You’re putin me on!
Ukraine admitted yesterday it had staged the murder of anti-Kremlin journalist Arkady Babchenko in order to foil an attempt on his life by Russia, a stunning development in a case that had attracted global headlines. Less than 24 hours after it was reported that Babchenko had died from three gunshots to the back in the stairwell of his apartment building in an apparent contract-style killing, he appeared alive and well at a press conference in Kiev. The head of Ukraine’s security service Vasyl Grytsak said that his death was faked as part of a “special operation” to pre-empt a real plot to kill him. “Thanks to this operation we were able to foil a cynical plot and document how the Russian security service was planning for this crime,” Grytsak added.
A number of Kremlin critics have been killed in Ukraine in recent years, with one gunned down on a Kiev street in broad daylight and another whose car exploded. Babchenko, 41, fought in Russia’s two Chechen campaigns in the 1990s and early 2000s before becoming a war correspondent and author. He repeatedly said he faced death threats.
Babchenko left Russia in February 2017 after receiving threats, living first in the Czech Republic, then in Israel, before moving to Kiev.
According to the Times of Israel, this can be corroborated by Facebook posts of his, which show he was in Israel.
It’s not clear if he had sought to remain in Israel or why he left. While in Israel, he wrote several Facebook posts praising the country for its diversity and at one point said he was happy to live in a country where he doesn’t have to hear about Russian President Vladimir Putin.
They also claim his maternal grandmother is Jewish – which makes him Jewish according to Jewish law.
Meanwhile, Babchenko should not have revealed he is really alive – Putin can always go back in time now and finish the job properly.