Sensational news has just come of the constant duel between Russia and Ukraine yesterday after the reported death of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko in Kiev, Ukraine. Babchenko was an outspoken critic of the Russian Kremlin, yet after facing threats on social media and a campaign against him by Russian state TV networks, he fled Russia in February 2017 for Prague. Soon after, he settled in Kiev where he hosted a TV program. The journalist was announced dead yesterday after being shot three times in the back while entering his apartment building.
In response, Reporters Without Borders called for cooperation between Russia and Ukraine to conduct an investigation on the reporter’s death. However, Russia and Ukraine soon were found blaming each other for the death of the reporter.
Shockingly, this morning Babchenko appeared on TV alive and well. He then revealed that his “death” was staged by Ukraine Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysan to ruin plans to kill him by Russian special services in Ukrainian territory. Chief of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Hyrstak remarked the plan had been staged for two months. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Pescov rejected that Russia would commit such a plan and instead pointed out that being a journalist in Ukraine is unsafe. Indeed, Ukraine is ranked 101 out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders 2018 World Press Freedom Index, but Russia ranks even lower at 148.
Tensions between Ukraine and Russia have continued to terrorize and massacre civilians in Ukraine. Since the Russian annexation of Crimea, eastern Ukraine has turned into a warzone between the Ukraine army and pro-Russian separatists.
This has caused civilian death rates to continually rise, exceeding 2,700 now along with 9,000 injured. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has also reported an estimated 1.6 million people being internally displaced, which is now the largest uprooted population in Europe.
The tragedies occurring in Ukraine have been condemned by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley during a recent Security Council Meeting on Ukraine. She retorted: “Until Russia ends its outrageous actions in Ukraine, the position of the United States will not waver. We condemn, in the strongest terms, Russia’s involvement in eastern Ukraine and its purported annexation of Crimea. Until Russia returns the Crimean Peninsula to Ukrainian control, U.S. sanctions related to the invasion of Crimea will continue.”
The confirmed reports of the missile-system that shot down Malaysian Airline Flight 17 in July 2014 being controlled by Russian-led forces, killing all 298 people aboard has also sparked active responses. In efforts to hold Russia accountable for these actions, Malaysia introduced a resolution to the Security Council to establish an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the disaster. However, a Russian veto caused the Resolution to fail. Consequently, Ambassador Haley declared that “[the United States] strongly supports Australia’s and Netherlands’ call on Russia to acknowledge its role in the tragedy and cooperate in bringing to account those responsible for shooting down MH-17. And like its role in the MH-17 tragedy, we ask Russia to acknowledge another reality that everyone here knows to be true: Russian soldiers are in Ukraine. Not to ‘protect’ Russian-speaking Ukrainian nationals, but to impose Russian control on the country.” Russia has denied all accusations of their involvement with the downing of MH-17.