Following the 1989 collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia's financial situation was dire. So when the American magazine Forbes FYI
reported that the Russian government had decided to sell the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin in an effort to raise foreign currency, the news seemed believable. Bidding for Lenin, it was said, would start at $15 million. Both ABC News
and USA Today
repeated the story without questioning it, and so were embarrassed when the editor of Forbes FYI
revealed that it had been intended as a joke. Russian Interior Minister Viktor Barrannikov denounced the story as "an impudent lie."