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International Federation of Journalists slams Babchenko stunt as 'complete circus'

May 31, 16:03 UTC+3 MOSCOW

By spreading false evidence about Babchenko's murder, Ukrainian authorities have seriously eroded the credibility of information, the organization said

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Arkady Babchenko

Arkady Babchenko

© EPA-EFE/SERGEY NUZHNENKO

MOSCOW, May 31. /TASS/. The faked murder of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko in Kiev and Ukraine’s further statements on the incident are a propaganda operation and a complete circus, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said in a statement on Thursday.

"Arkady Babchenko is still alive and can continue to exercise his profession as an outspoken journalist: this is great news," the statement says, citing IFJ President Philippe Leruth. "However, by spreading false evidence about his murder, Ukrainian authorities have seriously eroded the credibility of information, and their communication runs the risk of being considered a propaganda operation," he added.

"This is not a simple journalistic case anymore, but rather a complete circus orchestrated by military figures and a journalist threatened with death for several weeks," IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said, as cited in the statement. "But it is intolerable to lie to journalists around the world and to mislead millions of citizens that were rightly moved by this so-called murder," he pointed out.

On May 29, Kiev police reported about a fatal attack on Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, in which he had been allegedly gunned down. However, Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) stated on May 30 that it had prevented an attempt on his life through a sting operation. SBU chief Vasily Gritsak said at a briefing that the reporter was safe, after which Babchenko himself appeared before his fellow reporters. Gritsak accused Russian intelligence services of the assassination attempt and said that the crime’s mastermind had been detained on Wednesday.

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