'Dead' Russian journalist turns up at press conference

Arkady Babchenko

Ukrainian authorities had said on Tuesday that Babchenko, a 41-year-old critic of President Vladimir Putin and of Russian policy in Ukraine and Syria, had been shot dead at his flat and that his wife had found him in a pool of blood. Authorities said they suspected he was killed because of his work. "I'm sorry you had to go through this but there was no other way".

Babchenko, a Kremlin critic, left Russian Federation previous year after criticizing the Moscow government. He apologized to her "for the hell she had to go through in the past two days".

And Russian investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov, a former colleague of Babchenko, also questioned the value of the operation.

A top lawmaker says Russia is willing to help Ukraine investigate the murder of a Russian journalist.

Gerashchenko said this explained why so few people, not even Babchenko's wife, knew he was still alive.

Less than 24 hours earlier, Ukraine said the reporter had died from three gunshots to the back in the stairwell of his apartment building in a contract-style killing in a case that provoked an outpouring of grief and a diplomatic spat.

Hyrtsak told reporters the Ukrainian security service had received information indicating Russian Federation wanted Babchenko dead, and that they conspired to fake Babchenko's death as part of a plan to capture the would-be killers.

The surprise came as Gritsak held the news conference to announce that Ukrainian police had solved the reported killing.

"Law enforcers could not fail to understand that the news of the murder of Arkady Babchenko would be a pain in thousands of hearts around the world".

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called Babchenko's status "the best news", lamenting that things do not always turn out this way. He traveled to the conflict in Ukraine, which continues to claim lives, and criticized the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines passenger flight MH17, which killed 298 people.

Britain's foreign minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday he was appalled by the murder of "another vocal Russian journalist" and it was vital that those responsible were brought to justice. It was not clear if she had been involved in the plot or not.

In a statement after news of Babchenko's apparent death, Russian lawmaker Yevgeny Revenko told state-owned RIA Novosti news agency: "Ukraine is becoming the most risky country for reporters".

Babchenko, 41, fled his native Russia for Ukraine past year after receiving death threats for criticizing Russian military involvement in Syria.

A number of Kremlin critics have been killed in Ukraine in recent years, with one gunned down on a Kiev street in broad daylight and another whose vehicle exploded.

Mr Babchenko fought in the Russian army in Chechnya, and then became a war reporter for several Russian newspapers.

"I am confident that the Russian totalitarian machine did not forgive him his honesty and principled stance".

In Kiev, he hosted a programme on the Crimean Tatar TV station ATR. Ukraine is planed 101.

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