Published: Wed, May 30, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Russian journalist reportedly killed in Kiev shows up alive at news conference

Russian journalist reportedly killed in Kiev shows up alive at news conference

The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that Ukrainian security officials "confirmed" Babchenko's death to help track down the would-be killers.

Vasyl Gritsak, head of Ukraine's security service, initially appeared at the conference before inviting Mr Babchenko to join him.

Authorities announced on Tuesday that Babchenko's wife discovered him with gunshot wounds at their apartment and he died en route to a Kiev hospital.

In response to allegations that Moscow may have been the murder, Matviyenko said "Russia had no motivation" to kill the journalist, the state-run TASS news agency reported.

"We have prevented an attempted murder of Babchenko by carrying out a special operation", Hrytsak said.

"There was no other way": Babchenko said he fled Russian Federation in 2017 after receiving death threats. Groysman added that Babchenko was "a true friend of Ukraine", due to his commitment to reveal "the truth about Russian aggression".

Babchenko served in the Russian army and fought during the first separatist war in Chechnya during the 1990s.

Commenting on the revelation that Babchenko is alive, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, "It's of course great news that Babchenko is alive. Olechka, I am sorry, but there were no options here".

Kiev police reported on Tuesday evening about an attack on Babchenko, in which he was allegedly gunned down.

His reported murder had triggered a war of words between Ukraine and Russian Federation and sent shivers through the journalistic communities in both countries.

He criticised Putin's annexation of Crimea and his support for the separatists of south-east Ukraine.

While searching for a new country to live and work, in he visited Israel, which is the home of roughly one million Russian speakers, in 2017. They said that one arrest had been made so far.

Babchenko had grown highly critical of the Russian government in recent years.

He fled Russia in 2017 after provoking a scandal in a Facebook post that expressed indifference over the deaths of a military choir and other passengers aboard a Russian plane that crashed en route to Syria.

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

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