Russian pranksters dupe Polish president into revealing leaders’ phone calls over Ukrainian missile crisis, as he tells them: ‘I don’t need a war with Russia’
- Pranksters held a seven-minute prank call with Polish President Andrzej Duda
- They posed as President Emmanuel Macron following the missile explosion
- Mr Duda relayed details of the missile incident and his plans to involve NATO
Russian comedians have tricked Polish President Andrzej Duda into thinking he was speaking with French President Emmanuel Macron in a prank call, where he revealed sensitive information following last week’s missile explosion.
The comedy duo Vladimir Kuznezow and Alexej Stoljarow, known as Vovan and Lexus, duped the Polish leader into thinking he was having a secure phone call with the French president following the missile explosion in Poland last week.
Mr Duda had been undertaking several calls with world leaders after the explosion, including his phone call with the fake President Macron.
Mr Duda said he recognised from the unusual conduct of the phone call that the person on the other end of the line was not his French counterpart.
But before realising this, the Polish president told the pranksters the content of his previous conversations with other world leaders in a seven-minute call.
Pranksters posing as French President Emmanuel Macron held a seven-minute prank call with Polish President Andrzej Duda. Mr Duda is pictured on November 22
Speaking in English, Duda relays details of the missile incident, of his plans to request NATO consultations and of being very careful not to exacerbate the situation with Russia, which invaded neighboring Ukraine in February.
Mr Duda can be heard saying in the call: ‘It was without a doubt a rocket. We don’t know who fired them. It was a Russian missile, so it was made by Russia.’
A stressed-sounding Polish president then tells the caller that US President Joe Biden does not blame Russia for the missile incident, but that Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy insists it was a Russian-launched projectile.
He then says that he is being ‘extra careful’ not to blame Russia but that Poland will seek security consultations with all of its NATO partners, and that he had just spoken with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Duda’s office confirmed Tuesday’s prank call in a series of Tweets.
Mr Duda explained the incident in a series of Tweets. Duda’s office said it was one of many international calls that the president received at a tense time, just after a missile hit in eastern Poland, close to the border with Ukraine, killing two men
Mr Duda’s office confirmed Tuesday’s prank call in a series of Tweets
Duda’s office said it was one of many international calls that the president received at a tense time, just after a missile hit in eastern Poland, close to the border with Ukraine, killing two men.
NATO and Poland’s leaders have since said the missile most likely came from a Ukrainian air defense system that fired in response to a barrage of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
The office said that appropriate services are checking how the pranksters could have reached Duda – for the second time. In 2020 they talked to him posing as U.N. secretary-general.
Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks to the media during his visit to the site of an explosion in Przewodow, a village in eastern Poland near the border with Ukraine, November 17
Opposition politicians lashed out at Duda, accusing him and his office of being overly lax with security.
Opposition Left party lawmaker Tomasz Trela said it’s a ‘disgrace for the special services and for all those who should be checking who they allow to contact the top leader.’
‘This is a blow for our security and for the opinion we have in the eyes of our allies,’ Trela tweeted.
In July 2020, the same Russian pranksters posted a recording of a phone conversation with Duda, in which Kuznetsov posed as the United Nations secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, and rendered the president speechless with questions about Ukraine, Russia and his fresh re-election. Duda’s office also confirmed that recording as authentic. Two officials from Poland’s mission to the U.N. were dismissed over the incident.
The pranksters have previously embarrassed European politicians including Macron and then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as well as Elton John and Prince Harry with similar hoax calls.
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