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Some sources (which I find unreliable) are claiming that, the unnamed pregnant Ukranian who were injured in most famous photo of Mariupol Hospital Bombing is the same woman as Mariana Vishegirskava, who was later interviewed by Russians.

The question is: are the two women in those two different photos the same person?

This is the viral photo of the unnamed pregnant woman taken by AP a few weeks ago:

Image of similar looking woman

This is the Mariana Vishegirskava in the interview later:

Image of woman

Reuters Fact Check, amongst other "mainstream factcheck" sites, dismissed the some related claims.

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Oddthinking
    May 4 at 13:57

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It is the same woman "with high probability" according to RTL's analysis. In Google translation:

The RTL verification team can confirm that, according to facial recognition, there is a high probability that it is the same woman who was photographed in and in front of the destroyed building in Mariupol. So it's the Ukrainian blogger Mariana [Vishegirskaya].

The interview was taken somewhere in Russia or in Russian occupied territories--where exactly is not clear. And there are a few cuts in the video editing.

It's worth recalling that Russian forces have (sometimes forcibly) evacuated Ukrainians (particularly from Mariupol) to Russian territory and affiliated Donbas republics.


Although the contents of her interview don't seem to be part of the question, it's worth noting that ABC ran a piece on that on April 7; although Vishegirskaya says in that Russian-made interview that the hospital wasn't hit by an airstrike but by shelling, the size of the crater in courtyard says otherwise, etc. ABC also seems to agree unconditionally that the women interviewed is indeed her, without predicating that info with some some probability.

Most recently, a Russian government-linked Twitter account shared an interview last week with Mariana Vishegirskaya, one of the women in the maternity hospital. Vishegirskaya, wearing polka dot pajamas and looking dazed, emerged almost unscathed from the hospital airstrike. [...]

Vishegirskaya is now in Russia-controlled territory, but it’s not clear exactly where or under what conditions the interview was filmed.

It's also worth noting that the Kremlin had claimed in the immediate aftermath that "Vishegirskaya had posed [...] in “realistic makeup.”" But at least in the interview (as translated by the pro-authoritarian Grayzone) she says she was actually injured by shattered glass that landed on her, although says her injuries were "nothing serious".

But she's not the (still unnamed, I think) woman with the fractured pelvis and dislocated hip who later died. That one was carried out of the (bombed) hospital on a stretcher, as seen in the photos, whereas everyone agrees Vishegirskaya walked out on her own. Vishegirskaya actually says/confirms in her interview (almost crying it seems to me) that indeed the woman that was seen on the stretcher later died. For what's worth it, she also says in the interview she is "from Donetsk" but was stuck in Mariupol since 2020 due the Covid quarantine.

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  • Uh, the quote says "high probability" but you sum it up as definitely the same. A quick search says facial recognition on unposed images is unreliable (9% error rate, which seems low, but roughly means if we have 100 pictures of different Ukrainian women, it wrongly says 9 are the same). May 7 at 4:49
  • @OwenReynolds: their conclusion is the last sentence "Es ist also die ukrainische Bloggerin Mariana."
    – Fizz
    May 7 at 7:18
  • N.B. I was curious who (the site/channel that posted a [real] translation of the interview) "Watchdog Media [Institute]" might be as they mainly have pro-Donetsk [separatists] coverage, but in English, including a lengthy multi-part work that tries to prove Ukraine shot down MH-17. They let out no real info about themselves, but the fact that they have one clip on their channel ridiculing some pro-Israel positions kinda gives them away as probably being related to Max Blumenthal and the Grayzone.
    – Fizz
    May 7 at 10:30
  • The problem is that 1st quote's conclusion is clearly not supported (unless you cut out a lot before it?) The only interesting part is facial recognition saying "well, maybe they're the same". May 7 at 12:47
  • There was a part in the question doubting the content of the interview but later deleted due to mod's suggestions. The observation of "video cutting" during the interview casts more doubt on the reliability of the interviewee and interviewer.
    – High GPA
    May 7 at 13:28

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