Arkady Babchenko faked death to prevent real attempt on his life
Russian opposition journalist Arkady Babchenko is alive, reports the Ukrainian Security Service.
News of his death was announced in Kiev on 29 May. However, his death turned out to be a sting operation organised by the Ukrainian Security Service. Ukrainian TV channel Hromadsky aired footage of Vasyl Hrytsak, the head of the security service, confirming this on 30 May at a special news briefing in Kiev.
Hrytsak spoke with a serious expression on his face and said:
“I could offer my sympathies to the family of Arkady Babchenko, but I won’t do that. Instead, I want to congratulate them, all of you, the entire world, that is observing this process. I want to congratulate Babchenko with his third birthday.”
Babchenko then came out as well. He thanked the security service for keeping him alive and apologized to his relatives and friends for having to bury him.
“I’d like to separately apologize to my wife for the hell that she went through during this time. Olechka, please forgive me, there was no other way,” Meduza cited Babchenko as saying.
Hrytsak said that the sting operation allowed the security service to prevent an actual attack on Babchenko’s life. The sting operation was planned two months in advance, with Babchenko only finding out about it a month before it was carried out. He says that he did not have a choice in the matter, as he would have been killed otherwise.
Hrytsak said that the suspect who was planning the attack on Babchenko’s life had been apprehended as a result of the operation.
The suspect’s arrest
The security service says that the individual is an agent of the Russian Special Services and was offering USD 30 000 for Babchenko’s assassination, and that he was offering half up front.
The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko demanded that round-the-clock security agents be provided to Babchenko and his family. “Moscow will not let up,” Poroshenko wrote on his Facebook page.
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