Friday, 22 June, 2018

Russian Journalist Arkady Babchenko Reveals His 'Murder' Was Faked

Arkady Babchenko's wife reportedly told authorities she believed he was shot because of his professional work Arkady Babchenko's wife reportedly told authorities she believed he was shot because of his professional work
Charlie Simmons | 31 May, 2018, 20:54

A dissident Russian journalist who was reported murdered in Kiev dramatically reappeared alive on Wednesday in the middle of a briefing about his own killing by the Ukrainian state security service.

Ukrainian Ambassador to Austria Olexander Scherba has trolled Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) for a reaction to the staged "murder" of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko in Kyiv, who has turned to be alive as he was part of a special operation of Ukraine's security service.

Ukrainian security service chief Vasily Gritsak said the agency staged Babchenko's death to catch people trying to assassinate him, The Guardian reports.

Ukrainian police said yesterday Mr Babchenko, a strong critic of the Kremlin, was shot multiple times in the back and found bleeding there by his wife.

His elaborate plan did not, it would seem, go down too well with his colleagues either, who had mourned Babchenko and felt "down and out" about his apparent death.

Babchenko fought in Russia's two Chechen campaigns in the 1990s and early 2000s before becoming a war correspondent and author.

Ukrainian authorities had released a drawing of the man they suspect is Babchenko's assassin, around 40-45 years old, with a grey beard and wearing a cap.

"Special apologies to my wife for the hell she's been through these two days".

Dan Ashby has more from Moscow.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called Babchenko's status "the best news", lamenting that things do not always turn out this way.

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It added: "Bloody crimes and total impunity had become routine for the Kiev regime", while offering condolences to Babchenko's family and friends. At the time of this writing, one arrest had been confirmed.

Having been called unpatriotic over a piece a year ago on Russia's intervention in Syria, Babchenko complained of an atmosphere of hate toward his work.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said in a social media posting late on Tuesday he was convinced that what he called "the Russian totalitarian machine" had not forgiven Babchenko for what Mr Groysman called his honesty.

Russian Federation has rejected Ukraine's allegation that Moscow was behind the murder.

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

Babchenko fled Russian Federation past year, fearing for his life, and settled in Ukraine.

"We state that the problem of life and death in Ukraine and the trust that the global community vests in its policy are little more than small change for the Kiev regime, which is fanning the anti-Russian hysteria", the statement said.

Russian authorities again denied any connection with the plane's downing over an area of Ukraine held by pro-Russian separatist forces. The helicopter was overloaded and he was not permitted to fly.

Babchenko made a name for himself with his poignant reportages from the frontlines, including the conflict in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 10,000 people.

"I was lucky, it was my second birthday", he wrote Tuesday.

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