EDIT: There has been a rather significant correction to this piece.
My preliminary take:
Babchenko struck a deal with the SBU. He participates in this stunt – makes SBU and Lutsenko look competent – possibly gets money, and certainly publicity, for make benefit of his Yandex Koshelek – SBU gets to roll up a few poor bastards they want to roll up anyway – Western MSM and /r/worldnews + /r/europe: muh evil Russian oppressors killing democratic journalists (but being too incompetent for that) on the eve of the FIFA World Cup.
The pro-Ukrainian activist masquerading as a journalist Arkady Babchenko has just been assassinated in Kiev.
Ironically, as his very last Facebook post makes clear, he regarded today as his “second birthday”, on account of having narrowly escaped death four years ago, when he was removed from a Ukrainian military helicopter at the last minute due to lack of space. That helicopter was shot down by rebel forces.
Babchenko, a fiery supporter of the Maidan and the ATO, gained notoriety for making the most extreme anti-Russian statements, expressing satisfaction at the crash of the military transport plane carrying the Red Army Choir to Syria and rejoicing in the deaths of Russian children in the Kemerovo fire.
I will certainly return to Moscow. I have one more job to do there. I will be on the first Abrams rumbling down Tverskaya, under the NATO flag. And grateful Russians, having forgotten all about Crimea, will be showering flowers on the liberators, and begging for humanitarian aid with downcast eyes. And they will be kicking the toppled statues of Putin, saying that they had been unaware of everything that was happening, and insisting that they had always been against the regime. Remember this Tweet. Good night.
Looks like this project has been indefinitely postponed.
Whodunnit? I don’t know. It could have been Russia, if not to eliminate what was ultimately just a source of comedy, as demonstrate Kiev’s inability to protect its sympathizers. It could have been a svidomy Ukrainian nationalist. It could have been a false flag, perhaps even the first of more to come to justify a resumption of hostilities during the World Cup.