Journalist Reportedly Shot Dead but Shocked Everyone at Briefing

Adjust Comment Print

He was at a press conference this morning called by Ukraine's security service, the SBU.

Mr Hrytsak said the SBU had identified a Ukrainian citizen who had been paid US$40,000 ($52,934) by Russian agents to organise the killing.

Babchenko, whose arrival at the presser was greeted with gasps from the assembled reporters, was emotional in his remarks, thanking the SBU and apologizing to his wife, who was apparently unaware of the hoax.

On Wednesday, May 30, he appeared at a press conference held by Ukraine's National Security Agency, where officials announced the apprehension of the man who planned the murder.

However, Russian Federal Security Service Director Alexander Bortnikov told Interfax that the accusations were "stupid" and said that Ukrainian authorities were "delirious and deliberately trying to provoke Moscow". "I'm still alive for the moment".

Many of Babchenko's contemporaries expressed relief that he was still alive.

Mr Gerashchenko said: "As a result of a brilliant special operation conducted by Ukrainian law enforcers, the killer who was ordered to murder Arkady and the organiser of the murder were detained".

"I'm sorry, but there was no other way of doing it".

Facts about Kremlin critics murdered in Ukraine
Ukrainian authorities said the goal of the staged murder was to catch the people who'd actually been planning to kill Babchenko . According to yesterday's official narrative, his wife found Babchenko lying lifeless on the ground, covered in blood.

The freakish scenes were a shock to everyone - including Babchenko's wife, who received an apology from her husband for faking his own death. The news quickly spread around the world and appeared, for the moment at least, to worsen the already strained relationship between Moscow and Kiev.

The 41-year-old reporter said he had cooperated with Ukrainian security forces to fake his own murder, including posing in gory crime-scene photos, to thwart a Russian plot to kill him.

"I have buried many friends and colleagues many times and I know the sickening feeling", he said. He was then thought to have died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

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

Babchenko left Russian Federation past year and had told people that he feared for his life.

Mr Babchenko had lived in the Ukrainian capital after receiving threats at home for saying he did not mourn the victims of a Russian military plane crash.

"Andrei Soldatov, editor of the Agentura.Ru web site, said: ".to me, it's crossing a line big time.