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A critical Russian journalist killed in Kiev? (V2)

(B2) Arkady Babchenko, a well-known Russian journalist, “was murdered outside his home in Kiev (Ukraine) on Tuesday (May 29)”. The announcement was made by all the journalists' associations and sparked a number of reactions. In fact, this is not the case. The journalist is alive and well (read our update)

(credit: Facebook profile of A. Babchenko)

Shot in the back

Babchenko was shot in the back at the entrance to his kyiv home by an unknown assailant or assailants, according to the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, based in Moscow, where he worked until 2011 as a war correspondent. “ His wife found him covered in blood and called an ambulance, but Babchenko died of his injuries on the way to the hospital “, reports the newspaper, selon le journalists protection committee (CPJ). He had been working since October 2017 in Kiev on the Crimean Tatar channel ATR, with his show “ Premium: Babchenko ».

A conflict expert

Aged 41, Babchenko is a veteran of the First Chechen War. After being demobilized, he specialized in conflict coverage. He has covered the 2008 Russo-Georgian war, South Ossetia and the 2010 inter-ethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan for Novaya Gazeta and other publications. It was " a sharp critic of Russia's annexation of Crimea and its intervention in eastern Ukraine, according to press reports “, recalls the committee for the protection of journalists. " He had left Russia, taking refuge in Prague in February 2017 after receiving threats, then moved to Ukraine in August with his family. »

Kiev, a dangerous city for journalists?

This is at least the second known journalist to be assassinated in Ukraine in two years. Pavel Sheremet was killed in kyiv just under two years ago, on July 20, 2016, when an explosive device went off under the car he was driving. No one had been convicted of the crime.

A huge loss for the knowledge of Russia

An assassination condemned vigorously » by Harlem Désir, the representative for media freedom of theOSCE, who called for a quick and complete investigation ". Arkady Babchenko " was one of the greatest Ukrainian journalists, published by Gallimard for his stories from Chechnya, at least comparable to those of Anna Politkovskaia. [It’s] a huge loss stressed Stéphane Siohan, correspondent in Kiev for Le Figaro, Le Temps and Le Soir.

An attack on freedom of the press

« Babchenko was well known for his critical journalism, and authorities must view his murder as an attack on press freedom said Nina Ognianova, CPJ Europe and Central Asia coordinator, also calling, Ukrainian authorities to thoroughly, effectively and independently investigate the assassination of Arkady Babchenko and find all those responsible for this brutal and silent crime ».

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).