Moscow denies involvement in murder of anti-Kremlin journalist

31 May, 2018, 20:28 | Author: Julian Swanson
  • BREAKING: 'Murdered' Russian journalist alive; death staged to flush out assassins

In a further weird move, it appears that numerous regime officials who yesterday blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for ordering the killing of the journalist had not coordinated their story with other regime officials who now claim that the big lie was perpetuated to "throw off" plans of an actual "Putin agent" assassin.

Ukrainian security service chief Vasily Gritsak said the agency staged Babchenko's death to catch people trying to assassinate him, The Guardian reports.

Gritsak said investigators had identified a Ukrainian man who had been recruited and paid $40,000 (£30,000) by Russian security services to organise and carry out the killing.

Arkady Babchenko died of his wounds in an ambulance after his wife found him covered in blood in their home, police said on Tuesday, adding they suspected the murder was due to Babchenko's professional activities.

Mr Babchenko, a critic of President Vladimir Putin and veteran war correspondent, lived in exile in Kiev.

Says he had to stage his own murder in order to capture someone, apologises to his wife.

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.

Mr Babchenko, one of Russia's best-known war reporters, fled the country in February 2017 after receiving death threats.

To the applause and gasps of the press, Babchenko took the floor and apologized to the friends and family who mourned for him and were unaware of the plan.

"We created and published staged photographs of the supposedly murdered Arkady Babchenko and distributed a composite sketch of the supposed killer", Gerashchenko wrote.

SBU head Vasyl Hrytsak told a news conference in the Ukrainian capital that those behind the real assassination plot had been apprehended.

Ukraine and Russian Federation traded accusations after Babchenko was reported to have been shot dead in Kiev, in a killing that sent shivers through the journalistic communities in both countries.

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.

What did the Russian journalist do?

The journalist was 19 when he fought with the Russian army in Chechnya in the 1990s.

He fled Russian Federation in 2017 after receiving death threats over a post he made on social media.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responded by denouncing the accusations, calling the supposed killing a "tragedy".

He claimed this Facebook post, in which he described Russia as an "aggressor", led to death threats and abuse from the Russian state.

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