By Dan Calabrese
This gets better by the hour.
First we tell you a Russian journalist who’d been a fierce Kremlin critic was shot dead last night in Kiev. Then we have to update the story rather awkwardly when the supposedly murdered journalist, Arkady Babchenko, walks into the very press briefing in which authorities are giving an update on the case.
What the . . . ?
It turns out this was all choreographed from the beginning. There were assassins after Babchenko, and someone in Kiev came up with a very clever and apparently successful scheme to fake Babchenko’s death so as to smoke out the killers.
Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko turned up at a news conference in the Ukrainian capital Wednesday less than 24 hours after police reported he had been shot and killed at his Kiev apartment building. The country’s security services said Babchenko’s death was faked to foil a plot to take his life.
Ukrainian police said Tuesday that Babchenko, a strong critic of the Kremlin, was shot multiple times in the back Tuesday and found bleeding there by his wife. Authorities said they suspected he was killed because of his work.
Vasyl Gritsak, head of the Ukrainian Security Service, announced at a news conference Wednesday that the security agency and the police had solved Babchenko’s slaying. He then startled everyone there by inviting the 41-year-old reporter into the room.
To the applause and gasps of the press, Babchenko took the floor and apologized to the friends and family who mourned for him and were unaware of the plan.
“I’m still alive,” he said.
Before ushering Babchenko into the room, Gritsak said investigators had identified a Ukrainian citizen who had been recruited and paid $40,000 by the Russian security service to organize and carry out the killing. The unidentified Ukrainian man in turn hired an acquaintance who had fought in the separatist war in eastern Ukraine as the gunman.
Nicely done, everyone. I remain skeptical that enough people will talk so as to allow Ukranian officials to trace the intended murder back to the Kremlin – or that they could do anything about it if they did – but at least they tricked and stopped a killer before he could actually commit the act.
By the way, Babchenko turns up in a Journey hoodie . . . and my wife noticed something:
Watch out for the Russkies, Steve Perry!
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!