Russian journalist and Kremlin critic Arkady Babchenko shot dead in Kiev

Russian journalist and Kremlin critic Arkady Babchenko shot dead in Kiev

Russian journalist and Kremlin critic Arkady Babchenko shot dead in Kiev

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

Babchenko said the reaction by state officials and state media to his remarks was meant to send a signal to Russian society that "we must be in one line; we must express sadness; we must appear sad - and anyone who doesn't must be destroyed".

Vasily Gritsak, the head of Ukraine's security service, told reporters that the operation had been planned for two months.

The assailant behind Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko's murder was a professional killer.

Ukraine admitted it had staged the murder of Babchenko in order to foil an attempt on his life by Russian Federation.

Reports said that his wife found him in their apartment in Kiev, Ukraine, with multiple gunshot wounds in his back.

After moving to Ukraine from Russian Federation in February 2017, Babchenko continued to receive death threats, but reportedly did not take them seriously, according to someone who knew him. He spoke about leaving the country previous year because of repeated threats against himself and his family.

Russian Federation said it was happy that Mr Bachenko was alive after all. Babchenko wrote that while he felt no joy over the passenger's deaths, he also felt no sympathy for those killed because they were pawns of Russian state operations.

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Two years ago Pavel Sheremet, a Belarussian journalist known for his criticism of his home country's leadership and his friendship with the slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, was blown up in a auto bomb in central Kiev.

A government official had previously said he later died in the ambulance on his way to the hospital.

Babchenko left Russian Federation after he criticized the Kremlin in a Facebook post in 2017.

His reporting about Moscow's support for pro-Russia separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine brought him severe criticism by Russian state media and from Russian officials.

"I would like to apologise for what you have all had to go through", Mr. Babchenko, who looked on the verge of tears at times, told reporters.

Mr. Babchenko sparked a backlash in Russia for his comments in a 2016 Facebook post on a Russian military plane crash.

Pro-Kremlin activists unleashed a campaign of harassment against Babchenko, forcing him to flee Russian Federation past year. "In Russia, dissidents like me are harassed with impunity". Last year, he moved to Kiev, where he worked as a host for the Crimean Tatar TV station, ATR.

Babchenko was 19 when he was sent to fight in Russia's first Chechen campaign in the 1990s as a conscript.

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