'Murdered' Russian journalist alive; death staged to flush out assassins

'Murdered' Russian journalist alive; death staged to flush out assassins

'Murdered' Russian journalist alive; death staged to flush out assassins

A man hangs a picture of Russian dissident journalist Arkady Babchenko, who was shot dead in the Ukrainian capital on May 29, on a fence of the Russian embassy in Kiev, Ukraine May 30, 2018.

Mr Gritsak said investigators had identified a Ukrainian citizen who was recruited and paid $40,000 by Russian security services to organise the journalist's killing.

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.

The Committee to Protect Journalists in NY said on Twitter that "Ukrainian authorities should conduct a swift and thorough investigation" into the apparent murder.

"I'm sorry, but there was no other way of doing it", Mr Babchenko said during Wednesday's conference.

Ukrainian parliamentary deputy Anton Herashchenko, who is also an aide to the interior minister, said Babchenko had just returned home from a nearby grocery store and was opening his apartment door when an assailant waiting in the stairwell shot him multiple times in the back. He spoke and wrote about leaving the country because of the threats against him and his family.

The Investigative Committee of Russian Federation said it had opened a criminal case into Mr Babchenko's death.

He travelled to the conflict in Ukraine, which continues to claim lives, and criticized the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines passenger flight MH17, which killed 298 people.

In April this year, news website Novy Den said its reporter Maxim Borodin died in hospital after falling from his fifth-floor balcony in Yekaterinburg, east of Russia's Ural mountains.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko lashed out Wednesday at Ukrainian politicians and civil groups who accused the government following Babchenko's faked assassination of allowing contract killings to happen.

The SBU said it had received information about the plot and had managed to prevent it.

Moscow's annexation of Crimea and support for separatist insurgents in eastern Ukraine were topics on which the journalist was scathingly critical of the Kremlin.

In early 2017, after spending years fearing he would be arrested, beaten, or worse, Babchenko left Russian Federation.

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

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

A former war correspondent, he worked in Kiev as a presenter on Ukraine's channel ATR TV.

Babchenko took part in the war in Chechnya as a soldier.

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