Ukraine faked journalist’s death in bid to snare would-be assassins

'Murdered' Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko is alive

'Murdered' Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko is alive

A Russian journalist who had been highly critical of the Kremlin has been shot dead in the Ukrainian capital, with police saying he was targeted because of his work.

"Thanks to this operation we were able to foil a cynical plot and document how the Russian security service was planning for this crime", Grytsak added.

Police in Kiev said Babchenko's wife found him outside their apartment. Babchenko wrote that while he felt no joy over the passenger's deaths, he also felt no sympathy for those killed because they were pawns of Russian state operations.

Arkady Babchenko, a celebrated war reporter who fled his home country previous year amid a campaign of intimidation, was said to have been killed at his his apartment building in Kiev he appeared at a press conference Wednesday. He then startled everyone there by inviting the 41-year-old reporter into the room.

The murder of anti-Kremlin reporter Arkady Babchenko was widely reported and condemned on Tuesday.

Harlem Desir, the media freedom representative at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said he was "horrified" by Mr Babchenko's death.

Kiev Police chief Andriy Krishchenko said in televised comments that Mr Babchencko's "professional activities" were a factor.

"I'm sorry, but there was no other way of doing it".

The security service declined to say who the other 29 people were but said it had detained a Ukrainian citizen recruited by Russian Federation to find someone to kill Babchenko. The unidentified Ukrainian man in turn allegedly hired an acquaintance to be the gunman, Gritsak said.

His reported murder sparked a war of words between Ukraine and Russian Federation, a flurry of condemnations from European capitals and Washington, and shivers through the journalistic communities in both countries. He spoke and wrote about needed to leave Russian Federation because of threats against him and his family. He said his home address was published online and the threats he received were made by phone, email and social media.

Babchenko's death follows those of prominent Russian journalist Pavel Sheremet, killed in a auto bomb in Kiev in 2016, and ex-Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov, who was shot dead in the city in 2017. He worked as a military correspondent for several Russian media outlets.

"Putin's regime is aimed at those who can not be broken or intimidated", wrote Anton Gerashchenko, calling Babchenko "a consistent opponent of the Putin regime and a friend of Ukraine".

Being a Russian journalist is an extremely unsafe job, especially for those who attempt to shine a light on the government's misbehavior.

In the fall, Babchenko moved to Kiev, where he worked as a host for the Crimean Tatar TV station, ATR.

Babchenko sparked a backlash in Russian Federation for his comments in a 2016 Facebook post on the military plane crash.

Hours before pretending to have been fatally shot, Babchenko wrote on Facebook that he narrowly escaped death exactly four years ago when the Ukrainian military refused to take him on a helicopter heading to the front line in eastern Ukraine. 14 people died, but I got lucky.

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