Sunday, 24 February 2019

W Weekly Update

May 26 - June 2

Ukrainian SBU staged “assassination” of Russian journalist

Foreign Policy writes that “on May 29, the news broke that another Russian journalist critical of President Vladimir Putin’s regime had been killed, gunned down outside his apartment in Kiev. Pictures were circulated of his bloodied corpse, and the Ukrainian prime minister blamed “the Russian totalitarian machine.” On May 30, the journalist stood up, alive and well, at a press conference to admit it had been a sting operation by the Ukrainian security services to catch a Russian-paid killer.”

As it later became known, the “assassination” of journalist Arkady Babchenko was staged to expose Russian agents.

Writing about the Babchenko’s background, authors note: “He served as a soldier in both of Russia’s brutal wars in Chechnya, and wrote a powerful memoir, One Soldier’s War, as a result. He went on to become a war correspondent, covering Russia’s imperial incursions into Georgia and then Ukraine, never hesitating to criticize the Kremlin and its aggressive foreign policy. He was no stranger to scandal or threat, either, and in 2017 finally left Russia when a Facebook post of his expressing indifference over the deaths of a military choir when a plane crashed on its way to Syria sparked a nationalist firestorm of protest.”

He wrote an article about the events of that time in the British newspaper The Guardian.

According to Vasyl Hrytsak, head of the Security Service of Ukraine, there’s a proof that Russian intelligence agents had paid a Ukrainian $40,000 to kill Babchenko.

Mark Galeotti argues: “Whether or not this was the best tactic to use to keep Babchenko alive and catch those who were allegedly seeking to have him killed is impossible to know at this stage. One could argue that anything that achieves these goals is a success. However, this is not just a law enforcement operation.”

 

Prepared by Marina Muradyan

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