Journalist’s criticism of wars in Georgia and Ukraine made him an obvious target

Even before his dramatic staged death on Tuesday, Arkady Babchenko was a celebrated enemy of the Kremlin.

In 1995, as a second-year law student, he was drafted into the army. He was sent to Chechnya a year after Boris Yeltsin had begun a war there against Chechen rebels. After six months of training in the Urals, Babchenko was sent to the frontline with 15,000 other conscripts.

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