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World reacts to reappearance of 'murdered' Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko

01 June, 2018, 19:00 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Babchenko 41 was a vocal critic of Kremlin's policies

Arkady Babchenko, the Russian national reported to have been murdered in the Ukrainian capital Tuesday night, has appeared at a press briefing in Kiev alive and well.

Babchenko's wife said that she had found him at the entrance to their apartment block with bullet wounds in his back, and he was reported to have died in an ambulance on the way to hospital. The Ukrainian man was also supposed to procure large quantities of weapons and explosives, including 300 AK-47 rifles and "hundreds of kilos of explosives", to perpetrate acts of terror in Ukraine, he said. "I would like to apologise for what you have all had to go through", Babchenko, who looked on the verge of tears at times, told reporters.

Ukrainian authorities said Tuesday Babchenko had been killed at his home by an assailant, leading Moscow and Kiev to blame each other for his death. "I'm still alive for the moment".

There were gasps and applause as the journalist entered the room for the press conference on Wednesday.

"We have thwarted the attempted murder of Babchenko by carrying out this special operation", he said.

"Olechka, I am terribly sorry", he said, addressing her at the press conference, "but there were no other options".

"I want to congratulate his family, all of us and the entire world, which is watching it, and congratulate Babchenko with a third birthday", Gritsak wrote on his Facebook page.

"I would like to apologize for what you all had to go through... because I've buried friends and colleagues many times, and I know it's a sickening-vomiting feeling when you have to bury your colleagues", he said.

The country's security services said Mr Babchenko's death was faked in order to foil a plot to take his life.

"Everything is over from yesterday", Babchenko said.

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

The Investigative Committee of Russian Federation had said it had opened a criminal case into Babchenko's death.

Babchenko is a former soldier, writer and a journalist.

In coordination with Ukrainian police, Mr Babchenko staged his death as part of an investigation into death threats he had received.

'Third birthday' was a reference to the journalist's supposedly last post, in which he described narrowly avoiding death on May 29th a couple of years ago. He traveled to the conflict in Ukraine and criticized the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines passenger flight MH17, which killed 298 people.

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