Ukraine reveals it staged 'murder' of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko

02 June, 2018, 03:44 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Arkady Babchenko's wife reportedly told authorities she believed he was shot because of his professional work

Babchenko, a critic of Vladimir Putin, died yesterday in the hospital after his wife found him in their apartment with multiple bullet wounds in his back.

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

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, right, and Vasily Gritsak, head of the Ukrainian Security Service speak at an SBU news conference on May 30, 2018 in Kiev.

He said it had received information about a Russian plot and managed to prevent it.

Arkadiy Babchenko, a Russian citizen and journalist living in Ukraine, has been killed in the Ukrainian capital.

"I would like to apologise for what you have all had to go through", Mr Babchenko said to reports this afternoon. "I'm sorry for making you live through this".

He also apologized to his wife, who he said was not briefed on the scheme in advance, "for the hell she had to go through in the past two days".

Mr Babchenko told the news conference he'd previously fled Russian Federation after receiving death threats.

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Russian Federation said Ukraine had used Babchenko as a propaganda tool.

Ukrainian authorities blamed Russia's "totalitarian machine" for his murder, while Moscow denied the charges and the Kremlin warned that Kiev had become "a very risky place" for journalists.

"We are relieved that #ArkadyBabchenko is alive", it said.

Russia's Foreign Ministry condemned the murder and urged Ukraine's authorities, global bodies and NGOs to monitor the investigation closely.

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

Babchenko was killed less than a month after Putin was inaugurated for his 4th Kremlin term and as Russian Federation gears up to host the World Cup later this month. "Babchenko was well known for his critical journalism, and authorities must consider his murder as an attack on press freedom".

In Moscow, officials and lawmakers criticized Ukrainian authorities for their alleged failure to protect journalists. 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. His murder follows the earlier death of Ukranian-Belarussian journalist Pavel Sheremet by vehicle bomb in central Kiev in 2016.

The military veteran served in the Russian forces in the 1990s in Chechnya before becoming a writer and an outspoken critic of the Kremlin's use of force in Syria, Ukraine and other conflicts.

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