Journalist's murder staged to foil 'assassination' plot

Journalist's murder staged to foil 'assassination' plot

Kiev had said the 41-year-old Russian journalist, a strong critic of President Vladimir Putin, was shot multiple times in the back at his apartment building while on his way to buy bread on Tuesday night.

The security service declined to say who the other 29 people were.

In the RFERL video below, Babchenko's stood and cheered and clapped when they saw him alive on television at the press conference.

Arkady Babchenko faked his own assassination on Tuesday in an elaborate plot with Ukrainian authorities. "I'm still alive for the moment".

Babchenko ended the news conference by saying, "I've done my work".

Authorities had received information about a Russian security services plot to kill Babchenko and managed to prevent it. "I'm sorry you had to go through this but there was no other way", he said.

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"Special apologies to my wife for the hell she's been through these two days", he added.

Vasyl Gritsak announced at a news conference Wednesday that the security agency and police had solved Arkady Babchenko's slaying, which turned out to have been faked.

Reporting on the high profile case on Wednesday, the head of the SBU, Ukraine's national security service, Sergey Gritsak said Babchenko was alive and unhurt. "I would like to apologize for what you all had to go through ... because I've buried friends and colleagues many times, and I know it's a sickening-vomiting feeling when you have to bury your colleagues", he said.

Babchenko, who wrote for opposition media, was one of Russia's best-known war correspondents.

Before ushering Mr Babchenko into the room, Mr Gritsak said investigators had identified a Ukrainian citizen who was allegedly paid 40,000 dollars (£30,000) by Russian security services to organise and carry out the hit.

Russian Federation denied the claims that it was behind Babchenko's murder, instead using the opportunity to lambaste the security of journalists in Ukraine.

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Original reports claimed Babchenko, a BBC News and Guardian contributor who was openly critical of Russia's relationship with Ukraine, had been shot to death in Kiev.

A government official had previously said he later died in the ambulance on his way to the hospital.

But Russian journalists speaking to HuffPost UK have expressed doubts about the operation.

Babchenko sparked a backlash in Russia for his comments in a 2016 Facebook post on a Russian military plane crash.

Having been called unpatriotic over a piece past year on Russia's intervention in Syria, Babchenko complained of an atmosphere of hate toward his work.

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