Russian Journalist Critical of Kremlin Killed in Kiev

Breaking: Journalist Babchenko alive, says his 'killing' was special operation

A Russian journalist who was reported assassinated just showed up at news conference and announced he faked his own death

Prominent Russians to have been murdered in Kiev include journalist Pavel Sheremet, who was killed in a auto bomb in 2016, and ex-Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov, who was shot dead in 2017.

Soon after the attack Ukrainian police said they believed that Babchenko was killed because of his work as a journalist, but added that they would investigate other theories.

Babchenko left Russian Federation past year after he said he received a slew of death threats for his reporting.

Vasily Gritsak, head of the service, told reporters at a press conference that Babchenko's murder had been staged.

In Ukraine, Babchenko worked for the Crimean Tatar television network, ATR, and reported frequently on Russia's support for separatist militants in eastern Ukraine.

"I was informed a month ago", Babchenko was quoted as saying at a press conference.

Arkady Babchenko, 41, died of his wounds in an ambulance on Tuesday after an unidentified gunman shot him in the back several times as he returned home after buying bread.

Babchenko was shot and killed Tuesday evening in Kiev where he had been living since fleeing Russian Federation.

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He had served in the Russian army during the two wars in Chechnya in 1990s and became one of Russia's best-known war reporters.

He also thanked the Ukranian Security Service for saving his life.

In a statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said journalists were being killed with impunity in Ukraine.

A prominent Russian journalist and critic of President Vladimir Putin was shot dead in Ukraine where he had fled into exile following threats, police said on Tuesday.

Mr Babchenko also wrote for the BBC, reporting from the scene of a Ukrainian army helicopter shot down in the east of the country in 2014.

Before ushering Babchenko into the room, Gritsak said investigators had identified a Ukrainian citizen who had been recruited and paid $40,000 by the Russian security service to organize and carry out the killing. "Now, for the most part, the people that Russians hate-it's all of you".

He said he was in fact alive and well.

His criticisms attracted the fury of pro-Kremlin officials and activists, as well as state media, and for years he endured regular abuse and threats.

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