"Special apologies to my wife Olechka," Babchenko told reporters, according to the Guardian. "There was no other option. The operation was under preparation for two months." The Ukrainian security service had orchestrated the death fake-out in an effort to apprehend those who were already actively trying to murder Babchenko. "Russian authorities" had reportedly hired someone to kill Babchenko for an estimated $30,000. At the time of this writing, one arrest had been confirmed.
Original reports claimed Babchenko, a BBC News and Guardian contributor who was openly critical of Russia's relationship with Ukraine, had been shot to death in Kiev. Ukrainian state news said Tuesday that the 41-year-old journalist had been "shot in the back at his home" and died during ambulance transport.
In a statement following Babchenko’s big reveal Wednesday, the Committee to Protect Journalists urged authorities to explain the reasoning behind the staged death in greater detail. "We are relieved that Arkady Babchenko is alive," the group said. "Ukrainian authorities must disclose what necessitated the extreme measure of staging news of the Russian journalist's murder."