‘Murdered' Reporter Appears Alive with Ukrainian Officials

‘Murdered' Reporter Appears Alive with Ukrainian Officials

‘Murdered' Reporter Appears Alive with Ukrainian Officials

Russian journalist and Kremlin critic Arkady Babchenko strolled into a press conference in Ukraine Wednesday, despite reports that he had been murdered Tuesday.

Journalist Arkady Babchenko was reportedly shot three times in the back while leaving his apartment in the Ukrainian capital and died en route to the hospital.

Babchenko, whose arrival at the presser was greeted with gasps from the assembled reporters, was emotional in his remarks, thanking the SBU and apologizing to his wife, who was apparently unaware of the hoax.

Gritsak said the agency had collected proof his assassination had been ordered by the Russian security services. "I'm still alive for the moment".

However, he was this afternoon seen alive and well at a press conference.

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

"Olechka, I am sorry, but there were no other options here".

The freakish scenes were a shock to everyone - including Babchenko's wife, who received an apology from her husband for faking his own death.

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

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responded by denouncing the Ukrainian accusations, calling the killing a "tragedy". Babchenko, a veteran Russian war correspondent, was shot three times in the back as he left his apartment to buy bread.

The head of the Ukrainian Security Service, Vasily Gritsak, told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that Kiev faked Babchenko's murder in an effort to catch those trying to kill him. "I know that sickening feeling when you bury a colleague".

Before ushering Mr Babchenko into the room, Mr Gritsak said investigators had identified a Ukrainian citizen who was allegedly paid 40,000 dollars (£30,000) by Russian security services to organise and carry out the hit.

"They came to me a month ago".

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

Russia's Foreign Ministry, which had earlier denied any involvement in Babchenko's death, said it was pleased to hear that he was actually alive, accusing Ukraine of "propaganda".

At the briefing, Vasyl Hrytsak, the Head of SBU, stated that the death of Russian journalist was staged.

He faced backlash after commenting on the crash of a Russian plane transporting the world-famous military choir Alexandrov Ensemble en route to Syria. It was shot down and 14 people on board were killed.

In recent years, most of his journalistic reports and opinion pieces have been published on his Facebook page, which has nearly 200,000 followers.

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