A Russian journalist who was reportedly murdered turned up alive in the middle of a televised news conference in Ukraine about his own killing. However, Aleksandr Bortnikov, the head of Russia's Federal Security Service, claimed such allegations are "nonsense" and a "provocation".
The 41-year-old journalist had spoken publicly about the threats against his life and the fear that drove him to leave Russian Federation.
Gritsak said the agency had collected proof his assassination had been ordered by the Russian security services. Yet Babchenko appeared alive and well at a police press conference on Wednesday, where confused reporters expected to receive updates about the "murder" investigation. "There was no other option".
Babchenko said he was not allowed to go into the details of his false death.
Babchenko is a well-known critic of Russia's policies toward Ukraine.
Kyiv and national police had said Babchenko, a strong critic of the Kremlin, was shot multiple times in the back at his apartment building and found bleeding by his wife.
"I know that sickening feeling when you bury a colleague", he added.
"I'm still alive", he told the shocked audience.
The initial reports of Babchenko's death reverberated in the Russian capital, where friends and fans gathered at the Moscow bridge where Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was gunned down in 2015. The Ukrainian man also was supposed to procure large quantities of weapons and explosives, including 300 AK-47 rifles and "hundreds of kilos of explosives", to perpetrate acts of terror in Ukraine, he said. "The operation was under preparation for two months".
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"The important thing is my life has been saved and other, bigger terrorist attacks have been thwarted", he said.
Just hours before his staged death, Babchenko wrote on Twitter about his fortune back in 2014, when he was refused travel on a Ukrainian military helicopter.
Ukraine also faced a backlash from global journalism figures. "It is the duty of the state to provide correct information to the public", said Deniz Yazici of the media freedom office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
He matter of factly told reporters, "I've done my work".
Babchenko is a well-known war correspondent in Russian Federation.
Babchenko told the news conference he had previously fled Russian Federation after receiving death threats. He said his comments had resulted in thousands of threats, his home address being published online and calls for him to be deported.
Anti-Kremlin Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko speaks in Kiev on May 30, 2018. In December 2016, Babchenko had written a Facebook post - about the Kremlin's actions in Aleppo, Syria - which was deemed "insufficiently patriotic" by authorities.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said in a social media posting late on Tuesday he was convinced that what he called "the Russian totalitarian machine" had not forgiven Babchenko for what Mr Groysman called his honesty. He then he became a war reporter for several Russian newspapers.