World reacts to reappearance of 'murdered' Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko

Arkady Babchenko 41 who had been scathingly critical of the Kremlin in recent years stands at a police bus during an opposition rally in Moscow Russia. Police in the capital of Ukraine say a Russian journal

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

Arkady Babchenko was reported to have been shot in his apartment in Kiev on Tuesday, in a high-profile murder thought to be related to his prominent journalism work.

The chief of Ukraine's security services told reporters that the agency faked Mr Babchenko's death in order to catch a man, allegedly hired by Moscow, to kill him.

At the news conference in Kyiv where they revealed the plot, Babchenko emerged to gasps and applause from reporters, who were dumbstruck by the news.

"Of course now, I would have to express my deep condolences to the family of Arkady Babchenko", said Vasyl Hrytsak, head of the SBU.

Babchenko was a former soldier and one of Russia's best-known war correspondents.

"Special apologies to my wife", Babchenko said at the press conference, according to BBC.

Babchenko, a prominent war correspondent, is extremely critical of Russia's annexation of Crimea, and was forced to flee Russian Federation in February 2017 because of threats to him and his family.

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".

He went on to thank the Ukrainian Security Service, the SBU, for saving his life and said the most important thing was that what he called other big acts of terror had been thwarted.


"We are relieved that Arkady Babchenko is alive", the group said.

In December 2016, Babchenko had written a Facebook post - about the Kremlin's actions in Aleppo, Syria - which was deemed "insufficiently patriotic" by authorities.

Video shared on Twitter by Radio Free Europe's Russian service shows his ATR colleagues rejoicing in cheers and disbelief at seeing Babchenko alive.

No stranger to death, Babchenko served in the Russian army during Chechnya's two wars for independence, after which he wrote a powerful memoir about the everyday brutality of conflict before turning to journalism, writing about war for a range of Russian publications.

Babchenko left Russian Federation in February 2017 after receiving threats, living first in the Czech Republic, then in Israel, before moving to Kiev.

He reported on Russia sending private military contractors into Syria and the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 in July 2014 over eastern Ukraine, for which investigators on Friday held the Russian state responsible, something it denies.

Arkady Babchenko was said to have been killed in his apartment building in the Ukrainian capital Kiev Tuesday.

The Kremlin described such allegations as part of an anti-Russian smear campaign.

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