A faked murder of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko was done by the Ukrainian authorities themselves, according to public, political and media figures interviewed by Gazeta.Ru.
On May 29, Ukrainian law enforcers stated that Babchenko was killed in his apartment with three shots in the back. However, the next day the journalist appeared at a briefing, saying that all this was a “special operation of the Security Service”.
“The rumors of my death were greatly exaggerated.” This phrase, which is attributed to Mark Twain, came to mind on May 30 all the Ukrainian special services present at the press conference. The head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Vasily Grytsak, the country’s attorney general Yury Lutsenko and himself Arkady Babchenko, whose death was announced yesterday, was informed that this murder was an operation of special services.
As stated by Gritsak, about two months the “special operation” itself was being prepared, and a month ago Babchenko himself was informed. The organizer of the crime, as the head of the SBU said, was caught, he is in custody.
According to the intelligence service, a Ukrainian citizen who fought in the ATU went to cooperate with the investigation and said that he allegedly was hired by the Russian special services through a Ukrainian intermediary.
For the first murder, of which Babchenko was supposed to be a victim, he was promised $ 30,000 and issued an advance of $ 15,000, Ukrainian security officials said.
Gritsak also said that only in the list of those who were supposed to liquidate the killer, allegedly there were about 30 personalities well-known in Ukraine and beyond it. In addition, according to the Ukrainian law enforcers, this person received money and an order to buy weapons and ammunition and make “caches” in the Kiev region.
As an adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Anton Gerashchenko wrote in social networks, “the fact that in fact the murder of Arkady Babchenko was a fake, was known a very limited circle of people. This was done to prevent the slightest possibility of information leakage. It was for this that the production photo of the allegedly murdered Arkady Babchenko was made and published, and the photo-robots of the alleged killer with Caucasian appearance were distributed. To create a picture of full reality, statements were made by the official representatives of the National Police about the death of Arkady.
Law enforcers could not fail to understand that the news of the murder of Arkady Babchenko would be a pain in thousands of hearts around the world. But they had no other choice. ”
Speaking to reporters, Babchenko himself first of all apologized to his wife: “Olechka, I’m sorry, but there were no options.”
“This month I saw how the guys worked, how they dug their noses … This whole month we were in touch, we thought, worked through, acted. And as a result, the result was a special operation, “he added.
President of Ukraine Petr Poroshenko instructed Babchenko and his family to be provided with round-the-clock protection, and also stated that “it is unlikely that Moscow will calm down.”
The Kremlin said that detailed information about the “special operation” of the Ukrainian special services is not available.
“I saw [the news that Babchenko is alive], but I have no information. I do not know who blames, what, what, and so on. I can not say anything,” said Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Russian president.
Peskov also said that, although Babchenko is actually alife, Ukraine stille remains country which is dangerous to journalists.
The reaction of Ukrainian and Russian public, political and media figures to the “resurrection” of Babchenko was expected to be stormy.
The most common reproach was that the Kiev authorities decided to maximally “carnivalize” all events in the country after Ukraine was directly accused of creating unbearable conditions for the work of journalists and respect for human rights. Many journalists who survived the murder of their colleagues, for example, Pavel Sheremet or Olesya Buzina (their killers and customers have not yet been found – “Gazeta.Ru”), called the statement of Babchenko and law enforcement agencies of Ukraine “cruel.”
Ukrainian journalist Denis Popovich in Facebook compared the situation with the parable of the boy and wolves:
“When you shout “hold the wolf ” without reason, problems may arise when the wolf really comes. “Special operation” with Babchenko, from my point of view, smells awful. The authorities could present the body of the deceased Babchenko. But if he is alive, they will now have to produce terrorists, the detention of which was announced earlier. And this can not be done, because they are either under investigation, or liquidated. But if there was no Babchenko murder, then how will the authorities prove that the detention of terrorists actually happened? Maybe there was nothing but a rotten statement and an attempt to raise someone’s rating? You can not do this to people, you just can not, “the journalist wrote.
The head of the Political and Business Communications Agency, FullPublic, Igor Baisha wrote:
“By organizing such a draman, which, for the sake of justice, is often used by law enforcement in similar situations, Ukraine has made fools not only the Russian opposition and its own citizens, but also a significant part of the world than seriously lowered the propaganda effect.
This is already a position of desperation and an understanding of what will have to be answered for their actions. Especially against the background of the change in the rhetoric of the Russian authorities, in particular [Russian Foreign Minister] Sergey Lavrov about the events in Ukraine as a coup d’état – and this formulation has not been used so far. “Many representatives of international organizations also expressed the dramatization of the Babchenko murder. Thus, Reporters Without Borders declared “a deep indignation, having discovered the manipulation of the Ukrainian special services, this new step in the information war. It is always very dangerous for the government to play with facts, especially using journalists for its false stories. “The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Arlem Desire, said he regrets the decision to spread the news about the murder of a Russian journalist and stressed that «the state’s duty is to provide the correct information the public.» The Council of Europe’s press secretary, Daniel Holtgen, also commented on the fact that Arkady Babchenko was alive. “When your prime minister reportedly talked about” killers “, we thought that it was true, like many others,” Holtgen wrote in response to a report by the Ukrainian ambassador to the Council of Europe, Dmitry Kuleba. At the same time he noted that the information that Babchenko was alive is “good news.” The Russian Federation, meanwhile, called the staging of the murder of Arkady Babchenko an “anti-Russian provocation.” “A direct consequence of the obviously intended propaganda effect was the misleading of the entire international community, which responded quickly to information from Ukraine about the murder of a media employee. Now the true motives of this staging are beginning to unfold, which is obviously another anti-Russian provocation, “the statement of the information and the press of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reads. According to Mikhail Vinogradov, political strategist, president of the St. Petersburg Policy Foundation,” the fact that he was alive are indeed excellent news for Babchenko, and for the reputation of Russia. Even if we consider that in the past cases, the Russian trace was not there – it’s still good for the reputation. “According to political scientist and political strategist Dmitry Melnikov, disclosing the background of Babchenko’s” murder “positively, as far as possible, will affect relations between Russia and other countries.” To my opinion there was a global exchange: Russia has lost its interests in some issues that were important to Ukraine and the West, in exchange it received a softening of the situation to the level of accustomed accusations of common aggressive actions.”