Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Russia, Ukraine blame each other for journalist killing

Arkady Babchenko left Russia in 2017 saying he was receiving threats and concerned he might be jailed FACEBOOK ARKADY BABCHENKO Arkady Babchenko left Russia in 2017 saying he was receiving threats and concerned he might be jailed
Jay Anderson | 02 June, 2018, 03:43

One person was reportedly captured in the operation.

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". I am sorry, but there were no options here.

Sporting a black hoodie and appearing somewhat perplexed, Babchenko first offered his wife "special apologies for the hell she's been through these past two days".

His reappearance elicited gasps, then cheers and applause from journalists at the briefing. "He was a true friend of Ukraine who told the world the truth about Russian aggression". A contributor to media outlets including top Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta, he regularly accused Russian authorities of hunting down Kremlin critics and unleashing wars in Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere.

Ethical questions were also raised in the wider journalism community.

This was in part because several prominent Russian journalists critical of Putin's policies have been murdered in recent years. Some media organizations said the staged plot undermined the credibility of journalists.

The reporter added: "The important thing is my life has been saved and other, bigger terrorist attacks have been thwarted". "I took it when I received the passport", he gave details of the operation.

The head of the Ukrainian Security Service says investigators have identified a Ukrainian citizen who allegedly was paid $40,000 by the Russian security service to organize and carry out the killing of an exiled Russian journalist.




It said it had detained a Ukrainian citizen recruited by Russian Federation to find someone to kill Mr Babchenko. A video of the man being detained was shown to reporters. He served with the Russian regular army, surviving the combat action in both Chechen wars (the 1990s and 2000). "It is always very risky for states to play with facts and especially on the backs of journalists".

Russia's Investigative Committee said in an online statement late on Tuesday that it had launched a murder investigation into Babchenko's death.

Arkady Babchenko faked his own assassination on Tuesday in an elaborate plot with Ukrainian authorities.

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. "I have never experienced such emotions at any official event".

"I did my job and I'm still alive".

His elaborate plan did not, it would seem, go down too well with his colleagues either, who had mourned Babchenko and felt "down and out" about his apparent death.

Babchenko told RFE/RL in December 2016 that "all of the elements" of Russia's state "propaganda machine" were engaged against him after he posted comments to Facebook about the crash of a Russian military plane in the Black Sea.

Konstantin Kosachev, head of the worldwide affairs committee of the upper house of the Russian parliament, compared Ukraine's allegations to Britain's claims that Moscow was behind the nerve gas poisonings of a Russian former spy and his daughter in England.

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