In a further freaky move, it appears that numerous regime officials who yesterday blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for ordering the killing of the journalist had not coordinated their story with other regime officials who now claim that the big lie was perpetuated to "throw off" plans of an actual "Putin agent" assassin.
In an extraordinary development, Arkady Babchenko appeared at a news conference in the Ukrainian capital saying that he had agreed to take part in the operation to catch people who had been sent to kill him, and apologized to his wife for deceiving her.
'I'm sorry, but there were no other options.
Babchenko's wife, he wrote, had called to say that the journalist had been shot in their home and was taken to the hospital.
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. "I could offer my condolences to to Arkady Babchenko's family, but I will not", Gritsak said before introducing Babchenko alive, according to The Telegraph.
"Law enforcers clearly understood that the news of the murder of Arkady Babchenko would be a pain for thousands of hearts around the world".
After moving to Ukraine from Russian Federation in February 2017, Babchenko continued to receive death threats, but reportedly did not take them seriously, according to someone who knew him.
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Babchenko had been scathingly critical of the Kremlin in recent years.
"I'm still alive", he said.
He then he became a war reporter for several Russian newspapers.
Writing a year ago in The Guardian, Babchenko described how a Facebook post he had written about the Russian bombing of civilians in Aleppo, Syria, was deemed insufficiently patriotic and led to a systematic campaign against him.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had rejected allegations that Moscow was behind the murder of the journalist, calling it part of an anti-Russian campaign, the TASS news agency reported on Tuesday.
Kadyrov is also suspected by Russian opposition figures of being behind a number of killings of Kremlin critics.