World reacts to reappearance of 'murdered' Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko

Glen Norman
May 31, 2018

Mr Babchenko sparked a backlash in Russian Federation for his comments in a 2016 Facebook post on the military plane crash. "I'm sorry, but there was no other way of doing it.

I'm still alive and not going anywhere".

Today's official narrative from the regime is that Arkady Babchenko is alive and well having not been shot or been the victim of any altercation.

Ukraine's chief of security services, Vasyl Gritsak, said Ukrainian police had detained one suspect involved in the real plot against Babchenko, a former rebel fighter in eastern Ukraine - in other words, one allied with Russian Federation in the fighting there.

Vasyl Gritsak says the deception was needed to thwart an alleged plot by Russia's security services to assassinate the journalist.


Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov previously described allegations by the Ukrainian government as "the height of cynicism" and called for other countries to push Kyiv to offer better protection for journalists as they were being killed "with impunity".

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko (centre) has shown up at a news conference alive after being reported dead. "I know that sickening feeling when you bury a colleague".

According to a translation from BBC Monitoring, Babchenko said: "I would like to apologise for what all of you had to experience, that you had to get through". He said Ukraine's law enforcement had been aware of a contract on his head for two months. The Ukrainian man also was supposed to procure large quantities of weapons and explosives, including 300 AK-47 rifles and "hundreds of kilos of explosives", to perpetrate acts of terror in Ukraine, he said.

He matter of factly told reporters, "I've done my work".

"The important thing is my life has been saved and other, bigger terrorist attacks have been thwarted", he said.


Babchenko told the news conference he had previously fled Russian Federation after receiving death threats.

On February 27, 2017, he wrote on social media that he had left Russian Federation. He said his comments, in which he said he "didn't give a damn" about the incident, had resulted in thousands of threats, his home address being published online and calls for him to be deported.

Over the last two years, the streets of Kiev have witnessed the murders of two Russians critical of the Kremlin, former lawmaker Denis Voronenkov and investigative journalist Pavel Sheremet. His flight from Russian Federation came several months after he wrote in a Facebook post that he wasn't sorry members of a military band and state television journalists died in a plane crash on their way to Russia's military base in Syria.

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

Babchenko took part in the war in Chechnya as a soldier. Gritsak added that the detained Ukrainian national's coconspirators consist of former participants of Kiev's ongoing military operation in eastern Ukraine. 14 people died, but I got lucky.


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