Vasyl Hrytsak, head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), explained to the German news outlet Bild why the staging of journalist Arkady Babchenko’s murder was necessary, and what was achieved as a result.
“Since the client thought that Babchenko was really dead, certain contacting and communication took place, which enabled us to carry out procedural and operational activities and document facts which ultimately had decisive significance in the investigation process. Thus managed to obtain a list of 47 people who were also scheduled for physical destruction,” Hrytsak explained.
When asked what evidence there was that Russia was involved in the assassination attempt on Babchenko, the head of the department responded:
“Investigative activities are still underway, but I can already say that the electronic storage device with a list, acquired by the investigation, will have decisive significance. Following an analysis of the stored data, we will figure out and document its source of origin, and we will move further along the ‘chain’. I am confident that in the end we will be able to prove that the Russian intelligence agency was behind this action”.
Hrytsak says that Russia is interested in destabilizing the situation in Ukraine.
“If Babchenko had really been killed, and perhaps if this had been followed by other killings, it would have contributed to an aggravation of the situation in our country, and would have given cause for reproach, that we cannot protect people,” he said.
Hrytsak emphasized that many lives were saved through this special operation, and apologized for the apartment misleading the media. However, he noted that the journalist’s family did not suffer emotionally, because Babchenko’s wife knew about the operation from the start.
The murder of Arkady Babchenko on May 29 was actually staged by the SBU. The Russian intelligence agency paid the organizer $40,000 for the assassination. Boris German, CEO of LLC UNSP Schmeisser, is suspected of organizing the killing.
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said that staging the murder made it possible to acquire additional information about the list of 47 people and about the client. President Petro Poroshenko emphasized that staging the murder was entirely permissible for the purpose of saving lives.