Published: Wed, May 30, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

'Murdered' Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko is alive

'Murdered' Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko is alive

His reported murder had triggered a war of words between Ukraine and Russian Federation and sent shivers through the journalistic communities in both countries.

A prominent Russian journalist and critic of President Vladimir Putin was gunned down in Ukraine where he had fled into exile following threats, police said on Tuesday.

Kiev Police Chief Andrei Krishchenko told the press that "the first and most obvious" possible motive for the killing was Babchenko's work that's always been critical of the Russian president.

Babchenko is one of at least a dozen Kremlin critics who've been murdered or died under mysterious circumstances over the past decade. The Russian Foreign Ministry claimed that "bloody crimes and total impunity have become routine for the Kyiv regime".

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.

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A police officer guards near the apartment block where Babchenko was shot.

But on Wednesday, an emotional Babchenko appeared before reporters saying he had been part of a special Ukrainian operation to thwart a Russian attempt on his life and said he was fine. "The Ukrainian government can't guarantee basic freedoms".

Ukrainian lawmaker Anton Gerashchenko wrote on facebook that the journalist went out to buy some bread, and that the killer was waiting for him near his flat. He also published several books based on his wartime experiences. He left Russian Federation in February 2017 because he feared for his life, according to Reuters. In one particularly controversial article, he said he did not feel any sadness for the deaths of Russian army choir members in a December 2016 plane crash.

Some of his articles and posts outraged many Russians.

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

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