'Murdered' journalist appears alive at news conference

30 May, 2018, 18:28 | Author: Christina Harvey
  • Breaking: Journalist Babchenko alive, says his 'killing' was special operation

Babchenko was shot and killed Tuesday evening in Kiev where he had been living since fleeing Russian Federation.

Alexander Bortnikov, head of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), said Ukrainian allegations the FSB was behind the killing of Babchenko were nonsense and a provocation, the Interfax news agency reported earlier on Wednesday.

One man stuck black and white photos of Babchenko on the fence of the Russian embassy in Kiev, and mourners were expected to gather in Kiev's central Maidan square on Wednesday evening.

The Russian foreign ministry responded by saying that journalists were being killed with impunity in Ukraine.

He said investigators would be looking 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".

According to Vasily Grytsak, the Russian special services recruited a former member of the antiterrorist operation in the east of Ukraine to commit the murder of Arkady Babchenko.

Mr Babchenko, 41, was found bleeding at the entrance to his block of flats by his wife and died in an ambulance.

Babchenko moved to Prague and then settled in Kiev with his wife and child.




Mr Babchenko took part in the war in Chechnya as a soldier.

"I am confident that the Russian totalitarian machine did not forgive him his honesty and principled stance", Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said in an online statement.

Ukrainian police do not yet have any specific suspects, but suggested his murder was due to his "professional activities".

"I was lucky. A second birthday, it turns out", Mr Babchenko wrote. Some even called for stripping Mr Babchenko of his Russian citizenship.

He claims this Facebook post, in which he described Russia as an "aggressor", led to death threats and abuse from the Russian state, writing in a piece for The Guardian that this forced him to leave "a country I no longer feel safe in". He later became a journalist and worked as a military correspondent for several Russian media outlets.

This past March, Babchenko spoke at "Putincon" in New York City, a conference featuring a number of Putin critics on the eve of the 2018 presidential election in Russian Federation.

Babchenko had grown highly critical of the Russian government in recent years.

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