Ukrainian Interior Minister Slams Public Backlash Over 'Murder' of Babchenko

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Pressed for details about the contract on his head allegedly taken out by Russian Federation and how the arrest would benefit investigators, Babchenko said he had no idea and was leaving it up to the security service.

"Everyone who says this undermines trusts in journalists: what would you do in my place, if they came to you and said there is a hit out on you?"

Babchenko also responded to critics who have said that the ruse may ruin the credibility of journalists and the West, and raises a number of ethical questions.

Babchenko said that when the SBU told him about the plot, "my first reaction was: "To hell with you, I want to pack a bag and disappear to the North Pole".

"But then I realised, where do you hide?"

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Britain says Russian Federation tried to kill Skripal with a military-grade nerve agent in March, an allegation Moscow denies. "If they came to you and said there is a hit out on you", Babchenko said.

The Russian Foreign ministry said on Wednesday it was happy Mr Babchenko had turned out to be alive after all, but said Ukraine has used his story as propaganda.

His reported murder touched off a war of words between Ukraine and Russian Federation, a flurry of condemnations from European capitals and Washington, and shivers through the journalistic communities in both countries. The Kremlin denies this.

Babchenko disclosed for the first time details of how he had helped fake his own death.

Babchenko said on the night of the staged murder, a makeup artist made him up to look like a murder victim.

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He pretended to be dead as medical teams, who were also in on the plan, took him to the hospital in an ambulance before pronouncing him dead and admitting him to the morgue.

"Then I watched the news and saw what a great guy I had been", he said, referring to tributes that were paid to him in the media after his death was widely reported.

For some, faking death has been a way to dodge criminal charges or gain wealth. Then you can teach me how to protect my family.

German says he started cooperating with Ukrainian counterintelligence after he was approached by an "old acquaintance" living in Moscow who "works at a Putin foundation, organizing unrest in Ukraine". At a subsequent meeting of German and the proposed triggerman, German said he had received orders for about 30 other killings, including that of a former officer of Russia's Federal Security Service, Lutsenko said on Ukraine's Inter TV channel.

Late on Thursday a Kiev court ordered the detention of a man who Ukrainian prosecutors say was involved in the plot and who had handed over $15,000 to a would-be killer. But Babchenko reappeared on Wednesday in the middle of a press briefing about his own murder.

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And to top off Arkady Babchenko's staged murder, they even took him to the morgue.