Russian dissident journalist Arkady Babchenko (C) greets acquaintances as he visits the office of the Crimean Tatar channel ATR in Kiev, Ukraine May 31, 2018. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
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Arkady Babchenko, the dissident Russian journalist who faked his own death in Ukraine, said Thursday that he felt he had to undertake the ruse because he feared he would share the fate of poisoned former Russian spy Sergei Skripal.Ukrainian officials reported Tuesday night that Babchenko, a Kremlin critic, had been gunned down in his apartment building in Kyiv. Babchenko hit back in a joint interview in Kyiv Thursday, saying that he had gone along with the ruse, organized by Ukrainian security officials, because he feared for his life.Babchenko said he now lived in a secure location and felt safe for now.His reported murder kindled a war of words between Ukraine and Russia, which have been at loggerheads since a popular revolt in Ukraine in 2014 toppled a Russian-backed government in favor of a pro-Western one.Babchenko disclosed for the first time details of how he had helped fake his own death.Ukrainian politicians robustly defended the ruse.
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