Russian journalist reportedly killed in Kiev shows up alive at news conference

Russian journalist reportedly killed in Kiev shows up alive at news conference

Russian journalist reportedly killed in Kiev shows up alive at news conference

A Russian journalist and Kremlin critic reported killed late Tuesday appeared alive and well Wednesday to describe his part in what Ukrainian officials called an operation to catch a would-be murderer.

During the news conference Wednesday, Babchenko apologized to his wife and all those who believed he had been killed - but said the secrecy had been unavoidable.

Investigators will look at "Russian spy agencies' efforts to get rid of those who are trying to tell the truth about what is going on in Russia and Ukraine", Mr Gerashchenko said.

A day earlier it was reported that he had been shot dead at the door of his apartment in Kiev - with numerous commenters in Ukraine blaming Russian Federation for the crime.

Babchenko died of his wounds in an ambulance after his wife found him covered in blood at their home, police said, according to Reuters.

Babchenko, 41, was one of Russia's best-known war correspondents but had left Russian Federation fearing for his life. He spoke about leaving the country previous year because of repeated threats against himself and his family.

At the event, he also shared his fears prior to leaving Russian Federation, comments that would prove to be eerily prescient given Tuesday's shooting outside his home: "For years I thought I'd be arrested", Babchenko said then.

Ukrainian lawmaker Anton Herashchenko said the journalist went out to buy some bread, and that the killer was waiting for him near his flat.

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The SBU claims that Russian intelligence paid $30,000 to some people to kill Babchenko and that they had to stage his assassination to thwart the plot.

Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said the twist obviously has propaganda dimension.

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.

Babchenko and the Ukrainian Security Service revealed that the whole incident had been an elaborate sting orchestrated to flush out a real assassin, who had reportedly been hired by the Russian government. Police officials said the operation was carried out in an attempt to lure out those behind the threats.

Babchenko's murder was the fourth of a Kremlin critic in the Ukrainian capital in two years.

Some of his articles and posts outraged many Russians.

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. "In Russia, dissidents like me are harassed with impunity".

He moved to Kyiv last fall, where he worked as a host for the Crimean Tatar TV station, ATR.

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