Russian comedians trick Polish president with prank call over missile attack

Polish President Andrzej Duda (REUTERS)
Polish President Andrzej Duda (REUTERS)

Russian comedians claiming to be Emmanuel Macron prank called the Polish president Andrzej Duda and tricked him into giving them sensitive information after a missile exploded in eastern Poland last week.

Duda’s office has confirmed that he was put through last week to a person claiming to be France’s president.

Officials said it was one of many international calls that the president received just after a missile hit in eastern Poland, close to the border with Ukraine, killing two men.

Nato and Poland’s leaders have said the missile most likely came from a Ukrainian air defence system that fired in response to a barrage of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

Duda has launched an investigation into how the pranksters could have been patched through in the second prank played on the president by the duo.

In 2020 the pair, Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov, known as Vovan and Lexus, talked to him posing as UN secretary-general.

In the new recording posted on YouTube Duda can be heard thanking a man whom he believes to be Macron for calling.

Speaking in English, Duda gives details of the missile incident, and of his plans to request NATO consultations while being very careful not to inflame the situation with Russia.

Over more than seven minutes, Duda, sounding stressed, 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 says he himself is being “extra careful” not to blame Russia but that Poland will seek security consultations with all of its Nato partners. The ease with which the comedians were connected with the president has been crticised in Poland.

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.”