Russian Journalist Arkady Babchenko Shot Dead in Kiev

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Outside Babchenko's apartment building, a small crowd gathered late into the evening, with some of his reporter colleagues expressing shock at his killing, and other people wiping tears from their eyes.

"I'd like to apologize for everything you've had to go through", he said, according to a transcript from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. I am sorry, but there were no options here.

Several of Putin's critics in press and politics have been targeted in the past.

His reported murder sparked a war of words between Ukraine and Russian Federation. Since 2012, the Russian government has been prosecuting him for critical reports against the incumbent authority.

Kiev has in recent years seen a number of deadly attacks on high-profile journalists and politicians.

Top opposition leader Alexei Navalny said he was "shocked", writing on his blog that he had no doubt that the journalist was murdered because of his "public political position". Some media organizations said the staged plot undermined the credibility of journalists.

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Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko was fatally shot at his apartment in Kiev, Ukrainian police said Tuesday. He said the most important thing was that what he called other big acts of terror had been thwarted. "I took it when I received the passport", he gave details of the operation.

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.

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, who was reportedly shot dead in Ukraine last night, has dramatically reappeared alive in the middle of a media briefing about his own killing.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks during a meeting of the country's Security and Defence Council in Kiev, Ukraine May 2, 2018.

"It is always deeply unsafe that states play with the facts - moreover on the backs of journalists".

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday finding out Babchenko was still alive came as the "best news".

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The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said it was also unimpressed.

The journalist group's director, Christophe Deloire, expressed on Twitter his "deepest indignation at the discovery of the manipulation of the Ukrainian secret services".

Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the State Duma, told Russian news agencies Wednesday that Russia would be happy to help with the investigation if Ukrainian authorities requested it. "That's really helpful to all who care about journalist safety". "I have never experienced such emotions at any official event".

"I'm still alive", he said.

In a controversial 2016 Facebook post, Babchenko wrote he had "no sympathy or pity" for the victims of a plane crash carrying Russia's Red Army choir to Syria given Moscow's support for Bashar al-Assad.

"I am convinced that the Russian totalitarian machine could not forgive his honesty and principled position", Ukraine's Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroysman posted on Facebook Tuesday.

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