Russia, Ukraine blame each other for journalist killing

Moscow and Kiev are blaming each other for ...

Posted: May 30, 2018 2:11 PM
Updated: May 30, 2018 2:11 PM

Moscow and Kiev are blaming each other for the death of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, who was shot dead in his apartment building in the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman implied Russia had orchestrated the killing. Babchenko was a vocal critic of the Kremlin and left Russia in 2017, saying he no longer felt safe there.

"I'm sure that the Russian totalitarian machine did not forgive him his honesty and his fidelity to principle," Groysman said in a Facebook post.

"Best friend of Ukraine, who told the truth about Russian aggression to the world. The murderers must be punished!"

Ukrainian state news agency Ukrinform said Babchenko, 41, was shot in the back and died in an ambulance, citing his friend and supervisor, Ayder Muzhdabaev, deputy general manager of Ukrainian TV channel ATR.

Police in Kiev said Babchenko's wife found him outside their apartment.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov slammed Ukraine on Wednesday as an unsafe place for journalists to work.

"We know that many people are dying, many journalists are dying, journalists are thrown into prison for doing journalist work. We consider this unacceptable, we believe that this should be the topic for a very tough international reaction that will encourage the Ukrainian authorities to take effective measures to rectify the situation," he said.

When asked for his response to Ukraine's accusations that Russia was behind the killing, Peskov dismissed the idea as anti-Russian.

"This is the highest level of cynicism amid such a brutal murder, to shake the air in such a Russophobic way, instead of talking about conducting a thorough and impartial investigation."

But ATR's Muzhdabaev pointed out that Babchenko did not report on Ukrainian affairs and said his journalism was solely focused on Russian affairs.

"He did not do anything else. He did not conduct any investigations, did not write anything about Ukrainian affairs, exclusively journalism about the Russian government, about their actions, about their criminal activities, that's all," he said.

Russian-Ukrainian relations were plunged into crisis in 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula and as pro-Russian rebels seized parts of the east of Ukraine.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was "appalled" by the killing of Babchenko.

"We must defend freedom of speech and it is vital that those responsible are now held to account," he wrote on Twitter.

The UK has blamed Russia for the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, on British soil, but Moscow denies the accusation. The incident sparked a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

Manhunt underway

Ukrainian police are now searching for the man they believe to be responsible for Babchenko's death.

The Interior Ministry released a sketch of a bearded man wearing a baseball cap, and described him as being in his early 40s, between 175 and 180 centimeters tall, of average build and with gray in his beard.

Babchenko left Russia after he criticized the Kremlin in a Facebook post in 2017.

He faced backlash after commenting on the crash of a Russian plane transporting the world-famous military choir Alexandrov Ensemble en route to Syria. They were traveling to perform for pilots involved in Russia's air campaign on Aleppo.

Babchenko called Russia an aggressor, and accused the country of killing children in its air support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime..

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 31715

Reported Deaths: 1984
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9189533
Lake3299167
Cass15826
Allen127766
St. Joseph117034
Hendricks112367
Hamilton109992
Johnson1082104
Elkhart100827
Madison58258
Porter48721
Bartholomew48033
Clark45838
LaPorte40821
Tippecanoe3733
Jackson3611
Howard35618
Delaware35434
Hancock31927
Shelby31421
Floyd31338
Boone28235
Morgan26124
Vanderburgh2482
Montgomery22717
White2268
Decatur22431
Clinton2151
Noble18520
Grant18520
Harrison18521
Dubois1822
Greene16723
Warrick16426
Dearborn16221
Monroe16010
Henry1597
Vigo1477
Lawrence14322
Miami1391
Putnam1337
Jennings1274
Orange12422
Scott1183
Ripley1126
Franklin1068
Carroll922
Kosciusko861
Daviess8216
Steuben792
Newton7410
Wabash722
Wayne695
Fayette654
Marshall641
LaGrange602
Jasper561
Washington521
Fulton471
Rush452
Jay430
Jefferson411
Randolph403
Pulaski390
Clay391
Whitley392
Brown331
Sullivan321
Starke313
Owen311
DeKalb291
Perry270
Huntington262
Benton250
Knox240
Crawford230
Wells230
Tipton221
Blackford201
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Parke170
Posey170
Spencer161
Gibson142
Ohio130
Adams121
Warren121
Vermillion90
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0152
West Lafayette
Broken Clouds
85° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 88°
Kokomo
Few Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 89°
Rensselaer
Broken Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 86°
Fowler
Broken Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 86°
Williamsport
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 87°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
83° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 84°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
85° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 88°
Delphi
Broken Clouds
85° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 87°
Monticello
Broken Clouds
85° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 87°
Logansport
Broken Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 87°
Hot and Humid Weather Continues with Some Late-Day Storms Possible.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events