News sources have confirmed that the events reported below did not in fact take place. The images of the injured man have appeared in at least one other similarly incredible news story from the same region.
The Siberian Times explained that the man, named Alexander and who is from the Republic of Tuva on the border with Mongolia, was attacked by a bear about a month ago, and dragged back to the animal’s den to be kept as food. According to the newspaper, Alexander was found by a group of local hunters after their dogs were drawn to the den, and wouldn’t stop barking.
However, as The Independent reports, a similarly fantastic tale involving a victim named Alexander was reported about a month ago. In that story, Alexander had been buried alive in a cemetery.
The photos in both stories show the same emaciated individual. In the now-debunked story of the bear capture, Alexander was said to have been found in or near the Republic of Tuva — after a bear had supposedly broken his spine, dragged him inside the den, and kept him for food. Alexander claimed to have survived by drinking his own urine.
The story of the bear capture first emerged on a Russian site called EADaily, which now says that local police told them the story was fake.