- Colleagues of a Russian journalist who was thought to have been assassinated in Ukraine on Tuesday went wild when they saw him reemerge at a press conference on Wednesday.
- Arkady Babchenko appeared at a press conference in Kyiv after the Ukrainian security service (SBU) announced that his assassination had been staged to catch a would-be assassin.
- The SBU said Russia paid $30,000 to carry out the hit.
- But other journalists have questioned the consequences of the sting, and Babchenko’s role in it, despite his life being on the line.
Colleagues of a Russian journalist who was thought to have been assassinated in Ukraine on Tuesday went wild when they saw him reemerge at a press conference on Wednesday.
Arkady Babchenko, 41, appeared at a press conference in Kyiv after the Ukrainian security service (SBU) announced that his assassination had been staged to catch a would-be assassin. The SBU said Russia paid the would-be assassin $30,000 to carry out the hit.
The SBU also said that the assassin was apprehended.
In the RFERL video below, Babchenko’s stood and cheered and clapped when they saw him alive on television at the press conference.
Реакція журналістів ATR ????
Відео – Kateryna Lisunova pic.twitter.com/GmkBcXc157
— Радіо Свобода (@radiosvoboda) May 30, 2018
Babchenko, a prominent Russian war reporter and Kremlin critic, was previously reported to have been shot at his Kyiv apartment, then dying in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.
Babchenko was critical of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its operations in Syria, and was forced to flee Russia in February 2017 because of threats to him and his family.
But other journalists have questioned the consequences of the sting, and Babchenko’s role in it, despite his life being on the line.
Journalists are journalists. Spooks are spooks. This Babchenko stunt blurs those lines dangerously
— Jack Losh (@jacklosh) May 30, 2018
Obviously v v glad to learn Arkady is alive. But this “special operation” is beyond the pale. The consequences–in this case for truth & trust in media–are dire. +Ukrainian government&sec services quickly losing any credibility they had left. Who thought this was a good idea?!?
— Noah Sneider (@NoahSneider) May 30, 2018
Whatever was gained by this stunt, I fear far more was lost. Triumph of hall-of-mirrors, fake-newsification of everything, which by definition can only harm trust in media, police, everybody. https://t.co/8JxXuSJmeD
— Joshua Yaffa (@yaffaesque) May 30, 2018
Unfortunately consequences of this will go way beyond shock and hurt feelings. This is going to pose a whole new set of difficult question for journalism safety and reporting truth in the era of fake news https://t.co/zfmFMrl6xF
— natalia antelava (@antelava) May 30, 2018
So now every time a journalist is murdered, those responsible will unleash their bots and propagandists to say it’s fake news. Thanks, Ukrainian security services. That’s really helpful to all who care about journalists’ safety. #Babchenko
— Lindsey Hilsum (@lindseyhilsum) May 30, 2018
Babchenko's death turns out to be fake news of the century. A mindless and tragic mistreatment of public empathy that discredits so many things at once – Ukraine, Russian liberals, journalists. Only Kremlin wins.
— Leonid Ragozin (@leonidragozin) May 30, 2018
Reporters Without Borders on the Babchenko death hoax: "It is pathetic and regrettable that the Ukrainian police have played with the truth, whatever their motive… for the stunt" https://t.co/kHDYgUkxE4
— Alec Luhn (@ASLuhn) May 30, 2018
The question I have about this operation to "expose Russian agents" is whether it was worth the discrediting of every credible news agency, columnist and reporter, especially in Russia, who believed Ukrainian officials when they reported Arkady Babenko's death. https://t.co/rvgm71aBPJ
— David Filipov (@davidfilipov) May 30, 2018