Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov appeared at a news conference in Turkey earlier this morning following talks with Ukraine. While Lavrov was being asked questions from correspondents around the world, those watching the live stream saw him fiddle around with an ear piece and the wire, collate notes and look down at his hands when providing an answer. Express.co.uk spoke to body lanuguage expert Judi James about Lavrov’s appearance.
The conversation turned to the Russian air strike on a maternity hospital which has resulted in three people being confirmed dead.
Lavrov was asked by a journalist: “How can you justify the bombing of a maternity and children’s hospital?
“Do you agree with President Zelensky, that it is an atrocity to target pregnant mothers and children?”
Lavrov answered: “Thank you very much, as for the maternity ward, it’s not for the first time that we see the shouting…in relation to so called atrocities.
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“In relation to the Russian military, on March 7, three days ago, at the United Nations Security Councils, the facts were presented that the maternity ward had been captured and other radials all mothers, pregnant ladies were taken out of the building.
“This information was passed three days ago and so make your own conclusions. How the public opinion is being manipulated in the whole world,” he added, all while fiddling with the wire in front of him.
Judi spoke about Lavrov’s body langauge and said: “This trait of extensive fiddling and looking distracted seems to present a contrasting look to Putin’s own body language, which tends to be a consummate poker face with few moments of ‘leakage’ apart from some metronomic tapping to suggest impatience.
“Fiddling like this looks like something actors call ‘bit of business,’ keeping your hands busy while you collect your thoughts.
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“Animals are known to perform acts of distraction when they are about to pounce on a prey.
“This could be about composing an answer or feeling awkward then or it could be delaying the moment to make a point,” the expert suggested.
Some 17 people were also injured from the strike on the hospital, including staff and patients, locals have said.
The Mariupol city council said the strike had caused “colossal damage”, and published footage showing burned out buildings, destroyed cars and a huge crater outside the hospital.
Mariupol Deputy Mayor Serhiy Orlov told the BBC: “We don’t understand how it’s possible in modern life to bomb a children’s hospital. People cannot believe that it’s true.”
President Zelensky, speaking Russian rather than Ukrainian for part of his latest video address, said the attack was a war crime.
“What kind of a country is Russia, that it is afraid of hospitals and maternity wards and destroys them?” he asked.