“Murdered” Russian journalist turns up alive and well

Take a look at this guy’s face and tell me if you don’t think he’s hiding a lot more than he’s revealing:

Notice how his gaze kept darting around, never really meeting the camera? Yeah, there’s something deeply and darkly hinky about that. And I don’t think it’s Ambien making him do it, either.

According to the BBC, and Arkady Babchenko’s own declarations, this was supposed to foil an assassination plot against him:

Babchenko said he had been informed a month ago about an alleged Russian plot to kill him. He said he had agreed to co-operate with a counter-operation and had been in constant contact with Ukrainian security services over the course of the past month.

He added that he thought security services had been planning the operation for up to two months.

Mr Hrytsak said the operation had begun after Ukrainian security services were informed about a Russian plot to kill the journalist.

He alleged that Russian security forces had recruited a Ukrainian citizen to find hitmen within Ukraine. He said the citizen had approached several acquaintances, including war veterans, offering $30,000 (£22,600) for the contract killing, one of whom revealed the plot to the security services.

The security services then informed Babchenko, apparently determining that the only way to reveal the plotters was to stage a fake hit.

That’s all very well, but was Babchenko really just doing it to save his own ass? If so, why involve the Ukrainian security services in such an elaborate ruse? Cops anywhere aren’t exactly eager to rush to the aid of someone who says he’s receiving death threats, even if he’s a journalist with a track record for inflammatory statements. And why scare the shit out of his poor wife like this?

I get the feeling he wasn’t a real target, but was part of some kind of propaganda operation on the part of Ukraine. Perhaps a smear job, designed to get the international community behind Ukraine in its efforts to beat back Russia. Maybe it was a sting operation to flush out Russian agents. I don’t know what’s going on here. But one thing I am certain of: This was not about Arkady Babchenko, at all.

And judging by his sheepish behavior, he knows it.

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