Twitter removes Russian claims on Ukrainian hospital attack by Russian forces

Twitter has removed two posts by the Russian embassy in London which claimed the bombing of a Ukrainian hospital by Russian forces had been faked.

The Mariupol hospital was attacked on Wednesday, leaving three people dead.

But the embassy’s tweets made unfounded claims the hospital was not operational at the time, and that injured women pictured at the scene were actors.

The embassy claimed the hospital had been “long non-operational”. However, a week-old post on the hospital’s Facebook page asked for fuel to keep operations going.

Reports from Mariupol last week – from the Associated Press news agency and Sky News – also says it was treating bombing victims, and that the maternity ward had been moved to the basement.

The initial claims that the bombing was faked by Ukraine did not come from the embassy. They first began trending among Russian users of the Telegram messaging app earlier in the day, and were then mentioned on state television news bulletins and chat shows.

There were accusations also claiming that the hospital had been taken over by a far-right battalion of the Ukrainian army.

Social media companies have been trying to tackle misinformation on their platforms, with many big tech companies blocking Russian broadcasters.