Babchenko, one of Russia's best-known war correspondents, had left Russia fearing for his life after criticizing Russian policy in Ukraine and Syria. He became the target of pro-government politicians in Russian Federation after he criticised the country's policy in Ukraine and Syria.
"The first and the most probable theory is his professional activity", Kiev police chief Andriy Kryshchenko said.
Russian Foreign Ministry and state-controlled media have begun pushing an alternate reality version of the gunning down in Kyiv of Arkady Babchenko, Russian journalist and outspoken critic of Russia's aggression against Ukraine and the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russia had demanded on Tuesday that Ukraine conduct a full investigation into his death, though many suspected that Russians were behind it. His wife found him bleeding and called an ambulance, but he died on his way to the hospital. Prominent Russians to have been murdered in Kiev include journalist Pavel Sheremet, who was killed in a vehicle bomb in 2016, and ex-Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov, who was shot dead in 2017.
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"Putin's regime is aimed at those who can not be broken or intimidated", wrote Anton Gerashchenko, calling Babchenko "a consistent opponent of the Putin regime and a friend of Ukraine".
In Moscow, officials and MPs criticised Ukrainian authorities for their alleged failure to protect journalists.
Babchenko left Russian Federation in February 2017, saying he was receiving threats and concerned he might be jailed. "The Ukrainian government can't guarantee basic freedoms".
The plane, carrying 92 people, including dozens of Red Army Choir singers, dancers and orchestra members, crashed into the Black Sea on its way to Syria in December 2016, killing everyone on board.
He moved to Kiev last autumn, where he worked as a host for the Crimean Tatar TV station, ATR.