Slain Russian journalist shows up very much alive at news conference

After living in Tel Aviv, Russian reporter shot dead in Kiev

After living in Tel Aviv, Russian reporter shot dead in Kiev

"I'm still alive", Arkady Babchenko, 41, told startled fellow reporters at the news conference held less than 24 hours after police reported he had been shot and killed at his Kiev apartment building.

To the applause and gasps of the press, Babchenko took the floor at the news conference and apologized to the friends and family who mourned for him and were unaware of the plan.

Ukrainian National Security Agency head Vasyl Hrytsak said the suspects planned to kill another 30 people in Ukraine.

However, he turned up at the presser today with Ukrainian officials who said the country's Security Service faked the journalist's death in an attempt to gather evidence on Russian agents in Ukraine.

As the SBU chief said, the Russian journalist was unhurt, after which Babchenko strolled out in front of reporters.

The weird scenes were a shock to everyone - including Mr Babchenko's wife, who received an apology from her husband for faking his own death.

Babchenko left Russian Federation in February 2017, saying he was receiving threats and concerned he might be jailed.

Babchenko fought with the Russian army in Chechnya in the 1990s and went on to cover conflicts in Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia and Ukraine before leaving Moscow after a campaign of harassment past year.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was happy to see that Mr Babchenko was alive, but said Ukraine had used his story as propaganda.

Babchenko, one of Russia's best-known war reporters, has spoken and written about leaving Russian Federation because of threats he and his family faced and finally relocated to Ukraine, according to AP.

News of the "death" of the prominent Russian war correspondent and former soldier set off a series of recriminations between Kiev and Moscow, and pictures and flowers had been laid by mourners at the Russian embassy in Kiev.

Mr Babchenko was reportedly found by his wife bleeding at the entrance to his block of flats, shot several times in the back, and died in an ambulance. He left Russian Federation a year ago after receiving death threats and being denounced by pro-Kremlin politicians over his criticism of the Syrian and Ukrainian wars. In one, he said he felt no regret about the deaths of Russian army choir members and others from a December 2016 plane crash as they were heading to perform before Russian troops in Syria.

He had been heavily critical of Moscow's annexation of Crimea, its alleged support of separatist insurgents in eastern Ukraine, and Russia's involvement in Syria's civil war.

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

In Kiev, he went to work for ATR, a Ukrainian TV channel.

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