Russian journalist reported killed in Ukraine shows up to news conference

Arkady Babchenko dead

Reuters CORDON Ukrainian police officers guard the entrance to the house

A Russian journalist who was reported to have been shot dead in Kiev has turned up alive at a news conference in Ukraine.

The head of Ukraine's security services, Vasyl Hrytsak, told reporters the "murder" had been staged to expose Russian agents.

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.

"Appalled to see another vocal Russian journalist, Arkady Babchenko, murdered", Johnson said on Twitter. According to reporters in attendance, at the press conference Babchenko apologized to his wife and said that as a result of the operation, one person has been brought into custody.

Ukrainian parliamentary deputy Anton Herashchenko, who is also an aide to the interior minister, said Babchenko had just returned home from a nearby grocery store and was opening his apartment door when an assailant waiting in the stairwell shot him multiple times in the back.

Mr Babchenko, a former soldier in the Chechen war, became one of Russia's best-known war correspondents.

The State Security Service (SBU) said Russian Federation had sought to pay US$40,000 (NZ$) to assassinate Arkady Babchenko, who moved to Kiev a year ago following threats in his homeland.

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I'm glad he is alive, but he undermined even further the credibility of journalists and the media.

Babchenko made a name for himself with his poignant reportages from the frontlines, including the conflict in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 10,000 people. They said the killing may relate to his work.

Two years ago Pavel Sheremet, a Belarussian journalist known for his criticism of his home country's leadership and his friendship with the slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, was blown up in a vehicle bomb in central Kiev.

He fled Russia after he received threats for saying he did not mourn the victims of a Russian defense ministry plane crash in 2016. 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.

Having been called unpatriotic over a piece previous year on Russia's intervention in Syria, Babchenko complained of an atmosphere of hate toward his work.

"I believe it to be more than a provocation against Russian Federation".

He relocated to Kiev, where he began working for a Crimean television station and produced coverage critical of Russia's military actions in the region.

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