’s independent VisioneTV (the source for one of the interview clips) for actually bothering to speak with her and give her a voice.
But whether she likes it or not (and she clearly doesn’t), her image will be forever associated with that maternity hospital ‘war crime’. That’s the power of propaganda.