Russian journalist supposedly dead, shows up alive at news conference

Glen Norman
June 2, 2018

The Kyiv Post reports that Babchenko was shot in the back: "His wife was in the bathroom when she heard the gunshots and walked in to find her husband wounded on the floor".

Outside Babchenko's apartment building, a small crowd gathered late into the evening, with some of his reporter colleagues expressing shock at his killing, and other people wiping tears from their eyes.

"I am sorry, but there were no options here", Babchenko said during the press conference.

His reappearance elicited gasps, then cheers and applause from journalists at the briefing. Several Ukrainian politicians blamed the Kremlin for the killing.


"The Ukrainian prime minister is already talking about how it was done by Russian secret services", Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters.

But the journalist, who became an enemy of the state after panning Kremlin policy including the annexation of Crimea and its support of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, staged the murder to thwart Moscow's planned attack on him. Opposition groups and human rights organizations say the Kremlin is behind the killings.

The journalist thanked Ukraine's security services for saving his life, purportedly by faking his death in order to foil a genuine assassination attempt.

Boris Johnson had taken to Twitter in the early hours of this morning to tweet about Mr Babchenko, he said: "Appalled to see another vocal Russian journalist, Arkady Babchenko, murdered". Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the killing was "an act of state terrorism on the part of Russian Federation". 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.


General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, who appeared alongside Babchenko, said it had been necessary to fake the journalist's death so that the organizers of the plot to kill him would believe they had succeeded.

The murder investigation does the security Service of Ukraine (SBU) together with investigators to the police.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks during a meeting of the country's Security and Defence Council in Kiev, Ukraine May 2, 2018. He described his experience in the Chechen conflicts - which saw Moscow suppress a separatist insurgency in the North Caucasus - in a book published in English under the title "One Soldier's War".

"It is always very risky for a government to play with the facts, especially using journalists for their fake stories", the head of Reporters Without Borders, Christophe Deloire, wrote on Twitter.


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