Ukraine faked death of Russian journalist

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He said his comments, in which he said he "didn't give a damn" about the incident, had resulted in thousands of threats, his home address being published online and calls for him to be deported.

"There can be no grounds for faking a journalist's death", Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said on Wednesday, describing it as a "pathetic stunt".

It was revealed yesterday that his wife, who reportedly found his body in a pool of blood in their flat, was left in the dark about the plot. But Babchenko stunned reporters when he appeared alive and well Wednesday as Ukrainian security officials explained the death had been faked as part of a sting operation to save the reporter's life.

Kiev police reported on Tuesday that Babchenko, who settled in Kiev after fleeing Russian Federation in February 2017 and worked as a host for the Crimean Tatar TV station, had been shot inside his apartment building and discovered there by his wife.

He later took to Twitter, promising to die "when I am 96 after having danced on Putin's grave".

The medical teams were apparently in on the ruse.

Grytsak said the authorities had arrested the alleged mastermind of a plot against Babchenko, saying a Ukrainian citizen named only as "G" had offered to pay a hit man to carry out the killing after being recruited by Russian special forces and paid US$40,000. Babchenko said he put on the shirt and got smeared with pig's blood.

When someone comes to you and says here's an order for your killing, do you say: "I'm thinking about the media's reputation!"

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Babchenko has apparently heard the concerns about the operation that he participated in, asking a valid question of those who have questioned his actions. "Let me be killed"?

"I said: 'Great. Why have you been waiting for a month?'" he recounted. "Skripal also tried to hide".

Video of his colleagues watching the press conference - and being shocked to see their fellow journalist on television alive - quickly spread through social media.

British authorities say that Skripal, a former Russian double agent, was poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent in the British provincial city where he lived after leaving Russia in a spy swap.

RT, the Russian state-funded media outlet, quickly jumped at the chance to compare Babchenko's faked murder with the poisoning of defected Russian spy Sergei Skripal.

The reporter also shot back at critics of the ruse, after already telling them to "go f-k themselves." If you want to do good, give me a United Kingdom passport and protection.

Asked about his next steps now, he said: "I plan to get some decent sleep, maybe get drunk, and then wake up in two or three days". "F--ing smart--s", Babchenko said, according to CNN. He said he then washed off the fake blood and dressed himself in a sheet.

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