Ukraine says it faked murder of Russian journalist and Kremlin critic
30 May, 2018, 19:58 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
Arkady Babchenko emerged at a news conference in Kiev ostensibly called by Ukrainian officials to discuss his killing.
Mr Babchenko, 41, emerged at a police press conference this afternoon in front of journalists, who had been expecting updates on the investigation into his murder.
Ukraine's chief of security services, Vasyl Gritsak, said Babchenko had faked his own death as a ruse to foil a real plot against his life.
Authorities announced on Tuesday that Babchenko's wife discovered him with gunshot wounds at their apartment and he died en route to a Kiev hospital.
"From Babchenko's position, even his Moscow colleagues looked this way: weak, conformist, inclined to endless compromises", Russian journalist Yury Saprykin wrote on Meduza, an independent news site. "Special apologies to my wife". Arkady Babchenko was living in Ukraine since February 2017 after facing threats in his country. Groysman added that Babchenko was "a true friend of Ukraine", due to his commitment to reveal "the truth about Russian aggression".
While studying law in Moscow aged 18, Mr Babchenko was conscripted into the Russian army and served during the Chechen wars from 1994-2000.
The Russian Foreign Mministry has reacted to the staged death, saying that they were happy Mr. Babchenko had turned out to be alive after all.
"Some called for me to be stripped of citizenship, others are making an online game where you can beat me to death", he said.
Kiev police reported on Tuesday evening about an attack on Babchenko, in which he was allegedly gunned down.
Mr Babchenko, one of Russia's best-known war reporters, spoke and wrote a year ago about leaving the country because of repeated threats that he and his family would be harmed. "We demand that the Ukrainian authorities make every effort to promptly investigate", it said on Facebook.
He had been denounced by pro-Government politicians in Russia over comments on social media about the Russian bombing of Aleppo in Syria's war, and over his characterisation of Russia as an aggressor towards Ukraine.
After moving to Kiev last autumn he had been working as a host for Crimean TV station ATR.
Ukraine had released an image of a man wanted in connection with the killing.
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