Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Ukraine police say Russian journalist fatally shot at his apartment

Anti-Putin journalist who was declared dead shows up at news briefing in Ukraine | TheHill 'Murdered' Russian Journalist Turns Up Alive At News Conference
Glenn Montgomery | 02 June, 2018, 03:43

Authorities said Arkady Babchenko was shot dead at his flat and found by his wife in a pool of blood.

"I was lucky. A second birthday, it turns out", Mr Babchenko wrote. "Olechka, forgive me, but there was no other choice", he said.

His reappearance elicited gasps, then cheers and applause from journalists at the briefing.

Several of Putin's critics in press and politics have been targeted in the past.

He had been denounced by pro-Government politicians in Russia over comments on social media about the Russian bombing of Aleppo in Syria's war, and over his characterisation of Russia as an aggressor towards Ukraine.

Ethical questions were also raised in the wider journalism community.

Reporters Without Borders condemned Wednesday the staging of a murder of an anti-Kremlin journalist in Ukraine as a "pathetic stunt".

"The first and the most evident version is his professional activities", the official said, adding that Babchenko's "personal life and conflicts not related to the professional area" will be investigated. Some media organizations said the staged plot undermined the credibility of journalists.

The head of Ukraine's security service Vasyl Grytsak said the set-up had foiled "a cynical plot and (allowed his officers to) document how the Russian security service was planning for this crime". Gritsak said he had been paid $30,000 to carry out the attack.

Babchenko showed up alive at a news conference in Kiev, one day after he was reportedly killed there, shocking a room full of journalists who had been covering his supposed murder.

Ukraine's prime minister, foreign minister, the European Union, the United States and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe were among the many to condemn Babchenko's reported murder.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks during a meeting of the country's Security and Defence Council in Kiev, Ukraine May 2, 2018.

As reported by The CEO Magazine, the Russian war correspondent and veteran of the Chechen war, was understood to have died on his way to hospital after being shot outside his Kiev apartment. "It is always deeply unsafe for states to play with the facts".

Russia's Investigative Committee said in an online statement late on Tuesday that it had launched a murder investigation into Babchenko's death.

Ilya Ponomarev, a former Russian lawmaker who also moved to Ukraine, said Mr Babchenko continued to be threatened after he settled previous year in Kiev, where he worked as a host for the Crimean Tatar TV station.

Arkady Babchenko was shot in the back on May 29 outside his apartment in Kyiv, where he lived in exile. "From Babchenko's position, even his Moscow colleagues looked this way: weak, conformist, inclined to endless compromises", Russian journalist Yury Saprykin wrote on Meduza, an independent news site.

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