Ukraine: Reporter’s fake murder involved swine blood, morgue

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — The Russian journalist who worked with Ukrainian authorities to fake his own death says he was smeared with swine blood and taken to the morgue as part of his elaborately staged murder.

Arkady Babchenko detailed the deception to reporters Thursday for the first time since Ukrainian authorities revealed they had staged his death to foil an alleged plot on his life by Moscow’s security services.

Babchenko told fellow reporters at a news conference in Kiev that he could have refused when Ukrainian officials approached him with the idea for the ruse about a month ago. He says he agreed of his own volition.

Kiev police said Tuesday that the 41-year-old Babchenko had been shot to death inside his apartment building, but announced the next day that he was alive and they had detained a suspect in the case.