Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko wasn't killed on May 29. On Wednesday, May 30, he appeared at a press conference held by Ukraine's National Security Agency, where officials announced the apprehension of the man who planned the murder.
Ukrainian officials explained that Tuesday's reports about Babchenko's murder were part of a special operation designed to flush out the man planning the attack: a Ukrainian citizen recruited by a Russian intelligence agency for $40,000, who allegedly offered an “Anti-Terrorist Operation” veteran $30,000 to kill Babchenko. The gunman reportedly received half the money up front.
Ukrainian National Security Agency head Vasyl Hrytsak said the suspects planned to kill another 30 people in Ukraine. President Petro Poroshenko has assigned 24-hour protection to Babchenko.
Speaking at the press conference, Babchenko apologized to his wife and his friends for keeping the operation a secret, explaining that he learned about the plot against his life roughly a month ago.
On May 29, journalists reported that Babchenko was shot three times in the back and killed as he entered his apartment building in Kiev.
Commenting on the revelation that Babchenko is alive, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noted the story's “obvious propagandistic effect,” saying, “It's of course great news that Babchenko is alive. The shame is that this masquerade hasn't worked out in other cases.”