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Marianna Part 2: The view from the other side

Marianna Vishegirskaya is the pregnant woman who has unwittingly found herself at the centre of one of the most disputed events of the war. In a previous episode we looked at how Russia falsely accused her of helping fake photos of the aftermath of its attack on a maternity hospital, in which at least three people were killed. But now Marianna has told her side of the story, after escaping the besieged city of Mariupol with her husband and newborn baby. Her interview, given to a pro-Kremlin journalist, flatly contradicts much of what Russia has said up to now. But some of her comments have been cherry picked to promote a new version of events which also absolves Russia of any blame. Despite all the contradictions in the propaganda, Marianna’s Russian friend Yaroslava still believes Russian state media rather than the woman she knows personally. It’s a sign of the power of the information war being fought over Ukraine alongside the military battle. And like the conflict on the ground, this fight also has real consequences for the people whose lives it touches. Russia’s military assault has been accompanied by an onslaught of disinformation and propaganda from state media, trolls and influencers. With all sides seeking to capture and control the narrative, how do you tell what is fake and what is real? In this podcast series, BBC disinformation reporter Marianna Spring investigates stories from Ukraine, Russia, and around the world, and hears from those caught up in the battle for the truth. Producer: Joseph Martin Editor: Ed Main

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