Los Angeles Times

Back from the 'dead,' Russian journalist stuns colleagues by turning up in Ukraine

MOSCOW - In a twist worthy of a Russian novel, a prominent Kremlin critic and journalist - whose purported slaying a day earlier in the Ukrainian capital had prompted a wave of grief and outrage - emerged alive and well Wednesday, with officials explaining they had mounted an elaborate sting to foil a death plot against him.

The journalist, 41-year-old Arkady Babchenko, apologized to all for the deception, first and foremost to his wife, Olga. Flanked by law enforcement officials at a news conference in Kiev, he said he had agreed to pose as his own corpse to give authorities their best chance to ensnare those who wanted him dead.

The episode illustrated the climate of

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