Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko shot dead in Kyiv

Russian journalist Babchenko, critic of Kremlin, shot dead in Ukraine

Police guard the front door of the Kiev apartment block where Arkady Babchenko reportedly died.

"The motherland will always dump you, my son", he used to say, a quote widely shared by liberal Russians on social media after his murder.

Harlem Desir, the media freedom representative at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said he was "horrified" by Mr Babchenko's "death".

"I call on the authorities to swiftly and thoroughly investigate the circumstances of this assassination and to bring the perpetrators and those who ordered it to justice".

Arkady Babchenko, a Russian journalist, was supposedly murdered on Tuesday, but his appearance on Wednesday left onlookers baffled. He then startled everyone there by inviting the 41-year-old reporter into the room. According to the SBU, he was going to organize killings of 30 Russian citizens in Ukraine on Russian special services' order, with Babchenko being the first one.

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In Moscow, officials and MPs criticised Ukrainian authorities for their alleged failure to protect journalists.

A senior State Duma deputy has stated that, since Russia can not prevent attacks on journalists in Ukraine, it would be better if all Russian reporters left the country. He also published several books based on his wartime experiences. "The killers attacked all of us by choosing the most honest, noisy, and fearless one, the one who is in the public eye", Kanygin said in a Facebook post. In one, he said he felt no regret about the deaths of Russian army choir members and others from a December 2016 plane crash as they were heading to perform before Russian troops in Syria.

Earlier today the Kremlin had described the allegation by Ukraine that it was behind the murder of Mr Babchenko as an anti-Russian smear.

Babchenko was shot and killed Tuesday evening in Kiev where he had been living since fleeing Russian Federation. He was working for the Crimean Tatar television station, ATR, that was driven out of Crimea after Russia's seizure of the peninsula.

To the applause and gasps of the press, Babchenko took the floor at the news conference and apologized to the friends and family who mourned for him and were unaware of the plan.

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