Russian Journalist Killed in Kiev by Professional Killer - Ukraine's Police

Russian Journalist Killed in Kiev by Professional Killer - Ukraine's Police

Russian Journalist Killed in Kiev by Professional Killer - Ukraine's Police

Anti-Kremlin Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko (center), the head of Ukraine's security service Vasyl Grytsak (left) and the Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko (right) attend a news conference Wednesday at the Ukrainian Security Service headquarters.

Ukraine said it staged the murder of a Russian journalist critical of the Kremlin in order to catch people who'd actually been plotting to kill him.

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko wasn't killed on May 29.

Babchenko's death follows those of prominent Russian journalist Pavel Sheremet, killed in a vehicle bomb in Kiev in 2016, and ex-Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov, who was shot dead in the city in 2017.

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

It came less than 24 hours after his wife said she had found him bleeding to death on the floor of their apartment, shot in the back.

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 spoke and wrote about leaving the country because of the threats against him and his family.

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.

Photos from Ukraine following the press conference showed authorities removing a memorial plaque in Babchenko's honor being removed.

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

Babchenko himself apologized for the pain the news of his death had caused, telling those present: "I have been forced to bury my friends and colleagues many times and I know the sickening feeling".

Earlier today the Kremlin had described the allegation by Ukraine that it was behind the murder of Mr Babchenko as an anti-Russian smear.

"Ukraine is becoming the most risky country for reporters", Russian lawmaker Yevgeny Revenko said in remarks carried by the state RIA Novosti news agency.

Arkady Babchenko was a Russian writer, journalist and military correspondent.

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

Babchenko was 19 when he was sent to fight in Russia's first Chechen campaign in the 1990s as a conscript.

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