'Murdered' Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko is alive

30 May, 2018, 18:27 | Author: Kristine Mills
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin right congratulates popular Russian singer Iosif Kobzon before the gala to mark Kobzon's 80th birthday at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow Russia Wednesday Sept. 20 2017. (Mikhail Klimentyev Sputnik Kremlin

Babchenko, one of Russia's best-known war correspondents, left his country in February 2017, saying he was receiving threats and he was concerned he might be jailed.

Babchenko had openly criticized numerous Kremlin policies and global campaigns.

The 41-year-old's death stunned colleagues and added to tension between Moscow and Kyiv, whose ties have been badly damaged by Russia's seizure of Crimea and backing for separatist militants in a devastating war in eastern Ukraine.

Writing in an article in the United Kingdom newspaper, the Guardian, explaining his decision to flee Russia, Babchenko said the campaign "was so personal, so scary, that I was forced to flee".

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, in comments posted to his Facebook page, also implied involvement by Putin's government in Babchenko's death.

Russia had demanded on Tuesday that Ukraine conduct a full investigation into his death, though many suspected that Russians were behind it.

Before ushering Babchenko into the room, Gritsak said the Ukrainian allegedly recruited by Russian agents to kill the reporter had hired an acquaintance to be the gunman.

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A file picture provided on May 29, 2018 shows Russian journalist Arkadiy Babchenko on November 14, 2017 in Kiev.

A number of Novaya Gazeta journalists have been killed, including Anna Politkovskaya, who was gunned down in the stairwell of her Moscow apartment in 2006.

"I am outraged by this horrific act", OSCE media-freedom representative Harlem Desir said in a statement. He became the target of pro-government politicians in Russian Federation after he criticised the country's policy in Ukraine and Syria.

Babchenko's murder quickly attracted global attention.

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

In Kiev, he hosted a programme on the Crimean Tatar TV station ATR.

At least one journalist has been murdered in Ukraine in the past two years in direct retaliation for his work. He travelled 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.

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