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Ukraine’s SBU claims special-op stunt foiled attempt on ‘murdered’ reporter’s life

May 30, 18:28 UTC+3 KIEV

Three hours ago, the mastermind behind the alleged murder plot was detained in Kiev

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Vasily Gritsak, head of the Ukrainian Security Service (left)

Vasily Gritsak, head of the Ukrainian Security Service (left)

© AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

KIEV, May 30. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) has prevented an attempt on the life of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko through a sting operation, SBU Chief Vasily Gritsak said at a news briefing on Wednesday.

As the SBU chief said, the Russian journalist was unhurt, after which Babchenko strolled out in front of reporters.

"We have thwarted the attempted murder of Babchenko by carrying out this special operation," he said.

The SBU chief claimed that the murder "was ordered by Russian special services."

"The paymasters promised the contract killer - a Ukrainian citizen and a former participant in the military operation in Donbass - $30,000, with $15,000 of which transferred as an advance payment. The intermediary received $10,000," Gritsak stated.

Three hours ago, the mastermind behind the alleged murder plot was detained in Kiev, he added.

For his part, Arkady Babchenko opened his speech with apologies to his wife "for the entire hell she had had to live through."

According to him, "the operation was cobbled together over the course of two months." "I was told about it a month ago," Babchenko said.

"As a result of the special operation, the individual was taken into custody," he said.

Kiev police reported on Tuesday evening about an attack on Babchenko, in which he was allegedly gunned down.

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