Ukraine Staged Murder of Kremlin Critic Arkady Babchenko

Hannah Rogers
May 30, 2018

There was also effectively nothing about Babchenko's blunt condemnation of Russia's annexation of Crimea which Babchenko called "unequivocally Ukrainian", of the war unleashed on Ukraine and of Putin's reliance on war as his "only instrument of influence" within the Russian Federation.

"The first and the most probable theory is his professional activity", Kiev police chief Andriy Kryshchenko said.

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, widely reported to have been assassinated in Kiev on Tuesday, is alive and well.

Russia had demanded on Tuesday that Ukraine conduct a full investigation into his death, though many suspected that Russians were behind it.

Police said the 41-year-old died of multiple gunshots wounds to his back. The Russian Foreign Ministry claimed that "bloody crimes and total impunity have become routine for the Kyiv regime".

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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.

Mr Gerashchenko said Mr Babchenko's killer was waiting for him on the staircase inside the journalist's building and shot him in the back as he was going out to buy bread. Several Ukrainian politicians blamed the Kremlin for the killing.

In Moscow, officials and MPs criticised Ukrainian authorities for their alleged failure to protect journalists. "The Ukrainian government can't guarantee basic freedoms". Arkady Babchenko was living in Ukraine since February 2017 after facing threats in his country. The final straw, he wrote in a Facebook post later reprinted by the Guardian, came just a few months before he fled, following his December 2016 post after the crash of a Russian military plane in the Black Sea.

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

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