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Sunday, April 3, 2022

Mariupol Maternity Hospital Attack: Survivor Marianna Sheds Some Light

April 3/4, 2022

(rough, incomplete)

Monitor on Massacre Marketing: Who Attacked the Children's and Maternity Hospital in Mariupol?

A new interview has surfaced with the woman who survived the Mariupol maternity hospital attack of March 9, Marianna Vishegirskaya - also mis-heard, I think, as Vishemirska, or even Mirsky (spoken at 0:40) - maiden name Podgurskaya, aka Gixie Beauty -  hereafter just Marainna. I hope that's okay. This is the full 24-minute interview by Denis Seleznev:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEJ9xG6-Va0 (English etc. captions available via auto-translate). 

In this post, I will compare what she says to a bunch of other stuff. 

A Face to Shame the Russians 

Marianna was famously (and unhappily) seen leaving the damaged hospital with minor cuts to her face, in polka dot maternity wear, then seen 2 days later in the same, quickly healed and cuddling with new baby Veronika. 

Less fortunate was the still-unnamed other woman whose womb was practically ripped open, eventually killing both her and the baby. Three others including a young girl were reportedly killed, and several others were injured. 

It was presented as unassailable fact that a Russian airstrike was to blame. Russian denials seemed like admissions, claiming another maternity hospital had been taken over by the Azov Battalion  (M.H. no. 1 taken over in late February and hosting attacks by 3/5 vs. Marianna in M.H. no. 3, only made a military post on 3/6.) And so, some hospital being an Azov base meant that one and might be a fair target, the Russians said. But they also deny delivering any airstrikes in the city at all on that day - and it still has not been proven that was a lie. 

And Russian officials and media claimed the attack scene was not a functioning hospital, staffed only with militants and one woman - Marianna - in makeup playing the only two pregnant women shown. At 15:15 in the new video, she breaks into tears thinking of the other woman who died and was NOT her in another disguise. I for one knew that all along, and that she was severely wounded, sure to lose the baby at least. 

I feel well-positioned here, questioning the allegations against Russia and also calling out what seemed like actual Kremlin disinformation. As I put it in my first post: "[Marianna] was shown holding regular cosmetics and called a "social media influencer" to underline how she must have used different makeup and publicity to "influence" the public's perception about a Russian attack on Neo-Nazi militants. The basic narrative was repeated widely, and often mindlessly."

The same Russian embassy accounts that spread the claims she was fake now post the new interview as revealing the truth, asking "you remember Marianna?" I remember when they called her fake. Now she says this, and before she said ... what? Anything? 

We never did hear very much from survivors. The closest western source was an Associated Press team, reporter Mstyslav Chernov and photographer Evgeniy Maloletka, But there were no interviews in initial Associated Press report of the day, nor in a fuller article on the 10th, nor even in a follow-up of the 11th centered around a visit with Marianna: Amid Mariupol horror, a newborn rests in her mother's arms | Hosted (ap.org)

"Images of the desperate mothers and medical workers from the Children’s and Women’s Health hospital shocked the world, as the bombing took Russia’s war against Ukraine to a sickening new level." As expected, the article spends the most time deconstructing Russia's poorly-chosen propaganda counter-attack, but adds a bit from their rare on-the-ground reporting. 

"AP reporters in Mariupol who documented the attack in video and photos saw the victims and damage first-hand – and nothing to indicate the hospital was used as anything other than a hospital." As they learned - or just reported - Marianna "had to flee the hospital when a Russian airstrike hit." But she isn't quoted, and could be speech impaired for all his article adds.

But then on the 14th, as the other woman died, some bits of an interview with Marianna were finally included in AP reports. 

“It happened on March 9 in Hospital No. 3 in Mariupol. We were lying in wards when glass, frames, windows and walls flew apart,” said Vishegirskaya, who has blogged on social media about fashion and beauty. “We don’t know how it happened. We were in our wards and some had time to cover themselves, some didn’t,” she said.


A later AP report (see below) would refer to video from the 9th, just after the attack, where Marianna speaks briefly to Chernov and Maloletka, and adds a bit more from the 11th: "In video recorded that day, she discussed what she saw and heard at the hospital. The subject of whether it was hit by airstrikes or shelling did not explicitly come up. The only reference that Vishegirskaya made on the matter was that she was not sure where the strike came from. “I didn’t see with my own eyes, from whom it flew, from where, what and which direction. We don’t know,” she told AP on camera, adding: “There are many rumors, but in fact we can’t say anything.”" This report adds that "interviews with a police officer and a soldier at the scene who both referred to the attack as an “airstrike.”" Of course that's their job to say, true or not.

Otherwise it was all a geopolitical proxy war over claims and images. Russia lost it, of course.

But as it turns out, according to Marianna, she told the Associated Press' reporter the hospital grounds were being used as a military base, and that everyone she spoke to agrees with her there was no Russian airstrike. If this is true, it seems they omitted some of their own reporting that would complicate the narrative they presented, including the evident Russian bombing and the complete lack of a military reason, allowing for easy proof of another illogical war crime right from the Russian "playbook" Western media has been compiling.

Marianna's Account Plugged into the Map

It was March 6 when Marianna and her husband Yuri went to maternity hospital no. 3 because no. 2 wasn't allowing people. (3:30) The patients were told they were free to come or go, but "later" military men came and told them they needed to leave the building so it could be made a military position. (4:20) As she heard they needed that building for its solar batteries (not verified if it even has these). She never says Azov Battalion or specifies just who these military men were.

They had to move to "the only maternity hospital building left" where they would be on the 9th. Here's My original site map with updates in red. As I gather, they'd originally be in the east building "women's consultation MTMO Obstetrician-gynecologist ", and then moved to the north one just labeled "building." Apparently it was also maternity, just the lesser part of it. "The new building had just one generator used solely to support ALV for the newborn babies," she says. That's where they were when that blast occurred. ALV = incubators or something, and sorry I keep confusing neonatal, antenatal, perinatal ... She says antenatal, after born, children's hospital, west building.  

The husbands stayed in the basement, she says, and around as needed, cooking food at an improvised field kitchen with food brought by locals. The military men never helped, she says, and in fact they came once and took the food cooked for them. (6:13) Not planning to starve the pregnant women, they noted the husbands could cook them up some more. There was a low-key celebration there on March 8 and all was quiet - no jets or shelling was heard. Even basement girls didn't go down to the shelter and "we slept peacefully at night." (7:15) 

It stayed quiet on the 9th until the attack which was "about lunch, maybe in the afternoon" as Marianna recalls, vaguely (reports give about 4 PM). "the first explosion was heard," distinct enough from the second one that came across louder and made the walls fly apart - "There were no more explosions except for the two ones we've heard." 

Again, her words plug right into the map, and the forensics. The first impact might be what made the dramatic crater at the south end of the grounds. In the distance: damaged west building on the left, new maternity hospital on the right. Photo: Evgeniy Maloletka 

the other shell left no discernable crater but as Michael Kobs helped me realize, it made a crater in the foliage, shredding many branches and obliterating one tree at the evidence center of damage - see below, antenatal clinic behind her, the twisted former tree on the far left. - see starting analysis at the top link, or wait for the forthcoming improvements. 

My working basic map - south crater visually appears twice in the Maxar satellite view - the one we see seems more in the middle, marked red here. No building damage at all clearly links to this. Maybe all of it links to the tree impact. Maybe hitting solid earth makes that big of a difference.

As noted below, the reference to 2 blasts may have nothing to do with this - both these impacts may have sounded as one, whereas another unexplained blast can be seen quite some ways to the east. But for now, either reading seems possible.

At some point, she says, "We later started to discuss whether we were air bombed. Those who were on the street (the men, outside) told us there were no airstrikes, that they didn't hear any ... we heard no airstrikes and neither did they." "they said that it was a shell that hit us. ... it didn't come from the sky."

For what it's worth and AFIK, this decision could also be unfounded. Jets or bombers at the right altitude might be fairly quiet, and a missile flying in might be loud or silent, depending on the type - there is some kind of noise in a video provided by the AP, presumably NOT with anything edited in - all worth some review.  Chernov says he heard a jet clearly from where he was at the time, then the 2 loud blasts - not sure at all that's what we hear in his video - also worth noting a jet can fly overhead without launching an attack; if someone wanted to blame the Russians with a false flag and were clever and patient, might time it to coincide with a jet pass. 

But all that aside , the people there didn't think it was an airstrike.  

Concluding the narrative: "When the second explosion was heard, we exited the building and were evacuated to the basement." She relates evacuation with the injured woman first, and herself last among the pregnant women, as her injuries were light and she was calm. "I came out last they told me that I didn't need any medical treatment, the cuts weren't deep." Two days later they're almost totally healed, leaving small scars.  

In the meantime, she was moved to another hospital, gave birth to Veronika by cesarean section late on the 10th, and was photographed and interviewed the next day. Then whatever else, and she and Yuri finally got out of Mariupol somehow. And, considering Russian forces, her speaking Russian, etc. many conclude that she was kidnapped to Russia and was pressured by the Russians to spread Russian lies. Or ... perhaps she went back to Makiivka, Donetsk where she came from, before she and Yuri got sort of trapped in Mariupol during the Coronavirus pandemic. (0:50). That part remains unclear.

Dispute with AP Reporters

AP journalists Mstyslav Chernov and Evgeniy Maloletka were at the scene. The main issue people have is how swiftly they got there, as if it was arranged ahead of time. Marianna seems to suspect this. Immediately after the blast, she says, everyone moved down into the basement and stayed there 5-10 minutes before it was clear enough to evacuate the wounded and then the rest - Marianna estimates 12 minutes total since the blast, before she was standing outside assessing the damage when she first noticed the AP crew. "They seemed to be there" already, on-site or nearby. (16:18) And she had a lot to say from there, presenting them like ambulance-chasers, perhaps with some bias. 

In return, a new AP article by Sophia Tulp on April 2 decries how this survivor - re-cast as a "blogger video," not a person - "fuels false info on Mariupol bombing."


Trying to rebut this claim, Tulp writes (emphasis mine)

"At the time of the strike, AP reporters were in another part of Mariupol. They distinctly heard a plane and then two explosions. They went to the 12th floor of a nearby building where they filmed two large plumes of smoke in the distance in the direction of the hospital. It then took them about 25 minutes to get to the hospital."

Twitter user "Collapse Into Now" notes that by photo metadata they took this 12th floor photo at 3:03 PM (maybe set an hour early) and were on the scene and snapping photos of people coming out within 16 minutes of that - a small discrepancy with "25 minutes." Collapse Into Now also shows "Judging by one of their photos, they were stationed high up in a tower block just across the road, overlooking the hospital, when the incident happened." 

The hospital is the pale green and peach cluster buildings in the right mid-foreground, about one or two city blocks "in the distance." All 3 buildings under discussion are fully visible here, and both impacts on the grounds, besides a few car fires, are all on about the same line of sight/appearing as one plume. Note this second plume on the left in the actual distance is at least a kilometer away, and maybe never reported.  

That's not just a trick of the zoom lens; a Chernov video from the ground (on Instagram) seems to capture the moment of the second blast, geolocated by Michael Kobs to the foot of the same building where they'd take the above photo. Before that, we see the plume rise over ... about 1-2 block's worth of rooftops - low yellow ones here, plume behind tree - from Kobs, modified, red and pink added. The other plume on the left also in red. Worth further geo-correlation. That's not at the hospital

Considering this further plume: It's far off, but would be close enough to hear ... revising now, perhaps that was the first blast Marianna heard? And the second one included everything that hit the maternity hospital, coming more or less at once? If so, she doesn't confirm that was 2 shells, but my analysis does show it. And this footage would show there was another impact across town we might have heard nothing about. (have we?) 

So "another part" of the city = maybe two city blocks NW of the strike. They just zipped upstairs for a photo, back down and then over. They enter the grounds by the alley between buildings visible at the right side of the photo above - the nearest part to them. That might be insignificant, except it is convenient in allowing the top foreign media in town to be so close - but not TOO close - to this crime they were able to film the immediate aftermath of. And it seems they're trying to minimize it here, now that Marianna - a fake witness and social media influencer? - thinks they arrived too quickly for comfort. 

As she stood outside, Marianna says, she noticed a "military" man - or someone wearing a helmet as journalists do - with a "fluffy" or "fuzzy" object (microphone?) and she realized he was filming her (13:30). She asked him not to, as she wasn't in a mood to "shine," so he stopped, at about the same time someone came to usher her upstairs to get her stuff. But he resumed filming later, she says, and the same ones tracked her down in the hospital and interviewed her there after she gave birth. Her husband Yuri identified their credentials as (auto-translated) "commits and the press" = Associated Press. 

Defending her colleagues, Sophia Tulp leads with questions about the video's context:

"It is not clear where Vishegirskaya is, or under what conditions the interview was filmed.

The video was posted to Seleznev’s YouTube account and circulated on Telegram and Twitter, and similar videos were also shared on Vishegirskaya’s personal Instagram account. Russian officials have repeatedly tried to cast doubt on the strike..."

Strong suggestion: she's somewhere bad like Russia, and is speaking and posting under threat, obviously to spread Russian lies to cast doubt over their attack. Next, Tulp tries to dispute what the witness says, as if to elevate these vague suspicions to more like facts - considering the inconsistencies, she MUST be lying:

Vishegirskaya also says in the video that she repeatedly told AP she did not want to be filmed, but recordings of AP journalists’ interactions with her contradict this. Video shows reporters’ first encounter with her outside the hospital, where she is wrapped in a blanket and looks directly at the camera.

“How are you?” Chernov asks, and Vishegirskaya replies: “Everything is good. I feel good.” Someone off camera says, “Let’s go,” and she replies, “Yes, let’s go please,” before entering the building with an emergency worker to collect her belongings.

During the exchange Vishegirskaya is aware she is on camera and does not make any indication that she does not wish to be filmed. AP reporters also said neither she nor her husband ever indicated that they did not consent to being filmed or interviewed when they spoke with the couple March 11, the day after she gave birth.

It's not clear this footage shows their "first encounter." There might be an earlier bit where she asked not to be filmed - she says as much at 13:53 - and that was edited out. Then there may be another point where they filmed her again anyway - which she says at 14:30 - even as others were telling them not to. Maybe she relaxed her policy enough to politely reply, but even by this, she does seem eager to get away from the camera, consistent with requests not to be filmed in the first place. 

The interview on the 11th was presumably agreed to. When they showed up, Marianna says, they wanted to do a short interview with her. She replied, as translated, "I have a political interview, I don't want to give it." (18:25) That would hopefully mean blaming the Russians for an airstrike on a non-military target, but she didn't want to. So they made it more narrow - apolitically, "just tell me how it was, well how did you see." What AP later reported sounds like that.  

Maybe in that vein, Marianna relates "they didn't ask" if "there was an air raid or there wasn't." Nonetheless, she offered some specifics as to what happened or didn't; "I say no, no one heard at all, even those who were on the street," meaning - as above - no one heard a jet, so it was probably surface shelling, not an airstrike. Apparently no comments to this effect were published. 

"Then they asked if there were Ukrainian troops ... in the maternity hospital itself. I say there were no troops in the maternity hospital, but on the territory (grounds) I am proud (insist?), on the territory..." she then pauses to explain the area, wherein the military was based in the eastern building that HAD BEEN the main maternity hospital. 

At 19:50 she explains how she looked on the internet for this interview as soon as she was back home, but didn't find it, even in the widely published AP article about her. 

This reads like they never published her interview, and it would have seemed that way at first. The initial AP article naming her on March 11 only reported on what photos show - her clothing, etc. They "saw the victims and damage first-hand – and [saw] nothing to indicate the hospital was used as anything other than a hospital." There was no mention of SPEAKING to anyone or HEARING the hospital WAS being used as a base (so they don't DENY it). All they add from the hospital visit is: "On Friday, her husband, Yuri, lovingly held up his daughter, then she was tucked back next to her mother. Vishegirskaya, in same the polka-dot clothing, rested her arm on the bundled-up Veronika." 

Marianna might have missed it, but on the 14th as the other woman died, a new article did include some bits of an interview where she dryly describes just what she saw: 

“It happened on March 9 in Hospital No. 3 in Mariupol. We were lying in wards when glass, frames, windows and walls flew apart ... We don’t know how it happened. We were in our wards and some had time to cover themselves, some didn’t,” she said.

Now it's reported (Tulp) that in a video recorded (and published?) on the 11th: 
"...she discussed what she saw and heard at the hospital. The subject of whether it was hit by airstrikes or shelling did not explicitly come up. The only reference that Vishegirskaya made on the matter was that she was not sure where the strike came from."
“I didn’t see with my own eyes, from whom it flew, from where, what and which direction. We don’t know,” she told AP on camera, adding: “There are many rumors, but in fact we can’t say anything.”

Note: dropped bombs don't really fly, but surface-fired shells do. There might be other parts edited out, like where she said no one heard a jet. Or perhaps she never did say that; the discussion to establish no airstrike might have taken a few days so that on the 11th she just wasn't sure.

Interestingly, her position on military presence at the hospital is absent. It's hard to believe they wouldn't ask her about this, but they either didn't ask, or didn't publish the answer. As she recalls it, they did ask and her answer was to the effect of "there were no troops in the maternity hospital, but on the territory (grounds)" there were. They don't have her denying it, nor affirming it - that space is just left blank. 

Informationally, they didn't get much to compare or show different, but as far as we can see, everything she says now is consistent with what she said on March 11.

A Russian-Controlled Story from a Social Media Influencer?

Still, it will be said she's lying now, as people blame the victim and deny her agency, as long as some evil Russian control can be imagined. 

Thomas VanLinge says: "Very concerning news. Marianna, the pregnant girl from #Mariupol, turns out to be one of the refugees that has been taken to #Russia in violation of the evacuation agreement. There they put her in front of a camera and have her say there was no aerial attack on the hospital." 
He noted later she may be in separatist-controlled Donetsk, but that was the same issue - a zone of untrustworthiness.

Ukraine24 News reports "She's been captured by the invaders ... taken hostage by the Russian military. Now she is in the russian controlled territory." AP's Sophie Tulp wasn't so direct, but leadingly noted "It is not clear where Vishegirskaya is, or under what conditions the interview was filmed." But what she said seemed to dovetail with known Russian propaganda efforts, and Tulp set to refuting her claims in about the same way.

To me, Mrs. Vishegirskaya seems to be speaking quite freely. Note the frequent sharp gasps as she runs sentences on; this is an eager, autonomous communicator, not someone reading from cue cards at gunpoint. That's subjective, I know, but come on ... can't you see that? In contrast, the bits in those AP reports come across stilted, fragmentary, unsure - even 2 days after the incident, as if she didn't want to say what they wanted to hear, or as if whole answers were just left off. 

If she was saying part of this before she was ever "kidnapped" from Mariupol, she may have suffered some Russian brainwashing, maybe for her whole life - she might be one of the majority in Mariupol who identified, maybe just slightly, with the Donbas separatists, having actually lived there 2014-2020. She may be one of those Russia claimed to be liberating from Kiev's occupation, and whom they had no motive to harm - one who would prefer a peace under anyone over this madness, but one who knows Russia is not solely to blame. 

In other words, she may be one to call a liar and supporter of Fascism and then ignore.

And BTW it's the Azov Battalion, according to many locals, that was trapping people in Mariupol as human shields, not the Russians.  That's why people can leave now that Azov has been pushed to the south. The Russians, it seems, get the people out of harm's way at firat chance, some of them by forceful "eviction." Kiev calls it kidnapping, but at least some thank them for it later. Patrick Lancaster speaks with Mariupol refugees in the Ukrainian village of (Bezimenne? east along the coast if so) At 2:55 and 16:25 two mother-daughter pairs explain happily enough how the Russian military "evicted" them from homes that would soon be rubble, because it wasn't safe to stay. The Russians brought them here where it's fine, and they're not sure where they'll go next. It seems to be their choice, and if Mariupol remains an option, they'd like to go back.

But Sophie Tulp, Thomas VanLinge, and their ilk won't trust these people, or Marianna, until they've been shipped to Kyiv, and maybe had a secret debriefing in SBU headquarters to undo the Russian brainwashing. THEN it could be sure they're speaking "freely." 

Postscript: False-Flag Notes

Finally, the strike on a military base might seem obviously Russian - they seemed to justify it, but with stories relating to a different maternity hospital no. 1 taken over in late February, not on March 6. They also deny airstrikes, as alleged, on that day. They don't deny rocket or missile strikes like this, but still, they haven't owned up to it. 

And my reading of the damage says this second missile that afternoon hit a certain tree in the courtyard - lines up with the damage to show (as the damage alone does) a launch from the east, at a relatively short range - points to Azov Brigade-occupied Azovstal plant between 3.5km and 7km out, and past that another 2-3 km of the city's east they held, then some Russian controlled areas ~10-11 km out. Explanation forthcoming, but here's my current reading:

By all this it does seem likely the Russians did it, and after all, why would Azov hit their own base? Well, consider they hardly did, to the degree we should wonder why the Russians would bother. The east building was furthest from the blast and likely protected further by the shell's vertical angle. It suffered little more damage than some windows taken out, and they might have known when to duck. Consider if it was a base, as Marianna says, they had it so no signs were evident when the AP reporters came to report ... or so that they could attribute that presence to this emergency they came to manage. And it so happens theses reporters were quite nearby at this time. That doesn't prove, but is all consistent with, their knowing the strike was coming and preparing for it. 

The angle of attack - besides sparing the army's base - seem to have mainly hit the building that, as far as we've heard, must have been vacant. The occupied maternity hospital in between might have been meant to face only mild danger - maybe the missile was supposed to hit the soil like the south one did, letting the earth take most of the force, but it hit the tree instead. From all this, the plan may have been to hurt as few as possible while creating the spectacle of a massive Russian crime - if so, that pregnant woman fatally killed, besides the 3 others, might have caused some regret and even complication.


  1. Amazing analysis. You write: "Less fortunate was the still-unnamed other woman whose womb was practically ripped" => is there any photographic or video evidence of this?

    1. Hey, sorry. Any video showing her shows it some - a hip area split open with tissue coming out - side view not clear, but brought down the stairs, put in the ambulance views show it's really bad.

    2. Thanks. I only saw the side view and the blurred video. Do you have a link to the unblurred video or an unblurred photograph? (Serious question, I'd like to know if she was really injured and later died. Some claim there were no victims.)

    3. this is the best I can find (unblurred low-res AP video), but it still doesn't show the opposite side of the woman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsxkHMJt8_c

    4. so I found another unblurred but low-res AP video. When she is brought down the stairs is the only time you can really see her right side. Do you have found higher quality footage to decide if it's real? Many claim it's all fake but this woman could be real.

    5. I might have seen, but didn't save links. Pretty advanced makeup if it's not real. A very bloody bed also inside floor 2, 5th window from the left, probably where she was.

    6. Yes, you're right. This is an interesting new fact check that explains how the AP journalists approached the hospital. They say you can hear the airplane in the first two seconds of the video. The high-rise building (where they took the panorama shot) was not their starting position but a stop they made on their way to the hospital. The fact check also links to a new AP video that clearly shows the hip injury of the second woman. So this is real.


    7. Thanks. Of course Meduza has to get in on the debunking of this survivor, the denial of this violent event, this new wave of old Russian lies. Another AP hit piece in the same vein. https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/doctors-crater-disprove-russia-s-hospital-airstrike-misinfo-1.5854180

    8. what do you make of it? I must say I agree that the large crater and the large shockwave (visible in the AP video blocks away) point to an airstrike, no? It could also explain why the journalists were already filming. But I'm also surprised people remained almost unscathed (it looked almost fake to me), with the exception of this one woman on the stretcher. Maybe Russia thought is was just an Azov base and bombed it? And then victims showed up and Russia said it was all fake?

    9. Meduza piece was more fair & balanced than either AP hit piece. Interesting. The big crater points to something powerful. 500 pound bomb could explain the crater, probably not the tree impact that caused the building damage. (Major damage to w. bldg, but just fragments everywhere else). Pictures of craters from Tochka, Iskander and similar missiles seem just as consistent to me.

      Still seems possible it was a Russian airstrike they denied, and the sound just wasn't clear, but if so the one bomb at least came in at an angle and vanished sort of easily. Still no expert, but I stand by surface missile as the best explanation.

  2. AP was a hit piece, Meduza provided some valid points. Tochka has a fragmentation warhead, could explain shrapnel damage but maybe not the large crater (same in Donetsk, Kramatorsk: no crater). Tochka impact video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He3zQjrjSJk But agree damage is very asymmetrical, could be some missile. It's all very crazy and sad.

    1. Tochkas come with two kinds of conventional warheads. The cluster munition warhead separates from the missile body before impact. That is the type used against the Kramatorsk railway station.

      The 4-meter deep crater seen at the hospital is typical of the bunker-busting high-explosive warhead. I have now read that it does not separate from the booster section before impact. (I was wrong about this before.) Very little of the missile will therefore remain after the explosion.

    2. If this is the case then it could really be a possibility. Do you have a link to a description or to a video of a bunker-busting Tochka? I only found the fragmentation warhead, but they also say it can use a chemical or nuclear warhead, so it may be possible. You guys are doing really great work.

    3. this guy from Mariupol is saying the maternity was empty and used by Azov, and that they blew up the theatre themselves. But maybe he's just pro-Russian? https://t.me/UkraineHumanRightsAbuses/1671

  3. Leon, w/o looking, I'll guess that guy has some vague version and bias.

    warhed types: not much to add but the too-regular frag marks may be some pins to anchor the cladding, in part, FWIW. Not as many dense frags as it seemed. But still some. Just one blast there, maybe weaker or the same AFAIK, but scattered cluster munitions. Both were HE-frag type.

    Adding the other smokeplumes seen - geolocated to a spot, then found reports of that spot hit then, and again steep impact missiles from the same ESE direction evident. https://twitter.com/CL4Syr/status/1513433819759591425

    But then 4 bombs, maybe guided ones, from a single jet flying that way might look the same. If that's even possible?

    1. The university strike is interesting. Could you geolocate the single source of a potential missile attack from the four impacts? Does it fit to asovstal? Maybe they wanted to hit the hospital 4 times but two strikes fell short in distance?

  4. Colinear impacts just point the same direction, unclear distance, but relatively short range (for a Tochka-U). If they were in an arc fired from the center, we could find the center. Almost all Mariupol rocket lines I've seen pass over Azovstal, which is huge. I keep seeing them originate there, but distances are tiny - 10-12 km or less. Sources unclear, but some have 15 km as Tochka-U min. range. Still, that can probably be cheated, many probably did come from there or nearby when they ran nearby areas, esp. to the east along the coast. Naval launches might explain some, if that's a thing people do. Not sure.

  5. An Iskander crater in soft soil. Similar/larger to what was seen at the hospital: https://t.me/Z_rada_2022/1597 The Iskander warhead is 480kg to 700kg.

    Tochka-U warhead: "The Tochka-U can carry various warheads – conventional, high explosive, fragmentation, chemical, and nuclear – with a maximum payload weight of 480 kg." https://t-intell.com/2022/04/09/russian-mass-casualty-attack-on-civilians-at-kramatorsk-train-station/

    So it's probably a possibility.

  6. Interesting discussion. Could you guys establish if Azov was at the hospital or not? I mean, did they have a base there? Or only at the other hospital (number 1)?


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