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How People Fake Their Own Death — and Why

Flowers and portraits of journalist Arkady Babchenko by the Russian Embassy in Kiev. PHOTO: Wired/Pyotr Sivkov\TASS via Getty

The Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko who faked his own death isn’t alone.

By Hope Reese | 5 June 2018

VOX — Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko was recently found lying face down on the floor of his apartment in Kiev, Ukraine, blood seeping through his T-shirt. He was quickly driven away by an ambulance, pronounced dead, and delivered to a morgue.

But the three bullet holes were fake, and the blood came from a pig — Babchenko was alive.

The day after his “death,” he turned up at a news conference in Kiev, presented by Ukrainian authorities, where a room of journalists awaited details of the murder. He apologized to his wife and others for what he had put them through.

The ruse, orchestrated by Ukrainian Security Service, was designed to expose an alleged murder plot in which Kremlin officials offered a Ukrainian middleman $40,000 for Babchenko’s assassination. Babchenko claims it was necessary for his survival. Since then, questions have been raised about whether the extreme measure was warranted, from organizations like the Committee to Protect Journalists. […]

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