Kremlin critic Arkady Babchenko shot dead on his way to buy bread

30 May, 2018, 19:57 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Arkady Babchenko

Arkady Babchenko, the dissident Russian journalist and Kremlin critic reported to have been shot dead in Kiev on Tuesday, has turned up alive in Ukraine.

He showed up at Gritsak's new conference on Wednesday and thanked everyone who was mourning his death.

The country's security services said Babchenko's death was faked to foil a plot to take his life.

Vasyl Gritsak, head of Ukraine's security service, initially appeared at the conference before inviting Mr Babchenko to join him.

It was widely reported that Babchenko had been shot three times outside his apartment in Kiev on 29 May, having been out to buy groceries.

"Ukraine is becoming the most risky country for reporters", Russian lawmaker Yevgeny Revenko said in remarks carried by the state RIA Novosti news agency.

It not immediately clear whether Babchenko's wife and friend were aware of the security operation.

Mr Babchenko had claimed that while living in Russian Federation his home address was published online, and that threats were made by phone, email and social media.

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He added that Mr Babchenko was a "true friend of Ukraine who was telling the world the truth about Russian aggression".

Babchenko served in the Russian Army during the first separatist war in Chechnya in the 1990s before he became a journalist.

Russia's foreign ministry expressed relief at Babchenko being alive.

"I'm sorry, but there was no other way of doing it", Mr Babchenko said during Wednesday's conference.

Babchenko, 41, fled his native Russia for Ukraine previous year after receiving death threats for criticizing Russian military involvement in Syria.

Babchenko, a 41-year-old veteran of two Chechen wars and a prominent correspondent who covered regional conflicts, died in an ambulance after being shot in his apartment late on Tuesday.

While searching for a new country to live and work, in he visited Israel, which is the home of roughly one million Russian speakers, in 2017. Russian authorities again denied any connection with the plane's downing over an area of Ukraine held by pro-Russian separatist forces.

Babchenko had since October 2017 worked in Kiev as a television anchor of the program, "Prime: Babchenko", airing on the Crimean Tatar channel ATR, news reports said.

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