Polish president briefed Russian pranksters posing as Macron

FILE - Polish President Andrzej Duda listens through an earpiece to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a joint news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022. Russian comedians pretending to be the French president tricked the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, into giving them sensitive information after a missile exploded in eastern Poland last week. Duda???s office confirmed on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022 that he was put through to a person claiming to be France???s Emmanuel Macron last week. (AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko, File)

The Polish President’s office confirmed the prank (Picture: AP)

Polish President Andrzej Duda was duped into speaking to hoaxers pretending to be France’s Emmanuel Macron on the night a missile hit a village near the Ukraine border.

His office confirmed the prank after two well-known Russian comedians posted a recording of the call on YouTube.

During the seven-and-a-half minute chat, Mr Duda says: ‘Emmanuel, believe me, I am extra careful. I don’t want to have war with Russia and believe me, I am extra careful, extra careful.’

Mr Duda was targeted on November 15 just after a missile landed in eastern Poland, killing two men.

The president’s office said it was one of several international calls he received at a time of heightened tensions.

A statement posted on Twitter said: ‘After the missile explosion in Przewodow, during the ongoing calls with heads of state and government, a person claiming to be French President Emmanuel Macron was connected.

‘During the call, President Andrzej Duda realised from the unusual way the interlocutor conducted the conversation that there might have been an attempted hoax attempt and ended the conversation.’

The office said the appropriate services are checking how the pranksters could have reached Mr Duda — for the second time. In 2020, they talked to him posing as the UN secretary-general.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Yuri Kochetkov/EPA/REX/Shutterstock (8459485b) So-called Russian Pranksters Vladimir 'Vovan' Krasnov (l) and Alexei 'Lexus' Stolyarov (r) Attend a Press Conference Entitled 'Pranksters: Telephone Hooligans Or Sensational Unmaskers?' in Moscow Russia 21 September 2015 Following the Interest of the British Pop Star and Lgbt Activist Sir Elton John in Speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Lgbt Rights the Duo Decided to Prank Call the Music Icon Impersonating Putin and His Spokesman Dmitry Peskov the Duo Are Known in Russia For Prank-phone-calls to Russian and Ukrainian Celebrities Russian Federation Moscow Russia Pranksters - Sep 2015

Russian pranksters Vladimir ‘Vovan’ Krasnov (left) and Alexei ‘Lexus’ Stolyarov (right) posted a recording of the call on YouTube (Picture: Yuri Kochetkov/EPA/Rex/Shutterstock)

Poland's President Andrzej Duda speaks during press conference on November 17,2022 in the eastern Poland village of Przewodow, where a missile strike killed two men, near the border with war-ravaged Ukraine. - The strike occurred in the afternoon of November 15, 2022, as Russia targeted Ukraine with a massive attack on civilian infrastructure, which has left millions of households without power. Russian missiles hit cities across Ukraine, including Lviv near the Polish border. (Photo by Wojtek RADWANSKI / AFP) (Photo by WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

The president’s office said it was one of several international calls he received at a time of heightened tensions (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

In the new recording posted by Russian pranksters Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov, known as Vovan and Lexus, Mr Duda can be heard thanking a man whom he believes to be Macron for calling.

Speaking in English, he relays details of the missile incident, his plans to request NATO consultations and of being very careful not to exacerbate the situation with Russia.

Over more than seven minutes, Mr Duda, sounding stressed, tells the caller that US President Joe Biden does not blame Russia for the missile incident, but that Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky 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.

Opposition politicians lashed out at Mr Duda, accusing him and his office of being overly lax with security.

It was the second time the pranksters duped Mr Duda (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

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’.

He tweeted: ‘This is a blow for our security and for the opinion we have in the eyes of our allies.’

In July 2020, the same Russian pranksters posted a recording of a phone conversation with Mr 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.

Mr Duda’s office also confirmed that recording as authentic. Two officials from Poland’s mission to the UN 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.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

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