On Tuesday, May 30, news outlets around the world reported that Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko had been assassinated. In a happy turn of events, the report of Babchenko's death was a hoax planned by Ukrainian police to lure the would-be assassin out into the open. The plan worked, and led to an arrest.

Babchenko's 'murder' helped police find the would-be assassin

Slate reported that Arkady Babchenko's appearance at a press conference on Wednesday was met with gasps and applause.

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Authorities had released a report that said Babchenko had been shot in the back three times as he left his apartment the day before.

But Babchenko arrived alive and well at a news conference on Wednesday, where journalists were waiting for updates on the investigation of the journalist’s murder. Ukrainian officials explained that Babchenko's death was staged as part of an investigation into threats made against his life.

Babchenko apologized to his family and friends, who were not aware of the plot and had been mourning him.

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“I have buried many friends and colleagues many times and I know the sickening feeling. I am sorry you had to experience it. But there was no other way," he said as he addressed the crowd of Ukrainian journalists. Babchenko's wife, Olechka, found her husband covered in blood at their apartment after hearing gunshots. She called an ambulance, and was later told by officials that Babchenko died en route to the hospital.

Though it's a story that sounds like something out of a soap opera, faking Babchenko's death apparently did work, and police say they have made one arrest.

Russia is not happy about the stunt

As reported by the BBC, Russia has been denying any involvement in the recent assassination attempts against a former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter in the United Kingdom. People who are vocal critics of the Kremlin, as Babchenko is, usually end up dead, and people were quick to suspect that Russia was involved in the journalist's supposed death. Following the reveal of the hoax, the BBC reported that Russia's foreign ministry has called the staged assassination "yet another anti-Russian provocation."

As reported by Slate, the head of the Ukrainian security service, Vasyl Hrysta, claims that they have information that the Kremlin recruited a former fighter in east Ukraine to carry out several assassinations in the country.

Russia is not alone in their criticism of the stunt. The BBC reported on the reactions of others as well. Simon Ostrovsky, a colleague and friend of Babchenko, told the BBC he felt "anger and relief in equal measure... We’ve all been hoodwinked and made to believe our friend died."

On Twitter, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) also questioned the necessity of essentially spreading fake news as a means to an end.

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