07:53 GMT26 February 2021
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    Arkady Babchenko, the Russian national reported to have been murdered in the Ukrainian capital has appeared at a press briefing in Kiev alive and well. Sputnik spoke to journalist Olly Richardson about the ramifications this could have for Ukraine.

    Sputnik: What do you make of the fiasco with the journalist staged death?

    Olly Richardson: The current state of affairs in Ukraine, this is now normal. The country itself is collapsing, it’s lost its statehood, and it’s lost its economy, everything it inherited from the Soviet Union. There is no real law enforcement in the country, yesterday’s stunt with this faked murder is due to the situation the President finds himself in. Next year, there are the elections and he himself has in mind that he needs to improve his approval rating which according to the latest polls, he is in seventh place and he has the highest disapproval rating as people in Ukraine are not happy with him.

    READ MORE: "Murdered" Russian Journalist Babchenko Alive, Speaks on Ukrainian TV (VIDEO)

    Sputnik: How will this reflect on Ukraine and Russia respectively?

    Olly Richardson: Russia’s response, at the official level was in line with international law; at the end of the Mr. Babchenko is a Russian citizen. Russia made it clear that it doesn’t matter that Mr Babchenko was anti-Putin, what matters in terms of international law was he is a Russian citizen and he was killed in Ukraine. It expected an investigation would be launched immediately. So Russia reacted normally and legally and suffered no damage to its reputation. Ukraine what it actually did can be called a terrorist attack on domestic public opinion, because the people in the country of Ukraine were duped for nearly two days, they were completely deceived. I honestly can’t see why it can’t be called an act of terrorism.

    READ MORE: Ukraine's Security Service: Murder Plot on Russian Journalist Foiled, He's Alive

    Sputnik: Will we see any ramifications against Ukraine for this attempt to blame Russia for his death?

    Olly Richardson: This is really focused on Petro Poroshenko and his personal situation, it has to be remembered that Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian intelligence agencies, they cannot do anything without consent from the American Central Intelligence Agency. It has the potential to cause damage to the internal situation in Ukraine, but as I said America draws lines in the sand. It has mechanisms and methods of being able to put this situation a bit more under control.

    The views and opinions expressed are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Arkady Babchenko, Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine, Russia
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