Kremlin Rejects Any Russian Role In Babchenko Killing

Arkady Babchenko's wife reportedly told authorities she believed he was shot because of his professional work

Arkady Babchenko's wife reportedly told authorities she believed he was shot because of his professional work

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, widely reported to have been assassinated in Kiev on Tuesday, is alive and well.

Mr Babchenko, a high-profile critic of of the Kremlin, appeared at a press conference on Ukrainian television on Wednesday.

Arkady Babchenko, a Russian journalist, was supposedly murdered on Tuesday, but his appearance on Wednesday left onlookers baffled.

Writing on Twitter, the security service said it chose to conduct the operation to collect evidence of terrorist activity by the Russian special services on Ukrainian territory.

In February 2017, writing for Britain's The Guardian newspaper, Babchenko said: "I can tell you what political harassment feels like in [President Vladimir] Putin's Russian Federation". Groysman added that Babchenko was "a true friend of Ukraine", due to his commitment to reveal "the truth about Russian aggression".

He then he became a war reporter for several Russian newspapers.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was happy to see that Mr Babchenko was alive, but said Ukraine had used his story as propaganda.

"Some called for me to be stripped of citizenship, others are making an online game where you can beat me to death", he said.

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Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman implied Russian Federation had orchestrated the "killing" of Babchenko, while Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed that idea and slammed Ukraine as an unsafe place for journalists to work.

Mr Babchenko, a former soldier in the Chechen war, became one of Russia's best-known war correspondents.

The national police said Babchenko, 41, who fled Russian Federation past year, was shot a number of times in his back and was found by his wife. "We demand that the Ukrainian authorities make every effort to promptly investigate", it said on Facebook.

Reactions poured from social media users, amid the unexpected revelation Babchenko showing at the conference in Kiev.

He criticised Putin's annexation of Crimea and his support for the separatists of south-east Ukraine. He had been critical of the Kremlin in recent years. "The Ukrainian government can't guarantee basic freedoms".

In December 2016, Mr Babchenko wrote a Facebook post (in Russian) about a crashed Tu-154 transport plane, which fell into the Black Sea while carrying a Red Army choir to Syria.

Babchenko worked for a local Ukrainian TV channel and continued to report threats to his life.

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