Speed Reads


Russian journalist and critic of the Kremlin murdered in Kiev

Update May 30: Arkady Babchenko showed up to a press conference on Wednesday, where he confessed to faking his death in order to catch his would-be assassin. Our original article appears below.

Veteran Russian war correspondent Arkady Babchenko was shot three times in the back as he left his apartment in Kiev, dying while in an ambulance headed to the hospital.

Ukrainian officials say it appears the gunman was waiting for the 41-year-old journalist to head out. A former Russian soldier who served in Chechnya, Babchenko wrote the memoir One Soldier's War, then covered conflicts in Georgia and Ukraine. After criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea and his support for separatists in Ukraine, Babchenko said he "no longer felt safe" in Russia and left in February 2017, settling in Kiev.

Ukrainian lawmaker Anton Gerashchenko said on Facebook that investigators will be looking at "Russian spy agencies," The Guardian reports, but Russian lawmaker Yevgeny Revenko pointed the finger right back at Kiev, saying: "Ukraine is becoming the most dangerous country for reporters. The Ukrainian government can't guarantee basic freedoms." Over the past few years, several critics of the Kremlin have been murdered in Ukraine, including Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov, who was shot and killed in 2016 while walking into a Kiev hotel.