>> The strange saga of Arkady Babchenko may end up costing Ukraine. The dissident Russian reporter faked his own death earlier this week. He worked with Ukraine's intelligence services, who say it was done to thwart an alleged Kremlin assassination attempt. But the events of the past 72 hours may have handed a propaganda coup to Moscow.
Reuters' Moscow bureau chief, Christian Lowe.>> Moscow has been telling anyone who would listen, for a long time, that the authorities in Kiev are illegitimate, brought to power in what Moscow calls an illegal coup. And on top of that that they are incompetent and not to be taken seriously.
All the events of the past couple of days in Kiev have given Moscow additional ammunition to make that argument. Furthermore, Kiev has been saying for some time that Moscow is ordering assassination attempts on its opponents, including on Ukrainian territory. Now, the next time Kiev makes an allegation, it will somewhat undermine the credibility of that allegation.
And that, of course, helps Moscow.>> Ukrainian politicians robustly defended the ploy. But critics worldwide said the scheme and finger-pointing at Russia has undermined credibility in journalism. And could have serious implications for Western allies' financial and diplomatic support for Kiev.>> Many of those countries were already feeling a little bit impatient with the government of Ukraine, that the government wasn't moving fast enough on reform.
And they felt that they weren't moving fast enough on rooting out corruption This incident now will, I suspect, add to that feeling of impatience and frustration. And when they discovered that he wasn't dead, I think they probably felt fairly deceived by Kiev. And that's not gonna make them happy.
>> A senior EU diplomat in Kiev told Reuters that Ukraine's actions were understandable. But hoped that it understood that international goodwill is a finite resource.