Russian journalist and Kremlin critic shot and killed in Ukraine

30 May, 2018, 20:24 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Arkady Babchenko

"Today in Kiev, famous Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko was shot and killed on the threshold of the apartment where he lived, He was a consistent opponent of the Putin regime and a friend of Ukraine", he said.

But on Wednesday, an emotional Mr. Babchenko appeared before reporters saying he had been part of a special Ukrainian operation to thwart a Russian attempt on his life and said he was fine.

Investigators will look at "Russian spy agencies' efforts to get rid of those who are trying to tell the truth about what is going on in Russia and Ukraine", Mr Gerashchenko said.

The journalist apparently did not tell his wife that the murder had been staged.

Writing on Twitter, the security service said it chose to conduct the operation to collect evidence of terrorist activity by the Russian special services on Ukrainian territory.

Babchenko fled Russian Federation in 2017 after stating that he was receiving death threats over his reporting.

Arkady Babchenko, who moved to the city previous year following threats in his homeland, was sacked on after returning from buying bread and died of his injuries in an ambulance, local police said late Tuesday.

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"Olechka, I am terribly sorry", he said, addressing her at the press conference, "but there were no other options".

Ukraine had released an image of a man wanted in connection with the killing. Authorities said they suspected he was killed because of his work.

Some even called for stripping Babchenko of his Russian citizenship. I believe it to be a personal attack by Babchenko against our media community. He had been shot in the back.

Mr Gritsak said his service had received information about a Russian plan to assassinate Mr Babchenko, and had managed to prevent it.

Babchenko was an outspoken critic of the Kremlin, speaking out against Russia's annexation of Crimea and against Russian involvement in Syria. The wounded Babchenko was found by his wife and died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. "Like many dissidents I am used to abuse, but a recent campaign against me was so personal, so scary, that I was forced to flee".

While studying law in Moscow aged 18, Mr Babchenko was conscripted into the Russian army and served during the Chechen wars from 1994-2000.

He relocated to Kiev, where he began working for a Crimean television station and produced coverage critical of Russia's military actions in the region.

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