‘Emmanuel, Believe Me’: How the Polish President Was Being Pranked by Russian Comedians

Important points
  • During the call, Polish President Andrzej Duda can be heard speaking in English to the caller, who is trying to put on a French accent.
  • The call came as the world feared the conflict in Ukraine could spill over into its borders.
  • Mr Duda’s office is investigating how the callers were able to reach him.
The Polish president spoke to a fake caller pretending to be Frenchman Emmanuel Macron on the night a rocket hit a village near the Ukrainian border, his office said Tuesday, an admission likely to raise questions about his operations will raise.

In a 7 1/2 minute recording of the call posted online by Russian comedians Vovan and Lexus, Polish President Andrzej Duda can be heard speaking in English to the caller, who is trying to put on a French accent .

The call, the second time in recent years that pranksters from Russia have managed to get hold of Mr Duda, came on a night when the world feared the conflict in Ukraine could spill over borders.
“Emmanuel, believe me, I’m being extra careful,” Mr. Duda tells the caller.
“I don’t want war with Russia and believe me I’m extra careful, extra careful.”
Mr Duda’s office wrote on Twitter: “Following the rocket explosion in Przewodow, during ongoing talks with leaders, a person claiming to be French President Emmanuel Macron was linked.”

“During the phone call, President Andrzej Duda realized from the unusual way in which the interlocutor conducted the conversation that it could have been an attempted joke and ended the conversation.”

Mr. Duda’s office, together with the responsible departments, is investigating how the callers were able to get through to him, it said.
In 2020, Vovan and Lexus called Mr. Duda pretending to be UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and asked questions about security and call monitoring in Mr. Duda’s office.
Two of Mr Duda’s advisers could not be immediately contacted for further comment.

Vovan and Lexus are known in Russia for pranking celebrities and politicians and have in the past tricked Macron, British singer Elton John and former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, among others.

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