Why A Prominent Russian Journalist Faked His Own Death

Anti-Putin journalist who was declared dead shows up at news briefing in Ukraine | TheHill

Ukraine said it had foiled a plot to kill Kremlin critic Arkady Babchenko, who was declared murdered and then later turned up alive in the middle of a press briefing about the killing.

Less than 24 hours after it was reported that Babchenko had died from three gunshots to the back in the stairwell of his apartment building in an apparent contract-style killing, he appeared alive and well at a press conference in Kiev.

Kyiv police spokeswoman Oksana Blyshchyk said police received an emergency call on May 29 from doctors who said a woman called them to say she had "found her husband at home in a pool of blood".

One person is reportedly in Ukrainian custody, but the news has prompted confusion in Ukraine and a backlash from Russian Federation which was widely accused of ordering Babchenko murder.

Mr Gritsak said killing Mr Babchenko was part of a larger alleged plot by Russian security services. "I want to congratulate Arkady Babchenko on his 'third birthday, '" SBU Chief Vasyl Hrytsak, who was present at the press event, said. I am sorry, but there were no options here.

Babchenko left Russian Federation in February 2017, saying he was receiving threats and concerned he might be jailed.

Kiev has in recent years seen a number of deadly attacks on high-profile journalists and politicians.

He said Ukrainian security agents told him a month ago that assassins had been paid $40,000 to kill him.

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"I did my job and I'm still alive".

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

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

"Next time there's some killing, Russian Federation will be able to play the "do you know this is real?" card", he said on Twitter.

In a statement following Babchenko's big reveal Wednesday, the Committee to Protect Journalists urged authorities to explain the reasoning behind the staged death in greater detail.

He faced backlash after commenting on the crash of a Russian plane transporting the world-famous military choir Alexandrov Ensemble en route to Syria. "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.

Another renowned journalist, Pavel Sheremet, a native of Belarus who had worked for Russian media outlets in the past, was killed in a vehicle bombing in central Kiev in July 2016.

Babchenko, 41, served in the Russian army during the two wars in Chechnya in the 1990s, and hosts a news program on Ukraine's ATR channel. "A real friend of Ukraine who told the truth about Russian aggression".

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