Russian journalist who faked death: I wanted to avoid Skripal’s fate

Arkadiy Babchenko

Arkadiy Babchenko

Prosecutors said they had evidence that Herman had handed over $US15,000 ($A20,000) to pay someone to kill Babchenko. Pictures of his body in a pool of blood were published and officials suggested Russian Federation was behind the assassination, something Moscow flatly denied.

Babchenko, a prominent war reporter and Kremlin critic, was reported assassinated on Tuesday, but then appeared in the flesh at a press conference on Wednesday, where the SBU said that they faked his death to catch a would-be assassin who was allegedly contracted by Russian Federation.

The Russian Foreign ministry said on Wednesday it was happy Mr Babchenko had turned out to be alive after all, but said Ukraine has used his story as propaganda.

Arkady Babchenko said the plot was the only way to save his life.

Once inside the morgue, Babchenko said he was "resurrected", taking off the blood-stained clothes.

Babchenko, 41, said at a news conference in Kiev that he could have refused when Ukrainian security service officials approached him with the idea for the ruse about a month ago, but readily agreed.

It also produced global condemnation, in part because several prominent Russians critical of Putin have been murdered in recent years, three of them in Ukraine.

"But then I realised, where do you hide?"

The Kremlin has always vehemently denied allegations regarding the deaths of journalists.

Afterwards, he said he washed off the pig's blood and watched news coverage of "what a great guy I had been".

Asked about his next steps he said: "I plan to get some decent sleep, maybe get drunk, and then wake up in two or three days".

Reporters Without Borders said it was "part of an information war".

"We had already thought out how it would happen, that the murder would take place on the landing when I opened the door" to go inside, he said. "We knew there would be a false-flag operation".

He quipped that nobody had shown him a letter from President Vladimir Putin ordering his murder, but that despite initial scepticism he now believed assertions from the Ukrainian security service that he had been targeted in a Russian plot.

On Thursday (Friday NZT), Babchenko described what a makeup artist and security officers did to make the staged murder look genuine.

Ukraine revealed on Wednesday that it had stage-managed the fake murder of Babchenko, a critic of the Kremlin who they said had been targeted by hitmen hired by Russian Federation, to trace a trail back to Russian Federation and expose plans for his, and other, state-sponsored assassinations.

"Thank God, the man is alive", he said.

Arkady Babchenko at the Western Wall in June 2017.

Recommended News

  • North Korea won’t denuclearise, might open burger joint

    North Korea won’t denuclearise, might open burger joint

    But he was granted special permission for official travel to the United States, said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert. He's a former US diplomat who's been involved in negotiations with North Korea over the years.
    Trump blasts 'Double Standard' at ABC: 'Where is my call of apology?'

    Trump blasts 'Double Standard' at ABC: 'Where is my call of apology?'

    Trump on Wednesday night tweeted that Iger never apologized to him for "the awful statements made and said about me on ABC ". On Tuesday, Barr had apologized "for making a bad joke" about Jarrett, who is black and was born in Iran to American parents.
    Banking services may be hit by 2-day union strike from today

    Banking services may be hit by 2-day union strike from today

    Though the bankers, through the IBA, said they are willing to reconsider the proposed wage hike, there was no concrete proposal. "At an operating level the banks are still making profits, just that they had to take a hit because of NPAs".
  • Atari VCS Retro Gaming Console Preorders Open Via Indiegogo

    Atari VCS Retro Gaming Console Preorders Open Via Indiegogo

    Some have considered the Atari VCS to be little more than vaporware and it's easy to see how they would get that impression. The VCS on its own (meaning without a controller) is available for $199 until June 4, which is $100 off the list price.
    Denmark passes law to ban use of burqa, niqab from August 1

    Denmark passes law to ban use of burqa, niqab from August 1

    Zainab Ibn Hssain, who lives in Copenhagen and has been wearing the niqab for the a year ago , told Reuters: "It's not nice. According to that legislation, civil servants and officials including judges and soldiers must have their faces uncovered.
    Rafael Nadal vs Guido Pella, French Open 2018

    Rafael Nadal vs Guido Pella, French Open 2018

    A year after losing in the opening round of qualifying in Paris, he is the second-youngest man in the French Open field. The 31-year-old Sharapova, seeded 28, has never faced the 50th-ranked Vekic before.
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey leaks: is this the sequel to Origins?

    Assassin’s Creed Odyssey leaks: is this the sequel to Origins?

    The two characters are not interchangeable, so you will get to choose to play the entire game with either one. The info dump also says that naval battles will be a big focus once again, similar to Assassin's Creed 4.
    Four Dallas-area students advance to national spelling bee finals

    Four Dallas-area students advance to national spelling bee finals

    Alice Liu of Chesterfield, Miss., went with "ebbot" - and was eliminated earlier than she was past year in her bee debut. It would take five rounds of onstage spelling to get to 16, the largest group ever to head into the championship finals.
    Grand Slam fashion - six of the best...or worst

    Grand Slam fashion - six of the best...or worst

    But as Williams beat Kristyna Pliskova in straight sets, fans were even more excited about what she was wearing. Body-shamers need to take the hike because they are not bringing her down. "She does everything great".
  • Have we seen too much of the best NBA Finals matchup?

    Have we seen too much of the best NBA Finals matchup?

    George Hill went to the line for two free throws with Cleveland down by one and he connected with the first to tie the game. And why not? Both these teams were pushed to their limits in seven-game conference finals they each had to win on the road.
    ICC taking corruption allegations

    ICC taking corruption allegations "extremely seriously"

    So far no Indian player has been named in the documentary, titled Cricket's Match Fixers . Two Australian batsmen have been accused of fixing a match against India a year ago .

    Tom Cruise tweets as cameras roll on Top Gun 2

    On Wednesday (May 30), Cruise took to social media to share the first official picture from the set of Top Gun: Maverick . Details about the sequel, which will be titled Top Gun: Maverick , have been shrouded in secrecy for years.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.