Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko has explained why it was necessary to imitate the killing of opposition Russian journalist Arkadiy Babchenko, who lives in Ukraine.
"1. Such imitation is allowed under Article 271 of the Criminal Procedural Code and has been used over 30 times over the past 30 months.
2. After ordering Babchenko's killing, its mastermind G. suggested that perpetrator Ts. (which acted in cooperation with the Security Service of Ukraine) should kill two more people. He noted that there was an entire list of over 30 people whom the Russian special services want to kill.
3. If G. was detained ahead of the terrorist act, all these people would be still at risk. The imitation of the murder allowed us to source additional information about the list and the mastermind.
4. As a result of this operation, investigators received a list of 47 (!) people who could become the next victims of the terrorists. Mostly these are Ukrainian and ex-Russian journalists.
5. Today they were notified that they are in danger, efforts are being taken to organize their protection.
Investigators also obtained important evidence of G.'s connections with the Russian special services, about which we will notify you in a while," Lutsenko said on Facebook.
Ukrainian special services imitated the killing of well-known opposition Russian journalist Arkadiy Babchenko in Kyiv on 29 May to prevent his actual killing and expose the mastermind. Babchenko turned up alive and kicking at a briefing of the special services the next day to the dismay of the public. The operation stirred an international debate on whether this kind of operation is acceptable.