Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko turns up alive after reported murder

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Flowers lay under a picture of the 41-year-old anti-Kremlin reporter Arkady Babchenko on the memorial wall of Moscow's journalists house in Moscow on May 30, 2018.

Russia's Foreign Ministry condemned the murder and urged Ukraine's authorities, global bodies and NGOs to monitor the investigation closely.

"I am confident that the Russian totalitarian machine did not forgive him his honesty and principled stance", Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said in an online statement. An investigation has not yet begun. "This fashion of conducting worldwide affairs is very sad". The Ukrainian man was also supposed to procure large quantities of weapons and explosives, including 300 AK-47 rifles and "hundreds of kilos of explosives", to perpetrate acts of terror in Ukraine, he said.

In an extraordinary development, Arkady Babchenko appeared at a news conference in the Ukrainian capital saying that he had agreed to take part in the operation to catch people who had been sent to kill him, and apologized to his wife for deceiving her.

Harlem Desir, the media freedom representative at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said he was "horrified" by Babchenko's death.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko tweeted his congratulations to the Ukrainian Security Service and said he had given an order to provide Babchenko and his family with protection.

In late 2017, Babchenko wrote for The Guardian, saying: "I can tell you what political harassment feels like in [President Vladimir] Putin's Russian Federation".

Russia's Foreign Ministry issued a statement to "demand the Ukrainian authorities do everything in their power for an immediate investigation", adding that Moscow hoped "the relevant worldwide agencies and nongovernmental organizations will take the investigation process under their control".

"We have prevented an attempted murder of Babchenko by carrying out a special operation", Hrytsak said.

He had reportedly been shot three times in the back.

Russian anti-Kremlin journalist Arkady Babchenko, whose fake death Ukraine admitted on Wednesday to staging, has many admirers but probably even more detractors. "My thoughts are with the family of the journalist", wrote Desir on Twitter.

Hours before pretending to have been fatally shot, Babchenko wrote on Facebook that he narrowly escaped death exactly four years ago when the Ukrainian military refused to take him on a helicopter heading to the front line in eastern Ukraine.

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He contributed to a number of media outlets besides Novaya Gazeta and was an avid blogger, accusing Russian authorities of slaughtering Kremlin critics and unleashing wars in Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere.

Some journalism-related organizations strongly criticized the faked killing, calling it "distressing".

"I'm still alive", he said.

He stressed that the European Union is concerned about the increase of such crimes in Europe and requires a thorough investigation of the incident.

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

Authorities in Ukraine stated that the culprits were linked to Russian security services, according to a translation of remarks at the press conference by the BBC.

Babchenko said: "A major effort is being organized". I'm one of them.

Babchenko served in the Russian army and fought during the first separatist war in Chechnya during the 1990s. At the time of this writing, one arrest had been confirmed.

He had been scathingly critical of the Kremlin in recent years. In Kiev, he hosted a programme on the Crimean Tatar TV station ATR.

He has also stated that the murder of Russian journalist Arkadiy Babchenko was ordered by Russian special forces.

In 2016, investigative journalist Pavel Sheremet was killed when a bomb exploded his auto. "A real friend of Ukraine who told the truth about Russian aggression".

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