While Kiev may have prevented a killing, the next time a Kremlin critic is murdered the first question will be: are they really dead?

As dramatic plot-twists go, it was top drawer: gasps all round at a press conference about a murder investigation, as the star guest turns out to be the victim himself, smirking and very much not dead.

The courageous, controversial and contrarian journalist Arkady Babchenko had not been shot in the back by an assassin, as Ukrainian government officials and gruesome leaked photographs had led everyone to believe. In fact, he had faked his own death as part of a top-secret Ukrainian security services operation to catch real would-be killers operating on Moscow’s orders.

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Read More For all its absurdity, the Babchenko stunt is no laughing matter | Shaun Walker

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