Russian journalist shot dead in Kiev

Arkady Babchenko's wife reportedly told authorities she believed he was shot because of his professional work

Arkady Babchenko's wife reportedly told authorities she believed he was shot because of his professional work

Babchenko, one of Russia's best-known war reporters, fled the country in February 2017 after receiving death threats. On Tuesday, Kiev police told reporters that Babchenko had been shot multiple times in the back at his apartment and had died from his injuries.

One person is reportedly in Ukrainian custody, but the news has prompted confusion in Ukraine and a backlash from Russian Federation which was widely accused of ordering Babchenko murder.

The Ukrainian security service had orchestrated the death fake-out in an effort to apprehend those who were already actively trying to murder Babchenko.

Boris Johnson had taken to Twitter in the early hours of this morning to tweet about Mr Babchenko, he said: "Appalled to see another vocal Russian journalist, Arkady Babchenko, murdered".

Babchenko thanked the Ukrainian security service for saving his life.

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"I'd like to apologize for everything you've had to go through", he said, according to a transcript from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. "Olya, excuse me, please, but there was no other option".

Sporting a black hoodie and appearing somewhat perplexed, Babchenko first offered his wife "special apologies for the hell she's been through these past two days".

Russian state media mocked Ukraine for solving a murder it had staged itself, while the Russian Foreign ministry said it was happy that Babchenko was alive, but said Ukraine has used his story as propaganda.

In April 2015, Oles Buzina, another prominent journalist who was critical of Ukraine's authorities, was shot dead in Kiev.

He said Ukrainian security agents told him a month ago that assassins had been paid $40,000 to kill him.

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Another journalist, Sergiy Grishyn, said "Babchenko will have to give me money for pills" for the stress he'd suffered.

"I'm sure that the Russian totalitarian machine did not forgive him his honesty and his fidelity to principle", Ukrainian prime minister Volodymyr Groysman wrote on Facebook.

The 41-year-old's death stunned colleagues and added to tension between Moscow and Kyiv, whose ties have been badly damaged by Russia's seizure of Crimea and backing for separatist militants in a devastating war in eastern Ukraine.

In Moscow, officials and lawmakers criticized Ukrainian authorities for their alleged failure to protect journalists. In one particularly controversial article, he said he did not feel any sadness for the deaths of Russian army choir members in a December 2016 plane crash.

In 2016, Ukranian-Belarussian journalist Pavel Sheremet, who had also left Russian Federation, was killed by auto bomb in central Kiev as he was driving to work, according to the Kyiv Post.

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