He had been denounced by pro-Government politicians in Russia over comments on social media about the Russian bombing of Aleppo in Syria's war, and over his characterisation of Russia as an aggressor towards Ukraine.
"Olechka, I am sorry, but there were no options here".
"Ukraine is becoming the most risky country for reporters", Russian lawmaker Yevgeny Revenko said in remarks carried by the state RIA Novosti news agency. "I had to bury my friends and colleagues many times", Babchenko said, also apologizing to his wife and friends, who were unaware of the secret operation.
"This is the last post of Arkady Babchenko".More news: Roman Abramovich becomes richest Israeli after making Aliyah
"I have buried many friends and colleagues many times and I know the sickening feeling", he said.
Konstantin Kosachev, head of the global affairs committee of the upper house of the Russian parliament, compared Ukraine's allegations to Britain's claims that Moscow was behind the nerve gas poisonings of a Russian former spy and his daughter in England.
He described how he first claimed to have broken his leg and then was requested to "disappear somewhere" in the weeks leading up to the staged murder, in a bid to thwart the assassins.
Other journalists were stunned at the revelation that he was still alive.
For much of the night after reports of Babchenko's death were announced, and into the following day, people gathered in the apartment building's courtyard to place flowers and photographs and to mourn the reporter.
But on Wednesday, he showed up at the news conference and thanked everyone for mourning his death.More news: Netflix shaded ABC on Twitter after 'Roseanne' got pulled because of racism
United Kingdom foreign secretary Boris Johnson tweeted that he was "appalled to see another vocal Russian journalist murdered".
"I'm glad he is alive, but he undermined even further the credibility of journalists and the media", he added.
News of the apparent murder had stunned Kiev on Tuesday.
Ukraine's shock ploy will further sour ties between Ukraine and Russian Federation, post-Soviet allies who fell out following the ouster of Ukraine's pro-Kremlin leader in 2014.
Arkady Babchenko, who was scathingly critical of the Kremlin, was gunned down in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on Tuesday. "It's a pity masquerading didn't happen in other situations", ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page.
In December 2016, Babchenko wrote a Facebook post (in Russian) about a crashed Tu-154 transport plane, which went into the Black Sea while carrying a Red Army choir to Syria. They were traveling to perform for pilots involved in Russia's air campaign on Aleppo.More news: Trump sees ‘brilliant potential’ for North Korea as summit prep continues
Babchenko, 41, rose to fame as a war correspondent in Russian Federation.