A prominent Russian journalist and critic of President Vladimir Putin was gunned down in Ukraine where he had fled into exile following threats, police said on Tuesday.
Arkady Babchenko died of his wounds in an ambulance after his wife found him covered in his blood in their home, police said, adding they suspected the murder was due to Babchenko’s professional activities.
Babchenko, one of Russia’s best-known war correspondents, had left Russia fearing for his life after criticizing Russian policy in Ukraine and Syria.
He had been denounced by pro-government politicians in Russia over comments on social media about the Russian bombing of Syria, and over his characterization of Russia as an aggressor toward Ukraine.
“The first version is his professional activity,” said Kiev police chief Andriy Kryshchenko on the TV news channel 112, when asked what police suspected lay behind the murder.
Two years ago Pavel Sheremet, a Belarussian journalist known for his criticism of his home country’s leadership and his friendship with the slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, was blown up in a car bomb in central Kiev.
“Putin’s regime is aimed at those who cannot be broken or intimidated,” Anton Gerashchenko, a Ukrainian lawmaker and advisor to the interior minister, wrote on Facebook.
“Today in Kiev on the threshold of the apartment where he lived, a famous Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko was shot and killed, a consistent opponent of the Putin regime and a friend of Ukraine.”
Additional reporting by Anton Zverev in Moscow; writing by Matthias Williams; Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Peter Graff
China hits out at ‘bullying’ US over new tariffs
China on Saturday angrily hit out at the latest US tariff hikes on its goods, saying a "bullying" Washington would eventually "eat its own bitter fruit".
European leaders have also warned US President Donald Trump of the dangers of trade skirmishes with China and Europe, which look set to dominate the G7 summit due to begin in France.
Trump on Friday increased existing and planned tariffs on a total of $550 billion in Chinese goods, in response to new tit-for-tat levy hikes announced earlier that day by Beijing on $75 billion of US imports.
A Chinese commerce ministry spokesman on Saturday denounced Washington's "unilateral and bullying trade protectionism".
Mass rallies, crazy decisions, grandiose posturing: This is what living in a dictatorship feels like
Another week of shaking our heads and wondering how much longer we can survive him. Yet again, Donald Trump overwhelmed practically everything with the force of his obscene personality, running his mouth and his thumbs even while he was failing to run the country in any sort of conventional sense. He doesn’t actually do anything, but he dominates everything. Living in America today is like being trapped in a room with him — no doors, no windows, no exits, only Trump and the sound of Trump and the hideous image of Trump, all day, every day, for day after day after day.
This article first appeared in Salon.
Trump officials furious with NRA over ‘dick move’ leak of LaPierre phone call: report
President Donald Trump originally appeared interested in strengthening federal background check laws in the wake of deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Then, after a phone conversation with National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre on Tuesday, Trump reportedly assured him that background checks were "off the table" and pivoted to discussing anything but guns.
It was a depressingly familiar moment for Trump, who also previously headfaked toward some minor gun control reforms after the Parkland school shooting and quickly walked them back.