19 August 2019,   19:18
Faked murder - Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko is alive

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, who had been reported shot and killed in the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday, has shown up at a news conference alive.

Vasily Hrytsak, head of the Ukrainian Security Service, told a news conference in Kiev on Wednesday that the agency faked Babchenko"s death to catch those who were trying to kill him.

He added that the staged death was part of a "special operation" to pre-empt a real plot to kill him. 

The organiser of this alleged plot was arrested in Kiev earlier on Wednesday, according to Hrytsak, who said that "investigative actions" are under way. 

He accused Russian security services of recruiting a Ukrainian national to carry out the murder for a fee of $40,000. 

Kiev 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.

He showed up at a news conference on Wednesday and thanked everyone who was mourning his death. He also thanked the Ukranian Security Service for saving his life. 

Al Jazeera"s Rory Challands, reporting from Moscow, said that Babchenko used the news conference to apologise to those closest to him, including his wife, who had not been informed of the operation.

"We had heard reports since the shooting yesterday - or what seemed to have been a shooting that it was his wife that found him bleeding on the floor of their apartment and called an ambulance and that he died on his way to hospital in the ambulance.

"She, it seems, did not know that he was not dead and so, in this press conference, earlier in Kiev, he sent his apologies to his wife saying, "I"m sorry about this but this is the way it had to be done.""

At the press conference, Babchenko revealed that the operation had been running for two months and he became involved one month ago.