'Murdered' Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko turns up alive at news conference

Arkady Babchenko left Russia in 2017 saying he was receiving threats and concerned he might be jailed

FACEBOOK ARKADY BABCHENKO Arkady Babchenko left Russia in 2017 saying he was receiving threats and concerned he might be jailed

The SBU in turn said that its officers had detained a suspect who was engaged in preparations for the contract killing of the journalist.

He added that the staged death was part of a "special operation" to pre-empt a real plot to kill him.

Police initially said Babchenko was shot in the back multiple times and was found in a pool of blood by his wife, accusing "the Russian totalitarian machine" of being behind the slaughter. It was not clear if she had been involved in the plot or not. "I did my job and I'm still alive".

Babchenko said: 'Apologies to my wife, Olechka (Olga). He also took a stand against Moscow's military campaign in Syria.

Babchenko's resurfacing immediately brought cheers of jubilation from his colleagues at Radio Free Europe in Ukraine.

But Russian journalists speaking to HuffPost UK have expressed doubts about the operation. The incident has echoes of this year's nerve-agent attack on a Russian double agent and his daughter in the United Kingdom, which triggered diplomatic expulsions around the world.

Ethical questions were also raised in the wider journalism community. Questioned Deloire. "There can be no grounds for faking a journalist's death".

Babchenko thanked the Ukrainian security service for saving his life. "That's really helpful to all who care about journalist safety".

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Mr Babchenko fought in the Russian army in Chechnya, and then became a war reporter for several Russian newspapers.

Speaking at the press conference, Babchenko said the operation had been prepared over a two-month period and that he was told about it a month ago. Russian Federation had demanded on Tuesday that Ukraine conduct a full investigation into his death, though many suspected that Moscow was behind the attack.

News of the "death" of the prominent Russian war correspondent and former soldier set off a series of recriminations between Kiev and Moscow, and pictures and flowers were laid by mourners at the Russian embassy in Kiev. The SBU said Russian Federation paid the would-be assassin $30,000 to carry out the hit.

Police told The Moscow Times on Tuesday that Babchenko's work was the likely motive for the killing.

Today's official narrative from the regime is that Arkady Babchenko is alive and well having not been shot or been the victim of any altercation. "If only it were always like this".

"Counting down until Simonyan, Zakharova or the Russian Embassy tweets that Babchenko's faked hit is proof that the Skripal case was a set-up, too", commented Sam Greene, director of the Russia Institute at Kings College London, referring to the editor of Russia's RT network, as well as the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.

The faked death came amid heightened tensions between Ukraine and Russian Federation. His wife, who was in their apartment when the murder took place, was in shock and unable to be questioned.

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