Russian journalist who faked death: I wanted to avoid Skripal’s fate

News you might have missed Morning links for Wednesday May 30

"But Ukraine is fighting a war against an enemy that has weaponized misinformation, so it's disturbing to see them using the same tactics".

Babchenko said he was anxious the entire time the operation would fall through, but was relieved after it was completed.

At the news conference in Kiev, Grytsak thanked Babchenko and his family, who he said were in the loop about the secret operation. "Maybe they wanted to collect proof that would be 100 percent solid", he told reporters. The prominent Russian war correspondent and Kremlin critic had been reported to be shot dead in the stairwell of his Kyiv apartment on Tuesday.

"I'm still alive", Arkady Babchenko, 41, told startled fellow reporters at the news conference held less than 24 hours after police reported he had been shot and killed at his Kiev apartment building.

"I realised that there is nowhere to flee".

Dissident Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko said on Thursday he collaborated in a plot to fake his own death because he feared being targeted for assassination like former Russian spy Sergei Skripal. "I did my job and I'm still alive".

Doctors, also in on the hoax, pronounced him dead.

His wife called an ambulance and he was taken to a hospital intensive care unit, where a forensic expert "documented" his death. After that, he ended up in a morgue.

Babchenko apologized to his wife, who he said was not briefed on the scheme in advance, "for the hell she had to go through in the past two days". "I just sat there watching the news about what a great guy I was", he added.

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"There can be no grounds for faking a journalist's death".

The Russian Foreign Ministry denounced the Ukrainian government, saying it was "fanning anti-Russian hysteria".

The Russian journalist who staged his own death with the help of Ukraine's Security Services (SBU) described in a televised interview on Thursday how the ruse went down.

The operation fooled the world's media and angered press freedom groups, which raised fears about the impact it could have on the work of journalists around the globe. Without such evidence, he said, the deception could be considered politically motivated, "which discredits not only journalists, but the image of Ukraine".

Babchenko had faced criticism from several parties, notably journalistic organizations like Reporters Without Borders.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said he was surprised and shocked by "pseudo-moral" criticism from overseas, while Anton Gerashchenko, a prominent lawmaker and adviser to the minister, said the operation had been vital in order to trace the trail from the would-be assassin to his handlers.

"What would you want? I do not have sufficient information to evaluate them myself", Maas said. That is the first thing I am thinking about.

Ukrainian Security Service says it faked Arkady Babchenko's death to catch those who were trying to kill him.

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