A Russian journalist thought to have been murdered in Kiev on Tuesday, dramatically showed up at a police press conference earlier today. Reports emerged yesterday that Arkady Babchenko, a Russian journalist, had been shot three times in the back when he was leaving his apartment in Kiev, and died in an ambulance as a result. Gasps and sighs could be heard at the conference when Babchenko walked in, but that soon turned into clapping and sighs of relief. The journalists at the conference were there in hopes of getting updates on Babchenko‘s murder.

A number of journalists have been killed in recent years both in Ukraine and Russia, and the murders remain mostly unsolved.

Fled to Ukraine after receiving death threats

Arkady Babchenko is a 41-year-old journalist and a former Russian soldier who has been actively critical of Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Russian Military action in both Syria and Ukraine. He fled to Kiev in February of last year when he began receiving political harassment and death threats after he announced that he did not mourn the victims of a Russian military plane crash. After fleeing, Babchenko stated that Russia was „a country I no longer feel safe in,“ The Guardian reported. Kiev has become a refuge for those journalists daring enough to criticize the Russian government and it's policies.

At the press conference, Babchenko apologized to everyone affected, stating that it had been the only way to safe his life. He also apologized to his wife for "the hell she had been put through," Reuters reported.

The credibility of the government damaged

According to Vasily Gritsak, the head of the Ukrainian Security Service, it had been necessary to fake Babchenko‘s death in order to catch those who had been trying to kill him.

Officials for the Security Service confirmed that they had detained a Ukrainian citizen that had been paid by the Russians to find someone to kill Babchenko, and that staging his murder was the only way to make the assassin think he had succeeded in his job. However, some journalists were critical of the method, saying that it was a Kremlin-style disinformation ploy and that the act had damaged the credibility of the Ukrainian government.

They even went so far as saying that Babchenko himself had tarnished his profession by engaging in the act. Babchenko‘s murder sparked waves of outrage worldwide when it was first reported, and pouring grief for his family and friends. Russian officials had denied having anything to do with the murder and accused Ukraine of a smear campaign.