'Murdered' Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko is alive

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Mr Babchenko, a high-profile critic of the Kremlin, appeared at a press conference on Ukrainian TV on Wednesday.

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko turned up at a news conference in the Ukrainian capital Wednesday less than 24 hours after police reported he had been shot and killed at his Kyiv apartment building.

Ukraine's Security Service suggested it had staged the murder.

Arkady Babchenko, 41, was found by his wife in a pool of blood at their Kiev apartment on Monday evening night.

Ukrainian police circulated the Babchenko killer's suspect sketch showing 40-45 years old man with grey beard. "There was no choice there, either". His wife called emergency services after discovering... He then confused everyone there by inviting the supposed slaying victim into the room.

His appearance sparked gasps and applause from the press.

Babchenko's house had run out of bread and he had gone to the shops to buy some, Gerashchenko said.

"I would like to apologize for what you all had to go through... because I've buried friends and colleagues many times, and I know it's a sickening-vomiting feeling when you have to bury your colleagues", he said.

Ukraine said it staged the murder of a Russian journalist critical of the Kremlin in order to catch people who'd actually been plotting to kill him.

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In a statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said journalists were being killed with impunity in Ukraine.

"I can now reveal details of the SBU special operation, thanks to which we were able not only to thwart a cynical provocation, but also document the Russian special service's preparations for this low crime", Gritsak added.

"The important thing is my life has been saved and other, bigger terrorist attacks have been thwarted", he said.

Babchenko fled Russian Federation in 2017 after stating that he was receiving death threats over his reporting. He spoke about leaving the country previous year because of repeated threats against himself and his family.

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 auto bomb in central Kiev.

He wrote on Facebook: "Putin's regime takes aim at those who can not be broken or intimidated".

Babchenko was an outspoken critic of the Kremlin, speaking out against Russia's annexation of Crimea and against Russian involvement in Syria.

Earlier today the Kremlin had described the allegation by Ukraine that it was behind the murder of Mr Babchenko as an anti-Russian smear.

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