Russian pranksters trick Polish president into thinking he is talking to Macron

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Poland’s president has been duped into speaking to a hoax caller pretending to be France’s Emmanuel Macron on the night that a missile hit a village near the Ukrainian border, his office said on Tuesday, an admission likely to raise questions about its operations.

The call lasted longer than seven minutes.

In a recording, posted on the internet by Russian comedians Vovan and Lexus, Polish President Andrzej Duda can be heard speaking in English to the caller, who attempts to put on a French accent.

At the time of the incident, there were claims Russian missiles had landed in Poland and fears that Nato could be dragged directly into the war. It was later said the missiles were fired from a Ukrainian air defence system.

The call, the second time in recent years that the pranksters from Russia have succeeded in getting through to Duda, came on an evening when the world feared that the conflict in Ukraine could spill beyond its borders.

“Emmanuel, believe me, I am extra careful,” Duda tells the caller. “I don’t want to have war with Russia and believe me, I am extra careful, extra careful.”

Duda’s office wrote on Twitter: “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 realized from the unusual way the interlocutor conducted the conversation that there might have been an attempted hoax attempt and ended the conversation.”

Duda’s office was investigating how the callers managed to get through to him together with the relevant services, it said.

In 2020 Vovan and Lexus called Duda pretending to be UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, raising questions about security and call screening in Duda’s office.

Two advisers to Duda could not immediately be contacted for further comment.

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

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