"Murdered" Russian Journalist Shows Up at Press Conference

Maidan Nezalezhnosti Independence Square on a weekend in Kiev

Babchenko appeared at a press conference broadcast on Ukrainian television today to break the news that his alleged murder had actually been staged, as a means of exposing Russian agents.

The journalist thanked Ukraine's security services for saving his life, purportedly by faking his death in order to foil a genuine assassination attempt.

Reports of Babchenko's death came in on Tuesday, with high profile politicians and the journalist's friends and colleagues reacting to the news of the murder.

"We have thwarted the attempted murder of Babchenko by carrying out this special operation", he said.

Mr Babchenko had claimed that while living in Russian Federation his home address was published online, and that threats were made by phone, email and social media.

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko wasn't killed on May 29.

On Wednesday Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the affair was a propaganda exercise by Ukraine, but that she was happy Babchenko was alive.

In a post to Facebook just hours after news of Babchenko's death emerged, Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroysman said, "I am convinced that the Russian totalitarian machine could not forgive his honesty and principled position".

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He left Russian Federation for Prague in February 2017 after receiving threats, and moved to Ukraine in August with his family.

His reported murder had triggered a war of words between Ukraine and Russian Federation and sent shivers through the journalistic communities in both countries.

This past March, Babchenko spoke at "Putincon" in New York City, a conference featuring a number of Putin critics on the eve of the 2018 presidential election in Russian Federation.

Babchenko, 41, was found dead in a stairwell in his apartment building in Kiev, having been shot in the back three times.

The man allegedly paid to organize Banchenko's killing was detained Wednesday, he said, showing a video of the arrest.

He faced backlash after commenting on the crash of a Russian plane transporting the world-famous military choir Alexandrov Ensemble en route to Syria.

Ilya Ponomarev, a former Russian lawmaker who also moved to Ukraine, said Babchenko continued being threatened after he settled last fall in Kiev, where he worked as a host for the Crimean Tatar TV station.

Babchenko made a name for himself with his poignant reportages from the frontlines, including the conflict in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 10,000 people.

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