Russian Journalist, Who Openly Criticized Kremlin, Fatally Shot

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The fearless journalist denounced Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and Syria. According to Ukrainian police, he was killed because of his profession.

Russian Journalist

A daring journalist, who had the guts to openly criticize the Kremlin, is no more. He was shot dead.

Arkady Babchenko, a Russian journalist was shot multiple times in the back outside the entrance of his apartment in Kiev, Ukraine. When his wife found him bleeding, she called the ambulance but the journalist succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital.

Unknown assailants killed the journalist while he was returning back from the grocery store.

In 2016, Babchenko started receiving death threats after he wrote in his Facebook page about a Russian military plane, the Tu-154 transport plane that crashed in to the Black Sea while transporting the world-famous Red Army choir to Syria. 

In his post, Babchenko wrote Russia was bombing Aleppo, ignoring dozens of children that die as a result of this cruelty. He also called the country an aggressor. Soon after this post, the journalist received death threats and abuse from the Russian state.

Fearing for his life, the journalist left Russia along with his family in 2017. The outspoken critic of Kremlin first moved to Prague and then to Kiev.

The 41-year-old worked for the TV network ATR in Ukraine.

The former war correspondent’s murder sends a disturbing message for all those who don’t agree with Putin.

In Russia, freedom of press is not exactly a given right. According to the European Federation of Journalists, from 1990 to 2015, 345 journalists died in Europe, out of which 115 deaths occurred in Russia.

According to Kiev police Chief Andriy Kryshchenko, they suspect Babchenko was killed because of his "professional activities.”

The Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman described the journalist as a "true friend of Ukraine, who was telling the world about Russian aggression.”

"The killers should be punished," he said.

Just hours before his death, Babchenko recalled how he was lucky exactly four years back because he wasn’t allowed on a Ukrainian helicopter by a Ukrainian general in eastern Ukraine. The general didn’t allow Babchenko in helicopter as it was overloaded. Two hours later, the same helicopter was shot down by Russian separatists and everyone on board was killed. 

 

The journalist called that moment a “second birthday.” Little did he know that on the same day a few years later, he would be murdered for being a passionate journalist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thumbnail/Banner Image: Reuters, Vitalii Nosach

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