Prominent Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko shot, killed in Kiev

Prominent Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko shot, killed in Kiev

Arkady Babchenko, the dissident Russian journalist and Kremlin critic reported to have been shot dead in Kiev on Tuesday, has turned up alive in Ukraine. Here's how the story unfolded.

Original reports claimed Babchenko, a BBC News and Guardian contributor who was openly critical of Russia's relationship with Ukraine, had been shot to death in Kiev.

The head of the Ukrainian Security Service, Vasily Gritsak, told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that Kiev faked Babchenko's murder in an effort to catch those trying to kill him.

Says he had to stage his own murder in order to capture someone, apologises to his wife.

"I am sorry, but there were no options here", Babchenko said during the press conference.

Babchenko and the Ukrainian Security Service revealed that the whole incident had been an elaborate sting orchestrated to flush out a real assassin, who had reportedly been hired by the Russian government. Authorities said they suspected he was killed because of his work. "I'm still alive for the moment".

Babchenko, a former soldier in the Chechen war who became one of Russia's best-known war correspondents, left his homeland fearing for his life after criticising Russian policy in Ukraine and Syria.

"Special apologies to my wife for the hell she's been through these two days", he added.

"I would like to apologise for what you have all had to go through", Babchenko said.

In recent years his increasingly bombastic posts pushed the boundaries of good taste and some of his colleagues and followers stopped reading him on Facebook.

Babchenko, one of Russia's best-known war reporters, has spoken and written about leaving Russian Federation because of threats he and his family faced and finally relocated to Ukraine, according to AP.

Before the true fate of Mr Babchenko had been revealed, United Kingdom foreign secretary Boris Johnson tweeted that he was "appalled to see another vocal Russian journalist murdered".

"We managed not only to break this cynical provocation but also to document the preparation of this shameful crime by Russian special services", SBU chief Vasyl Hrytsak said.

Babchenko fled Russian Federation previous year, fearing for his life, and settled in Ukraine.

Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the State Duma, told Russian news agencies Wednesday that Russia would be happy to help with the investigation if Ukrainian authorities requested it. He criticised Putin's annexation of Crimea and his support for the separatists of southeast Ukraine.

Babchenko made a name for himself with his poignant reportages from the frontlines, including the conflict in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 10 000 people.