Published: Wed, May 30, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Prominent Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko shot, killed in Kiev

Prominent Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko shot, killed in Kiev

"Today in Kiev, famous Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko was shot and killed on the threshold of the apartment where he lived, He was a consistent opponent of the Putin regime and a friend of Ukraine", he said.

Remarkably, Mr Babchenko showed up at the news conference and thanked everyone who was mourning his death.

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.

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko attends an interview in Kiev, Ukraine November 14, 2017.

MSNBC foreign correspondent Matt Bradley said the operation was "meant to catch people who were trying to kill" Babchenko.

In early 2017, after spending years fearing he would be arrested, beaten, or worse, Babchenko left Russian Federation.


"It was him who did for Novaya Gazeta the best reportages from the war in South Ossetia", the newspaper wrote in an editorial, calling him a "true artist".

He served in the Russian army during the first separatist war in Chechnya during the 1990s and later became a journalist.

Russian Federation said it was happy that Mr Bachenko was alive after all. "Olechka, I am sorry, but there were no options here".

As a critic of the Kremlin Babchenko stood in unofficial elections organised by the opposition in 2012.

Babchenko left Russian Federation a year ago after he said he received a slew of death threats for his reporting.

Arkady Babchenko, 41, was found by his wife covered in blood in their home, police said, adding they suspected the murder was due to Mr Babchenko's professional activities.


Ilya Ponomarev, a former Russian lawmaker who also moved to Ukraine, said Wednesday that Babchenko continued being threatened after he settled last fall in Kyiv, where he worked as a host for the Crimean Tatar TV station.

After news broke of his apparent death, Moscow and Kiev began blaming each other for what happened.

Moscow's annexation of Crimea and support for separatist insurgents in eastern Ukraine were topics on which the journalist was scathingly critical of the Kremlin.

Ukraine had released an image of a man wanted in connection with the killing.

In recent years his increasingly bombastic posts pushed the boundaries of good taste and some of his colleagues and followers stopped reading him on Facebook.


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