WATCH: Reporters stunned as 'murdered' Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko shows up at a news conference
Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko. (UNIAN/AFP/File / Inna SOKOLOVSKA)

The murder of anti-Kremlin reporter Arkady Babchenko was widely reported and condemned on Tuesday. But on Wednesday he showed up alive at a news conference in Ukraine.

The prominent 41-year-old journalist was reported to have been shot dead in the stairwell of his apartment building in Kiev in an apparent assassination.

"About a half hour ago, he showed up at a news conference alive, living and breathing. That's him there as part of what was apparently a sting operation to catch some bad actors," remarked MSNBC host Hallie Jackson.

She went on to describe the story as "crazy" and "bonkers."

Ukraine admitted that it had staged the fake assassination as part of a "special operation."

MSNBC foreign correspondent Matt Bradley said the operation was "meant to catch people who were trying to kill" Babchenko.

"He said in that press conference that one of those people had been captured, and the security services -- the ones who staged his death -- they said that they were trying to catch Russian agents," he added.

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