Fake phone call to Giorgia Meloni, from Kissinger to Elton John: here are the other victims of Russian comedians

Several world political leaders have fallen into the traps of Vovan and Lexus

Not just Giorgia Meloni. Falling into the trap of the two Russian comedians Vovan and Lexuswho, managing to overcome institutional barriers, telephoned Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni trying to elicit statements on the war between Ukraine and Russia, there have been several world leaders and entertainment personalities. From Elton John to Angela Merkel, from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State and historic expert on American foreign policy.

Vladimir Aleksandrovich Kuznetsov and Aleksei Vladimirovich Stolyarov, 36 and 37, have a long series of pranks under their belt. Typically, figures who have critical or distant positions towards Russia end up in the crosshairs. For this reason, Vovan and Lexus are considered organic to the Kremlin’s communication and functional to the interests of Moscow and the services, starting with the FSB, the main security agency.

The ‘career’ of the duo, who verbally refuse to be considered tools in the service of Vladimir Putin, began in 2014 with a phone call to the then president of Moldova, Nicolae Timofti. The president would have called him. It also appears among the victims in 2015 Elton John, because Vovan and Lexus range from politics to entertainment. The singer even receives a phone call from Vladimir Putin: the discussion on gay rights in Russia pushes Elton John to publish an enthusiastic post on social media. It’s up to the real Putin to call the singer and explain that it was a joke by two unscrupulous ‘pranksters’.

They get mocked Mikhail Gorbachev And John McCain, from Russia to the United States. In 2016, the coup with the joke on the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who ‘takes the bait’ on the phone call from Ukrainian leaders Petro Poroshenko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk. The imitation of Poroshenko is particularly apt, if it is true that the president of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, also fell for it in 2019.

In 2019 the couple became interested in Venezuela. TO Juan Guaido, leader of the opposition to Nicolas Maduro’s regime, comes the phone call from the self-styled Swiss president Ueli Maurer. Comedians try to take the bait Elliott Abrams, US special representative for Venezuela, and try to convince him to expose himself about an American military intervention in the country: mission failed. Vovan and Lexus in 2020 transform into Greta Thunberg, with dad by her side, to talk to Prince Harry and with the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to whom, between one sentence and another, the possibility of leaving NATO is raised. In 2020, the year of the US elections which will mark Joe Biden’s victory against Donald Trump, the duo is particularly active on the American front. Here are the phone calls to Bernie Sanders, Democratic senator running in the primaries, and to Kamala Harrisdestined to become vice president.

In November 2022, with the war between Ukraine and Russia going on for months, they pose as the French president Emmanuel Macron and they come into contact with the Polish president Andrzej Duda, who takes the bait and closes the conversation. Also Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State and historic expert on American foreign policy, falls into the trap. He was made to believe he was talking to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Same fate for the writer JK Rowling, sure of speaking on Zoom with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. In February this year, the tried and tested ‘fake Porosheenko’ returns, keeping Angela Merkel on the phone to talk about Ukraine. A few weeks later, a fake Zelensky calls Christine Lagarde: the president of the European Central Bank.