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Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko is shot and killed in Kiev

Meduza
Update: Arkady Babchenko is alive.

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko was shot and killed in Kiev on Tuesday, May 29. According to fellow journalist Ayder Muzhdabaev, he was shot in the back while at home. A source told the website Obozrevatel.com that Babchenko died before paramedics could get him to the hospital.

Ukrainian law enforcement later confirmed Babchenko's death. According to police, Babchenko's wife says she was in the bathroom when she heard what sounded like several loud claps. When she exited, she says she found her husband covered in blood. He apparently died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

According to another report, Babchenko was shot in the entryway to his apartment while coming home from the store. Ukrainianskaya Pravda says Babchenko was shot three times — all in the back.

In a press statement, the Kiev police department said it believes Babchenko was killed as a reprisal for his work as a journalist.

Babchenko fought in both of Russia’s post-Soviet wars in Chechnya. After leaving the armed forces in 2000, he started working as a war correspondent for Moskovsky Komsomolets and Zabytyi Polk. He later worked with many publications, including the newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Babchenko also founded the project “Journalists Without Middlemen,” and wrote several books about his experience in the military, winning multiple literary awards.

Babchenko was a vocal critic of Russia’s intervention in eastern Ukraine, accusing Moscow of waging a war of aggression. In 2017, he left Russia and moved to Kiev, after receiving threats against his life. In Ukraine, he worked for the television network ATR.