UNIAN correspondent in Russia Roman Tsymbaliuk has said Russia exploited the initial reports about the murder of Russian journalist Arkadiy Babchenko in Kyiv as a pretext for another round of information war against Ukraine, so the dramatic developments where the SBU presented the "victim" safe and sound were taken with apparent disappointment.
"Here [in Russia], some are really disappointed and outraged by this sting operation. While Babchenko was still 'dead', the fact was used to heat up information war against Ukraine. They were saying that we have no freedom of speech in Ukraine and that it's dangerous for a journalist to work there. There was a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry, a very vivid one, listing the journalists who died since the outbreak of war, but at the same time, at least half of the dead were killed in the parts of Donbas controlled by the Russian Federation," Tsymbaliuk told Priamy TV Channel.
Read alsoKlimkin says was "not aware" of SBU sting operation while addressing UNSC May 29According to the journalist, Babchenko's appearance at an SBU-PGO briefing outraged Russia, and the whole SBU set-up was immediately called "anti-Russian," while Ukraine was said to have "embarrassed itself" before the international community.
"It is interesting that the terms used to describe our country's moves were the same in both cases – Babchenko 'dead' and alive: it's Russophobia, anti-Russian hysteria, provocation, etc. The same thing we heard when MH17 investigators had brought charges against Russia stating that it was its army who shot down the plane," Tsymbaliuk said.
The journalist also drew attention to the fact that Russia keeps seeking ways to exploit various reports to show that the situation in Ukraine is getting worse, in order to destabilize the country.