Published: Wed, May 30, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko is alive

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko is alive

After reports circulated around the globe on Tuesday the Babchenko, 41, had been gunned down in front of his home in Ukraine and was found dying by his wife, Vasily Gritsak, head of the Ukrainian Security Service, told reporters on Wednesday the officials faked the journalist's death.

Mr Babchenko showed up at the news conference on Wednesday and thanked everyone who was mourning his death.

Arkady Babchenko was earlier reported to have been killed in his apartment building in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, .

Ukrainian police stand in front of the entrance to the home of Russian opposition journalist Arkady Babchenko in Kiev, Ukraine, May 29, 2018.

After moving to Ukraine from Russian Federation in February 2017, Babchenko continued to receive death threats, but reportedly did not take them seriously, according to someone who knew him.

He claimed this Facebook post, in which he described Russia as an "aggressor", led to death threats and abuse from the Russian state, writing in a piece for The Guardian that this forced him to leave "a country I no longer feel safe in".

A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said that it was happy that Babchenko was alive, calling the staged assassination a "propagandistic effect", BBC reported, citing RIA.

However, the journalist has appeared at a news conference in Ukraine.

Ukrainian police circulated the Babchenko killer's suspect sketch showing 40-45 years old man with grey beard.

Police said that they had made one arrest in connection with the extraordinary operation.

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Two years ago Pavel Sheremet, a Belarussian journalist known for his criticism of his home country's leadership and his friendship with the slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, was blown up in a vehicle bomb in central Kiev.

Authorities had received information about a Russian security services plot to kill Babchenko and managed to prevent it.

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

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 auto exploded.

He had previously been scathingly critical of Moscow's policies, assailing its annexation of Crimea, its support for separatist insurgents in eastern Ukraine and the Russian campaign in Syria.

He then he became a war reporter for several Russian newspapers.

"I believe it to be more than a provocation against Russian Federation".

He has hosted a programme on the Crimean Tatar TV station ATR for the past year.

Mr Babchenko served in the Russian army and fought during the first separatist war in Chechnya during the 1990s.

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