Arkady Babchenko, a Russian journalist who is a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin, was reported to be assassinated on Tuesday in Ukraine but then showed up alive at a news conference on Wednesday.
- The Security Service of Ukraine said it foiled a plan to assassinate Babchenko that had been planned for two months.
- The Ukrainian Security Service also said that Russian intelligence paid a would-be assassin $30,000 to carry out the hit and that a suspect had been apprehended.
Arkady Babchenko, a Russian journalist who is a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin, was reported to be assassinated on Tuesday in Ukraine, but he showed up alive at a news conference on Wednesday, according to several reports.
Babchenko, 41, appeared at a news conference in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, where the Security Service of Ukraine, known as the SBU, said the reported assassination was a sting operation.
Reports Tuesday indicated Babchenko was shot in the back in his apartment in Kiev, dying in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. His wife was said to have found him and called the ambulance.
“Special apologies to my wife,” Babchenko said at the press conference, according to the BBC.
“We prevented the attempted murder of Babchenko by conducting a special operation,” the head of the SBU, Vasily Hrytsak, said Wednesday before Babchenko appeared, adding that the attempt on his life had been planned by Russia for two months.
Video SBU says shows arrest earlier today of Ukrainian man who organized attempt to kill Babchenko for Russia authorities pic.twitter.com/CcX1xCPvWw
— Ian Bateson (@ianbateson) May 30, 2018
“According to information received by the Ukrainian Security Service, the killing of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko was ordered by the Russian security services themselves,” Hrytsak said, according to The Telegraph.
The SBU also said that a suspect accused of planning to carry out the assassination was apprehended and that Russian intelligence had paid the person $30,000 thousand for the hit.
Babchenko, a prominent war correspondent, is extremely critical of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and fled Russia in February of last year because of threats to him and his family.
A Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said the ministry was happy Babchenko was alive, calling the staged assassination a “propagandistic effect,” the BBC reported, citing the Russian news service RIA.
See Babchenko speak at the news conference below: