Ukraine tries flushing out Russian assassins with the ol' "dead journalist" trick

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko attends an interview in Kiev Ukraine

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko attends an interview in Kiev Ukraine

Babchenko, known as one of Russia's best war reporters, spoke about having to leave the country because of threats that he and his family would be harmed.

Babchenko fled Russian Federation past year, fearing for his life, and settled in Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Ministry and state-controlled media have begun pushing an alternate reality version of the gunning down in Kyiv of Arkady Babchenko, Russian journalist and outspoken critic of Russia's aggression against Ukraine and the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I call on Ukraine authorities to conduct immediate & full investigation", he tweeted. Authorities said they suspected he was killed because of his work. The wounded Babchenko was found by his wife and died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. Several Ukrainian politicians blamed the Kremlin for the killing.

A police officer guards near the apartment block where Babchenko was shot.

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Anton Gerashchenko, a Ukrainian lawmaker and an adviser to the country's interior minister, said that the investigaion would look at "Russian spy agencies' efforts to get rid of those who are trying to tell the truth about what is going on in Russia and Ukraine", The Guardian reported.

"Putin's regime is aimed at those who can not be broken or intimidated", wrote Anton Gerashchenko, calling Babchenko "a consistent opponent of the Putin regime and a friend of Ukraine". "The Ukrainian government can't guarantee basic freedoms".

The prominent 41-year-old journalist was reported to have been shot dead in the stairwell of his apartment building in Kiev in an apparent assassination. The final straw, he wrote in a Facebook post later reprinted by the Guardian, came just a few months before he fled, following his December 2016 post after the crash of a Russian military plane in the Black Sea. Some even called for stripping Mr Babchenko of his Russian citizenship. He left Russian Federation in February 2017 because he feared for his life, according to Reuters.

In the fall, Babchenko moved to Kiev, where he worked as a host for the Crimean Tatar TV station, ATR.

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