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Kiev may blame Russia for journalist’s death — Russia’s UN envoy

The Russian envoy said that many journalists were forced to flee Ukraine "due to persecution"

UN, May 30. /TASS/. Kiev may blame Russia for Tuesday’s murder of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko in Kiev, Russia’s UN envoy Vasily Nebenzya told the UN Security Council during its session on Ukraine.

"One may suggest that the Ukrainian government would accuse Russia, as was the case several times before," Nebenzya said.

He added that opposition-minded journalists are labeled "Kremlin agents" in the country. Some of them are murdered, and crimes against journalists are not duly investigated.

The Russian envoy said that many journalists were forced to flee Ukraine "due to persecution." "If not, they are arrested, like Ukrainian citizen Kirill Vyshinsky, the head of RIA Novosti Ukraine," he added.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin said, in his turn that "it was too early to speak of who may be behind the murder." However, he claimed that Ukraine had "solid grounds" to accuse Russia of "employing various destabilizing tactics in Ukraine", including "subversive actions and assassinations."

Commenting on those claims, Nebenzya replied that "we all know too well" how the Ukrainian investigation and the Ukrainian justice system work.

Arkady Babchenko, born in 1977, was shot near his apartment on Tuesday evening and died on the way to hospital. Kiev police chief Andrei Krishchenko said Babchenko’s professional activities were viewed as a most likely motive for the attack.

Babchenko was a Russian writer, journalist and military correspondent. He contributed to Russia’s Moskovsky Komsomolets daily, as well as TV Tsentr and Channel One TV. He also wrote articles for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper. He left Russia in 2017, and lived in Czech Republic and Israel. Since August 2017, Babchenko stayed in Kiev, where he hosted a show on a Crimean-Tatar TV channel, ATR.