Arkady Babchenko, a prominent Russian investigative journalist who left the country over fears for his safety, was purportedly shot dead in Kiev late on Tuesday. Those rumors were false. However, initial reactions follow -
— Russian Foreign Ministry
“Bloody crimes and total impunity have become routine for the Kiev regime. We demand that the Ukrainian authorities make every effort to promptly investigate.”
— Vasily Nebenzya, Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
“It can be assumed that the Ukrainian authorities will blame Russia for this, as has happened before.”
— Alexei Pushkov, Federation Council Deputy
“Attempts are already being made to connect the murder of Babchenko with his opposition to the Kremlin. It really looks like another bloody provocation.”
— Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the Kremlin-funded RT news broadcaster and Sputnik news website.
“If you fear persecution in Russia, the most foolish thing [you can do] is to flee to Kiev. It’s better to be persecuted a little here than get whacked there.”
— Mikhail Fedotov, head of the Kremlin human rights council and head of the Russian Union of Journalists.
“We know him as an experienced war correspondent with his own special vision of the world, with his very critical view of Russian politics. That’s why his murder is openly provocative.”
— Ilya Ponomaryov, Kiev-based former State Duma deputy.
“Over the last three days I heard about three hits put out on Russian opposition members among emigres [...] I’m afraid this isn’t the last death. No words.”
— Volodymyr Groysman, Prime Minister of Ukraine
"I’m convinced the Russian totalitarian machine didn’t forgive his honesty and integrity. A real friend of Ukraine who told the truth about Russian aggression.”
— Anton Gerashchenko, Ukrainian deputy
“Putin’s regime targets those who cannot be broken or cowered.”
— Mikheil Saakashvili, former governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region
“Poroshenko declared me a Russian agent and wasted all SBU [Ukrainian security service] resources fighting me, and so naturally they lack forces for the real agents and killers sent by Putin.”