Moscow, June 4, Interfax – The situation surrounding the staging of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko’s death is immoral, Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), said.
“I believe that the staging of the death is an immoral act, because every person has loved ones, relatives, maybe some of them were warned, but some of them still were not, many of them could have been traumatized, some of them could have suffered a heart attack. Some people could have rushed to write requests [in churches] for prayers for the repose of his soul or some could have already done that,” the metropolitan said on the Church and the World program on the Rossiya-24 television channel.
“They told the whole world that he is dead and then this person appears in front of cameras like in the famous film Office Romance, when they donated money for Bublikov’s funeral and suddenly he appears and everyone is shocked,” he said.
“It’s one thing when it happens in comedy movies and another is real life, it is turning into tragicomedy,” Metropolitan Hilarion said.
“Thank God the man is alive, but it’s bad that many people were deceived this way, they made them worry and get stressed, and created this outrageous situation,” the DECR head said.
In the evening on May 29, first Ukrainian media and subsequently authorities said that Russian journalist Babchenko, who has been working at the ATR television channel in Kiev since 2017, was allegedly shot dead near his apartment in downtown Ukraine.
Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) head Vasily Gritsak said the next day that reports of Babchenko’s “murder” were a part of special operation conducted by Ukrainian law enforcement services and aimed at preventing an attempt on the journalist’s life. Babchenko himself held a press briefing.
Gritsak said during the same briefing that the organizer of Babcheko’s “killing” was detained in Kiev on Wednesday. The organizer of the crime talked about killing 30 people in Ukraine, and the attempted “murder” of Babchenko was just a warm-up, Gritsak said.