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Ukraine president says will protect Russian journalist after plot

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks during a meeting of the country's Security and Defence Council in Kiev, Ukraine May 2, 2018. Mykola Lazarenko/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine will provide protection to the Russian journalist who was the target of an assassination plot by the Russian security services, President Petro Poroshenko said on Wednesday.

Ukraine said it had foiled a plot to kill Kremlin critic Arkady Babchenko, who was declared murdered and then later turned up alive in the middle of a press briefing about the killing. Russia said Ukraine had used Babchenko as a propaganda tool.

“Ukrainian law enforcement agencies are becoming stronger every day in countering Russian aggression,” Poroshenko said on Twitter. “It is unlikely that Moscow will calm down -- I’ve given an order to provide Arkady and his family with protection.”

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Writing by Matthias Williams; Editing by Catherine Evans