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Exiled Russian Journalist And Putin Critic Gunned Down In Kiev, Local Police Say

REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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An exiled Russian journalist was “shot and killed” in Ukraine on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press, citing local police.

Arkady Babchenko, 41, was a staunch critic of the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin. He previously served in the Russian army but later transitioned out of military service and into journalism. Facing threats and possible jail time, he fled Russia in February last year, relocating to Kiev.

His wife found him bleeding out at their apartment in the Ukrainian capital. He died on the way to the hospital. Police suspect that Babchenko was killed for his professional activities, according to the Moscow Times.

Tuesday’s death follows the murder of journalist and Putin critic Pavel Sheremet with a car bomb in the Ukraine two years ago.

At this time, the specific details of Babchenko’s death are unclear, but his untimely death is likely to draw attention to the Russian government, especially considering the number of Kremlin critics who have been attacked or died under suspicious circumstances in recent years.

In March, former Russian spy and Putin critic Sergei Skripal and his daughter were mysteriously poisoned with a Soviet-era chemical weapon in Britain. That same month, another critic of the Russian government was found dead in his London home. (RELATED: Russian Exile Found Dead In His Home In London)

Moscow has denied any involvement in these suspicious incidents, despite numerous accusations alleging Russian involvement. (RELATED: Ex-Russian Spy Poisoned With Nerve Agent, British Police Say)

Update: Ukrainian authorities actually faked Babchenko’s death to capture the killers sent to assassinate him. (RELATED: Russian Journalist And Putin Critic Who Was ‘Shot And Killed’ In Ukraine Turns Up Very Much Alive)

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