It Is Not True That Russia Is Not Shelling Civilian Buildings and That the Mariupol Footage Is Fake
The claim of the Russian ambassador to the country, Sergey Baznikin, that the Russian armed forces do not shell civilian buildings and that the footage from Mariupol is fake, seems strange and at least sounds unreasonable in a situation where numerous world and domestic media constantly publish footage of destroyed civilian buildings. It is not possible for all those recordings that appear in the media and on social networks to be fake. Confirmation that Russian forces are attacking civilian buildings has also come from the Ukrainian authorities
Speaking about the situation with the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the shelling of civilian buildings in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol by the Russian army, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Macedonia, Sergey Baznikin made the following statement:
We are doing everything we can to prevent any civilian casualties. At the beginning of the special military operation, the Russian military leadership gave a clear and unequivocal order not to attack settlements and civilian infrastructure. Our armed forces, together with the troops of the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics, use high-precision weapons and destroy exclusively, I emphasize, the military infrastructure of the Ukrainian authorities in the context of the demilitarization task. This command is being fulfilled. However, all combat operations are unfortunately associated with casualties. One of the main problems is the use of the civilian population by the Nazi formations of Ukraine as a human shield, not figuratively, but literally. We do not shell any children’s hospitals or any civilian facility.
Asked by the journalist if the recordings posted by Mariupol were fake, Baznikin said: Yes.
[Source: YouTube – Sitel TV (from 15:15 to 17:54 in the video); Date: 10.03.2022]
The claim of the Russian ambassador to the country, Sergey Baznikin, that the Russian army does not attack or shell civilian facilities in Ukraine, is untrue. The footage from Mariupol, but also from other cities where destroyed civilian buildings can be seen, are not fake, as Baznikin wants to show.
On March 11, as reported by TV 21, broadcasting video material, the target of the Russian attacks was the city of Dnipro. Three airstrikes hit the city in the early hours of the morning. A kindergarten, an apartment building and a shoe factory were affected. There have also been reports of bombings in the city of Lutsk in northwestern Ukraine. On the 16th day of the Russian aggression, a psychiatric hospital in the eastern city of Izum was also hit, regional authorities said. There were 330 people in the hospital, and the number of victims was unknown.
As for the city of Mariupol, it was under 14-hour shelling by the Russian army on March 2, which was confirmed by the local Ukrainian authorities.
As SDK.mk reported, numerous civilians died as a result of the 14-hour intensive shelling of the city, which has been under siege by Russian forces for days. This city on the shores of the Sea of Azov is strategically important to Russia, as it provides a land connection to the annexed Crimean peninsula with separatist troops in eastern Ukraine.
We do not know the exact number of victims, but we believe that there are hundreds of dead. We can not collect the bodies. The Russian military is using all possible weapons and is trying to completely destroy the city, said Deputy Mayor Sergius Orlov.
Mayor Vadim Boychenko said Russian troops had stopped the evacuation of civilians.
There is huge destruction of housing infrastructure. There are many wounded and, unfortunately, dead, including women, children and the elderly. Genocide of the Ukrainian people is happening. The occupying forces of the Russian Federation did everything possible to prevent the evacuation of civilians from the city. The railway traffic was interrupted and the locomotives were shelled. Their goal is to destroy us, Boychenko said.
A children’s hospital in Mariupol was shelled on March 10, as confirmed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the head of the regional military administration, Pavlo Kirilenko.
President Zelensky posted a video of the incident on Twitter – which he described as a “direct hit”, and the footage showed destroyed rooms along the hallway of the building.
A military attack on a maternity hospital is the final proof that genocide is being committed against Ukrainians. Europeans, you can not say that you did not know what was happening to the Ukrainians in Mariupol. That is why you have to increase sanctions on Russia so that it can never continue this genocide. You have to put pressure on Russia to sit down at the negotiating table and end this barbaric war, Zelensky said in a video address.
Mariupol. Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital. People, children are under the wreckage. Atrocity! How much longer will the world be an accomplice ignoring terror? Close the sky right now! Stop the killings! You have power but you seem to be losing humanity. pic.twitter.com/FoaNdbKH5k
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 9, 2022
The head of the regional military administration, Kirilenko, also posted videos of the Facebook attacks.
Several children were killed in the attack, and a pregnant woman who was waiting for childbirth was injured. According to Ukrainian authorities, this was just one of three attacks by the Russian military on hospitals. Two hospitals in the town of Zhytomyr, about 150 km west of Kyiv, were also bombed.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry announced on March 12 that Russian forces had shelled a mosque in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, where more than 80 children and adults were sheltered. The Ukrainian ministry announced on Twitter that Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent’s mosque in Mariupol had been shelled by Russian “attackers”.
The mosque of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his wife Roxolana (Hurrem Sultan) in Mariupol was shelled by Russian invaders.
— MFA of Ukraine 🇺🇦 (@MFA_Ukraine) March 12, 2022
On March 14, aerial footage of Mariupol shelling was released.
The video of the drone captured the moment when Russian missiles turned the besieged southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol into a hellish landscape as Moscow forces continued to bomb buildings, leaving civilians without food and water.
Radio Free Europe reported on the situation after the shelling in Mariupol.
The claim of the Russian ambassador to the country, Sergei Baznikin, that the Russian armed forces do not shell civilian buildings and that the footage from Mariupol is fake, seems strange and at least sounds unreasonable in a situation where numerous world and domestic media constantly publish footage of destroyed civilian buildings. It is not possible for all those recordings that appear in the media and on social networks to be fake. Confirmation of such information also comes from the Ukrainian authorities.
Given all of the above, we assess Bazdnikin’s statement as untrue.
- YouTube – Sitel TV (10.03.2022) – Topic of the day with the Ambassador of the Russian Federation Sergey Baznikin [Accessed 15.03.2022]
- TV 21 (11.03.2022) – Russia shells hospitals and kindergartens – Zelensky: The world should know that we are dealing with a terrorist state! [Accessed 15.03.2022]
- mk (02.03.2022) – THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF DEAD IN MARIUPOL, THE CITY IS SHELLED FOR 14 HOURS, THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES SAY [Accessed 15.03.2022]
- Radio MOF (10.03.2022) – A shelled children’s hospital in Ukraine, Zelensky accused Russia of war crimes [Accessed 15.03.2022]
- Sloboden Pecat (09.03.2022) – VIDEO: Ukrainians claim that Russia attacked a children’s hospital in Mariupol, Zelensky posted footage on Twitter [Accessed 15.03.2022]
- Facebook profile of Pavlo Kirilineko (09.03.2022) [Accessed 15.03.2022]
- New York Times (09.03.2022) – Videos show devastating strike at Mariupol Hospital maternity wand [Accessed 15.03.2022]
- ABC News (09.03.2022) – Russian strikes destroy children’s hospital in Mariupol [Accessed 15.03.2022]
- mk (12.03.2022) – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine: Russia shelled a mosque in the southern part of Mariupol [Accessed 15.03.2022]
- mk (March 14, 2022) – Aerial videos of hell on earth – Mariupol [Accessed March 15, 2022]
- Facebook page of Radio Free Europe (10.03.2022) – [Accessed 15.03.2022]
Assessed by: Ana Anastasovska