Friday, 22 June, 2018

Russian journalist Babchenko turns up alive after reported murder

Gerardo Duncan | 30 May, 2018, 19:25

His reported murder had triggered a war of words between Ukraine and Russian Federation and sent shivers through the journalistic communities in both countries. He became the target of pro-government politicians in Russian Federation after he criticised the country's policy in Ukraine and Syria.

Arkady Babchenko, a Russian and fierce anti-Kremlin journalist, was fatally shot in Kiev on Tuesday, Ukrainian police said.

The Ukrainian security service said that a plan to assassinate Babchenko had been planned for two months, and that Ukrainian Security Services foiled the attempt.

"I am sorry, but there were no options here", Babchenko said.

Babchenko, 41, was in his Kiev apartment, when the attacker shot him in the back, the Kyiv Post reported.

Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the State Duma, told Russian news agencies Wednesday that Russia would be happy to help with the investigation if Ukrainian authorities requested it.

Anton Gerashchenko, a Ukrainian lawmaker, wrote on Facebook that Babchenko had gone to a shop to buy some bread, but someone waiting for him near the entrance of his home shot him in the back several times.

"Putin's regime is aimed at those who can not be broken or intimidated", wrote Anton Gerashchenko, calling Babchenko "a consistent opponent of the Putin regime and a friend of Ukraine".

Leaders in Moscow, conversely, pinned the blame on Ukrainian authorities, saying that the government was unable to adequately protect journalists.

"Ukraine is becoming the most unsafe country for reporters", Yevgeny Revenko said in remarks carried by the state RIA Novosti news agency. In one, he said he felt no regret about the deaths of Russian army choir members and others from a December 2016 plane crash as they were heading to perform before Russian troops in Syria. Some even called for stripping Mr Babchenko of his Russian citizenship. Arkady Babchenko was living in Ukraine since February 2017 after facing threats in his country.

In the fall, Babchenko moved to Kiev, where he worked as a host for the Crimean Tatar TV station, ATR.

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