Top Russian Official Pledges Support for Family of Slain Journalist, Arkady Babchenko

Top Russian Official Pledges Support for Family of Slain Journalist, Arkady Babchenko

Top Russian Official Pledges Support for Family of Slain Journalist, Arkady Babchenko

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, whose reported death was global news on Tuesday night, has appeared at a televised press conference.

But on Wednesday he showed up alive at a news conference in 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.

A day earlier it was reported that he had been shot dead at the door of his apartment in Kiev - with numerous commenters in Ukraine blaming Russian Federation for the crime.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman implied Russian Federation had orchestrated the "killing" of Babchenko, while Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed that idea and slammed Ukraine as an unsafe place for journalists to work.

Mr Babchenko's wife is in a state of shock and police are unable to speak to her, he said.

Kiev had said the 41-year-old, a strong critic of Vladimir Putin, was shot multiple times in the back at his apartment building while on his way to buy bread.

He left Russian Federation a year ago after receiving death threats and being denounced by pro-Kremlin politicians over his criticism of the Syrian and Ukrainian wars. He spoke and wrote about leaving the country because of the threats against him and his family.

Commenting on the revelation that Babchenko is alive, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, "It's of course great news that Babchenko is alive".

Even after he moved to Kiev, the journalist supposedly continued to be threatened.

Authorities had received information about a Russian security services plot to kill Babchenko and managed to prevent it.

His reporting about Moscow's support for pro-Russia separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine brought him severe criticism by Russian state media and from Russian officials. The Ukrainian police have launched a criminal investigation and said that two reasons could be behind the assassination, namely, the journalist's work and his position on some political issues.

Babchenko is one of at least a dozen Kremlin critics who've been murdered or died under mysterious circumstances over the past decade.

Some of his articles and posts outraged many Russians.

Vasyl Gritsak, head of Ukraine's security service, initially appeared at the conference before inviting Mr Babchenko to join him. "Like many dissidents I am used to abuse, but a recent campaign against me was so personal, so scary, that I was forced to flee".

Babchenko took part in the war in Chechnya as a soldier.

He has hosted a programme on the Crimean Tatar TV station ATR for the past year.

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