It not immediately clear whether Babchenko's wife and friend were aware of the security operation.
Arkady Babchenko, a prominent Russian journalist, author, and a longtime Putin detractor who fled Russia in February 2017, was fatally shot outside his apartment on Tuesday in Kiev, Ukraine.
A police officer guards near the apartment block where Babchenko was shot.
Babchenko, a prominent war correspondent, is extremely critical of Russia's annexation of Crimea, and was forced to flee Russian Federation in February 2017 because of threats to him and his family. They said he had died in an ambulance on the way to hospital. In one, he said he felt no regret about the deaths of Russian army choir members and others from a December 2016 plane crash as they were heading to perform before Russian troops in Syria.
The journalist left Russian Federation in February 2017 after he claimed he had been receiving threats and shared concerns he might be jailed.More news: Chris Paul trolls Steph Curry with Steph Curry shimmy
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Ukrainian lawmaker Anton Gerashchenko wrote on facebook that the journalist went out to buy some bread, and that the killer was waiting for him near his flat. That prompted President Vladimir Putin to annex Crimea and back a war on the two nations' border.
Babchenko also spoke about his time fighting in Chechnya, describing the philosophy of hate that he and his fellow soldiers were exposed to-that all Chechen men age 10-60 were enemies that Russian soldiers should "Kill, kill, kill".
Arkady Babchenko, who was scathingly critical of the Kremlin, was gunned down in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on Tuesday.
"Now in Russian Federation, the most important enemy is the United States", Babchenko added.
Even since leaving Russian Federation, it seems something had Babchenko concerned for his safety.