Ukraine faked murder of Kremlin critic to catch real assassins

Ukraine faked murder of Kremlin critic to catch real assassins

Ukraine faked murder of Kremlin critic to catch real assassins

On Tuesday, Babchenko, who moved to Ukraine in 2017, was shot dead near his apartment in Kiev.

To the applause and gasps of the press, Babchenko took the floor at the news conference and apologized to the friends and family who mourned for him and were unaware of the plan.

A Ukrainian lawmaker who serves as an adviser to the interior minister said on Facebook that investigators would be looking at "Russian spy agencies' efforts to get rid of those who are trying to tell the truth about what is going on in Russia and Ukraine".

Lavrov, who called Babchenko's killing a tragedy, said the allegation was nonsense and a continuation of what he called Kiev's anti-Russian course.

Russia's Foreign Ministry, which had earlier denied any involvement in Babchenko's death, said it was pleased to hear that he was actually alive, accusing Ukraine of "propaganda".

Appearing with Mr Gritsak and very much alive was Babchenko, 41, one of Russia's best-known war reporters.

Babchenko fought with the Russian army in Chechnya in the 1990s and went on to cover conflicts in Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia and Ukraine before leaving Moscow after a campaign of harassment a year ago.

"Olechka, I am terribly sorry", he said, addressing her at the press conference, "but there were no other options".

Babchenko called Russian Federation an aggressor, and accused the country of killing children in its air support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

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The SBU said it had received information about the plot and had managed to prevent it.

Babchenko was an outspoken critic of the Kremlin, speaking out against Russia's annexation of Crimea and against Russian involvement in Syria.

Babchenko left Russian Federation previous year and had told people that he feared for his life.

Babchenko and the Ukrainian Security Service revealed that the whole incident had been an elaborate sting orchestrated to flush out a real assassin, who had reportedly been hired by the Russian government.

The Ukrainian security service also said that Russian Federation intelligence paid an assassin $30,000 to carry out the hit, and that the would-be assassin had been apprehended.

Babchenko's murder was the fourth of a Kremlin critic in the Ukrainian capital in two years.

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

"I believe it to be more than a provocation against Russian Federation".

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