'Murdered' Russian journalist alive; death staged to flush out assassins

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko was fatally shot at his apartment in Kiev Ukrainian police said Tuesday

Arkady Babchenko died from his injuries on the way to the hospital after being shot in the back near the entrance to his Kiev apartment, Ukrainian law enforcement said on social media.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responded by denouncing the accusations, calling the supposed killing a "tragedy".

The Committee to Protect Journalists in NY said on Twitter that "Ukrainian authorities should conduct a swift and thorough investigation" into Babchenko's murder.

"Special apologies to my wife for the hell she's been through these two days", he added.

Few details of the astonishing plot were made clear.

He matter of factly told reporters, "I've done my work".

"I am outraged by this horrific act", OSCE media-freedom representative Harlem Desir said in a statement.

Babchenko, 41, is a critic of President Vladimir Putin and Russian policy in Ukraine and Syria.

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"This is a terror attack against the journalism community both in Russian Federation and Ukraine".

The faked death came amid heightened tensions between Ukraine and Russian Federation.

"What a wonderful day for Kremlin propaganda", Russian journalist Leonid Ragozin tweeted.

Ethical questions were also raised in the wider journalism community. "It is always deeply risky for states to play with the facts".

"They came to me a month ago".

But in Kiev journalists who had gathered in the central Maidan square to mourn Babchenko cracked open champagne.

The military veteran served in the Russian forces in the 1990s in Chechnya before becoming a writer and an outspoken critic of the Kremlin's use of force in Syria, Ukraine and other conflicts.

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, whose reported death was global news on Tuesday night, has appeared at a televised press conference.

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The head of the Ukrainian Security Service said the suspected organizer of the alleged hit plot was detained Wednesday, suggesting the bogus killing was aimed at flushing him out.

Mr Hrytsak said the SBU had identified a Ukrainian citizen who had been paid US$40,000 ($52,934) by Russian agents to organise the killing. Poroshenko ordered that Babchenko and his family be given round-the-clock security, warning that "Moscow is hardly likely to settle down".

Babchenko was well-known for his criticism of the Kremlin.

"Arkady knew what war was about, took part in it but always hated it viscerally", the award-winning newspaper said in an editorial.

Mikhail Fedotov, head of the Kremlin human rights council and head of the Russian Union of Journalists, said Babchenko had his "own special vision of the world, with his very critical view of Russian politics".

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

In New York, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Twitter that "Ukrainian authorities should conduct a swift and thorough investigation" into Babchenko's murder. She was previously with Foreign Policy in Russian Federation, and Reuters senior correspondent in Afghanistan.

Author information: Amie Ferris-Rotman is the Moscow correspondent for The Washington Post.

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