'Dead' anti-Kremlin journalist Arkady Babchenko appears at news conference

Toby Graves
May 31, 2018

Arkady Babchenko was reported to have been shot in his apartment in Kiev on Tuesday, in a high-profile murder thought to be related to his prominent journalism work.

However, it now appears this was a plot by Ukranian security services to capture hitmen hired to kill Babchenko (pictured, right), who now seems to have appeared at a news conference this afternoon to prove he is alive. "I'm sorry you had to go through this but there was no other way", he said.

Gritsak said the elaborate ruse aided investigators in identifying a Ukrainian citizen who allegedly was paid $40,000 by Russian to organize and carry out the killing.

Arkady Babchenko died of his wounds in an ambulance after his wife found him covered in blood in their home, police said on Tuesday, adding they suspected the murder was due to Babchenko's professional activities.

Well known for being a critic of the Kremlin, he also stood in unofficial elections organised by the opposition in 2012, and also denounced Russia's actions in Syria and eastern Ukraine.

The country's security services said Mr Babchenko's death was faked in order to foil a plot to take his life.

In his last Facebook post before he disappeared, Babchenko recalled an incident four years ago when he was meant to fly in a Ukrainian military helicopter in Ukraine's embattled Donbass region.

Babchenko left Russian Federation past year after he said he received a slew of death threats for his reporting.

To the applause and gasps of the press, Babchenko took the floor and apologized to the friends and family who mourned for him and were unaware of the plan.

She said Russian Federation was happy that Babchenko was alive.

- Polina Ivanova (@polina_ivanova) May 30, 2018Via Mash: #Babchenko says person involved in preparing the assassination has been arrested.

A number of Kremlin critics have been killed in Ukraine in recent years, with one gunned down on a Kiev street in broad daylight and another whose vehicle exploded.

The staged assassination of a Russian journalist in Kiev by the Ukrainian law enforcement was an obvious anti-Russian provocation, the latest in a long string, the Russian foreign ministry said.

Grytsak also thanked Babchenko and his family, who he said were in the loop about the secret operation.

In March of the same year, former Russian MP Denis Voronenkov was shot dead outside a hotel in Kiev.

Babchenko served in the Russian army and fought during the first separatist war in Chechnya during the 1990s. Babchenko had left Russian Federation for Ukraine in February 2017 because he feared for his life.

VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty ImagesBabchenko is a veteran Russian war correspondent and critic of the Kremlin.

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