A Scottish professor was slammed for sharing an article claiming the Mariupol theater bombing was “staged”
A view of a destroyed theater hall in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 18, 2022 © Getty Images / Ukrainian Interior Ministry
University of Edinburgh professor Tim Hayward is being hammered in the media for sharing an article suggesting the bombing of a theater in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol may have been staged by Ukrainian nationalists. Hayward’s skepticism has already led Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi to promise a “crackdown” on such wrongthink.
Hayward shared an article on Sunday from the Grayzone, a left-wing news outlet. Citing eyewitnesses in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, the article claims that Ukrainian ‘Azov’ fighters – once described by western outlets and lawmakers as “neo-Nazis” – sheltered behind civilians in a theater in Mariupol, before blowing the building up as Russian forces entered the Ukrainian city.
Azov forces and journalists linked to the extremist unit accused Russia of bombing the building, and used the incident to call for western intervention against Russia. US President Joe Biden declared Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” in response, and American politicians from both parties and from Europe renewed their calls for military aid – including fighter jets – for Ukraine.