Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

'Dead' Russian Journalist Appears at a News Conference in Ukraine

Arkady Babchenko's wife reportedly told authorities she believed he was shot because of his professional work Arkady Babchenko's wife reportedly told authorities she believed he was shot because of his professional work
Leonard Rios | 30 May, 2018, 20:24

Editor's note: Since the publication of this article, Arkady Babchenko has appeared at a press conference in Kiev, and said his "murder" was part of a sting operation.

Ukraine's Security Service said it had staged the murder in an attempt to foil a Russian plot to kill Babchenko.

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko has been shot and killed in Kiev.

A day earlier it was reported that he had been shot dead at the door of his apartment in Kiev - with numerous commenters in Ukraine blaming Russian Federation for the crime.

In London, U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was "appalled by the killing of Babchenko".

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.

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 a year ago.

Babchenko's house had run out of bread and he had gone to the shops to buy some, Gerashchenko said.

Photos from Ukraine following the press conference showed authorities removing a memorial plaque in Babchenko's honor being removed.

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Kyiv police chief Andriy Krishchenko said in televised comments late on May 29 that police were assuming Babchenko was targeted for his work.

Pro-Kremlin activists unleashed a campaign of harassment against Babchenko, forcing him to flee Russian Federation past year.

Babchenko was an outspoken critic of the Kremlin, speaking out against Russia's annexation of Crimea and against Russian involvement in Syria.

But in Moscow, Russia's Investigative Committee distanced the Kremlin from the killing - saying it had launched its own criminal investigation into Babchenko's death.

The Ukrainian police said they were searching for the man they believed to be responsible for the assassination and even released a sketch of the suspected killer.

The final straw, he wrote in a Facebook post later reprinted by the Guardian, came just a few months before he fled, following his December 2016 post after the crash of a Russian military plane in the Black Sea.

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

Babchenko was 19 when he was sent to fight in Russia's first Chechen campaign in the 1990s as a conscript.

A former war correspondent, he worked in Kiev as a presenter on Ukraine's channel ATR TV.

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