Duda latest victim of Russian pranksters in call pretending to be UN chief
Poland’s security services have launched an investigation after two Russian comics pretending to be UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres posted a prank call with President Andrzej Duda onto YouTube.
The authenticity of the recording was confirmed to PAP by the President's Office press head Marcin Kedryna, who also said the caller had been verified by the Polish mission at the United Nations.
Russian pranksters Vovan and Lexus, or Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov, published the 11-minute recording of the call on Tuesday.
In the recording, Kuznetsov pretends to be the UN secretary general calling Duda to congratulate him on his Sunday's re-election as Poland's president.
Kuznetsov also asks Duda various questions and tries to elicit controversial opinions from the president, with little success. The controversial issues include Red Army monuments in Poland, historical disputes, LGBT rights and even a suggestion that Poland should annex the city of Lviv from Ukraine.
The Polish president told the caller of Poland's good relations with Ukraine, but earlier admitted, as provoked by the prankster, that Ukrainians may be the source of coronavirus in Poland.
Kuznetsov also tried to provoke Duda to comment on Donald Tusk, a former European Council president and Polish PM, a harsh critic of the Polish ruling camp and the president.
The prankster also suggested that Duda's main rival in the presidential elections, Rafal Trzaskowski, assured Guterres that it was he who had won the ballot and had asked the UN secretary general to congratulate him on his election victory.
In an interview with money.pl, the comedians said: “We called through to the office. As you probably know, after the election, other leaders often call the winners to congratulate. And there is very little time to verify who is really calling.
“I must praise President Duda’s administration, because it did not go so easily. It was much easier to screw up Emmanuel Macron or Boris Johnson.”
Duda is not the first victim of the Russian pranksters.
They have also tricked such personalities as US senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, Elton John, Prince Harry, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.