Arkady Babchenko used pigs blood and make-up to fake death

Police and journalists outside a building in Kiev where Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko was shot dead

Police and journalists outside a building in Kiev where Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko was shot dead

Babchenko made a shock reappearance at a news conference in Kiev on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the Ukrainian authorities reported that he had been shot dead at his home in a contract-style killing blamed on Russian Federation.

General prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, who appeared alongside Mr Babchenko, said it was necessary to fake the journalist's death so that the organisers of the plot to kill him would believe they had succeeded.

However, he decided against fleeing Ukraine after hearing of the threat against his life, referencing the Russian former spy Sergei Skripal who was recently poisoned with a nerve agent in the UK.

News reports said German's lawyer has identified him as the executive director of a joint venture in Ukraine with German arms-maker Schmeisser.

Britain says Russian Federation is culpable for the poisoning, an allegation Moscow denies.

It also produced global condemnation, in part because several prominent Russians critical of Putin have been murdered in recent years, three of them in Ukraine.

His reported murder sparked a war of words between Ukraine and Russian Federation.

"Once the gates of the morgue closed behind me, I was resurrected", he said, according to the Moscow Times.

Babchenko said he was anxious the entire time the operation would fall through, but was relieved after it was completed.

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Ukraine on Thursday defended the action of its state security services in faking the death of a Russian dissident journalist after worldwide criticism. Opposition groups and human rights organizations say the Kremlin is behind the killings.

"Now the true motives are beginning to be revealed for this staging, which is totally, obviously yet another anti-Russian provocation", the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The information was supposed to help the murderer search for Babchenko's places of residence and his network of contacts in Ukraine.

Pressed for details about the contract on his head allegedly taken out by Russian Federation and how the arrest would benefit investigators, Babchenko said he had no idea and was leaving it up to the security service.

Ukrainian politicians robustly defended the ruse.

Ukrainian authorities rushed to defend the stunt, with Interior Minister Arsen Avakov stating he was surprised with "pseudo-moral" criticism from overseas and that the secret services achieved with the operation "enough ... to be satisfied". "No matter how painful it was for his family and Dr. Watson".

"Relieved that Arkadiy #Babchenko is alive!" the office of the OSCE's Harlem Desir tweeted. "I deplore the decision to spread false information on the life of a journalist".

There are concerns about how the Babchenko saga plays into the ongoing tensions between Russian Federation and Ukraine, both over territory and control of information-and what a journalist was doing in the middle of an argument between two states.

"No one is angry, unlike some in other places, but we hope UA (Ukraine) understands that global good will is a finite resource - even if they are right and it's a war against a superior enemy", the diplomat wrote to Reuters in a message.

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