"Murdered" Russian Journalist Babchenko Alive, Speaks on Ukrainian TV

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Arkady Babchenko, the dissident Russian journalist and Kremlin critic reported to have been shot dead in Kiev on Tuesday, has turned up alive in Ukraine.

The movie-like twist came as Gritsak convened the news conference to announce the security agency and the police had solved Babchenko's reported slaying.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described the murder of anti-Kremlin journalist Arkady Babchenko as "very sad" and said Russia had nothing to do with it, AFP reported. Vasily Gritsak, chief of the SBU, said investigators have nabbed a Ukrainian man who was recruited by Russia's security service and paid $40,000 to kill Babchenko.

Arkady Babchenko at the press conference in Kyiv.

He served in the Russian army during the first separatist war in Chechnya during the 1990s and later became a journalist. Reports from that day said that he died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

There were gasps and applause as the journalist entered the room for the press conference on Wednesday.

When a brief but bloody war broke out between Russian Federation and Georgia over South Ossetia in 2008, Babchenko went to the separatist region to cover the conflict as a correspondent for Novaya Gazeta, an award-winning opposition newspaper in Russian Federation. I am sorry, but there were no options here.

"Ukraine is becoming the most unsafe country for reporters", Russian lawmaker Yevgeny Revenko said in remarks carried by the state RIA Novosti news agency.

It said it had detained a Ukrainian citizen recruited by Russian Federation to find someone to kill Mr Babchenko.

"The important thing is my life has been saved and other, bigger terrorist attacks have been thwarted", he said.

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Babchenko sparked a backlash in Russia for his comments in a 2016 Facebook post on a Russian military plane crash.

"The killers should be punished", he wrote.

Ukrainian police released a sketch of a suspect based on witness descriptions of a gray-bearded man in his 40s wearing a baseball cap.

Video shared on Twitter by Radio Free Europe's Russian service shows his ATR colleagues rejoicing in cheers and disbelief at seeing Babchenko alive.

But the trading of words appeared to be in vain.

"I would like to apologise for what you have all had to go through", said Babchenko, who looked on the verge of tears. He wrote in a piece for The Guardian that it forced him to leave "a country I no longer feel safe in". It was shot down and 14 people on board were killed.

He left his homeland fearing for his life after criticizing Russian policy in Ukraine and Syria.

What did the Russian journalist do?

She was shot dead in her block of flats in 2006.

Two years later, Mikhail Beketov suffered brain damage and lost a leg after a brutal assault in 2008 following his reporting and campaign against a highway project against Moscow. In 2017, he said he wanted to live for another 160 years and "die somewhere in the Mariner Valley on Mars", referring to the largest canyon in the Solar System.

Khadzhimurad Kamalov, founder of a newspaper in Russia's North Caucasus critical of authorities, was gunned down outside his office in Makhachkala, capital of the Dagestan region, in December 2011.

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