A Russian journalist who was reported to have been shot dead in Kiev has turned up alive at a news conference in Ukraine.
Arkady Babchenko, a critic of Vladimir Putin, was reported to have been shot dead and there were pictures released from the scene.
His wife was said to have found him with three bullet wounds and called emergency services and he died on his way to hospital. However, he was this afternoon seen alive and well at a press conference. Even his wife didn’t know that he was actually in on the act.
He has now apologised to her. Dozens of Russian journalists have been killed or brutally beaten in recent years, in clear retribution for their work. In most cases, their attackers walked free.
Vasily Gritsak, head of the Ukrainian Security Service, told a news conference on Wednesday the agency faked Babchenko’s death to catch those who were trying to kill him.
They faked his death to catch the people who were trying to kill him (Picture: East2West News)
Kiev and national police had said Babchenko, a strong critic of the Kremlin, was shot multiple times in the back at his apartment building and found bleeding by his wife. He showed up at Gritsak’s new conference on Wednesday and thanked everyone who was mourning his death.
Speaking about the plot with the secret services he said: ‘They came to me a month ago, people said that there is an order for you, already transferred money – $40,000 USD.
‘They showed my passport details, my documents, my photo, but there was my passport which was issued when I was 25, so it was clear that the information came from the Russian Federation.
‘It was clear that the information is apparently from governmental services. It was possible to obtain this information only by the special services. ‘I was invited to take part in this special operation. I agreed and for a month we were preparing this special operation.’
Babchenko, 41, one of Russia’s best-known war reporters, spoke and wrote about leaving the country because of repeated threats that he and his family would be harmed.
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