Merkel, Erdogan, Sanchez, Elton John: the victims of Vovan-Lexus, the Russian comedians who “deceived” Meloni


By John

From the former German Chancellor Angela Merkelconvinced to speak with the former Ukrainian president Poroshenko, to the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoganfrom Elton John to the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez: The list of excellent victims of phone fakes by the Russian comedian duo Vovan and Lexus is long (Vladimir Krasnov and Alexei Stolyarov), who this time targeted Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Vovan and Lexus use a technique now well established. By adopting a false identity, usually that of a government official or politician, and citing information they know about, they catch their interlocutor off guard and manage to get him to speak in a confidential manner. More than on the imitation of voices they focus on the surprise effect. The two have become famous thanks to their Youtube channel, which was banned this year.

Only last month he fell into the trap Sanchezconvinced that he was speaking to the president of an African country concerned about the suspension of the agreement for the export of Ukrainian wheat from the ports on the Black Sea. However, the Spanish prime minister had shown himself firm in his position against readmitting Russian banks in Swift system and had shown interest in “restoring order in Niger”, judging it “unacceptable to leave Russia as the main actor in the region” of the Sahel.

In April the two managed to record a conversation with the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, posing as none other than Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In November last year they reached the Polish president Andrzej Duda with one of the two posing as Emmanuel Macron. In the past one of the two comedians had even impersonated President Vladimir Putin to speak on the phone with Elton John. It was the musician himself who made the alleged conversation with the Russian leader known on Instagram, saying he was ready to meet him to discuss discrimination against gays in Russia. Still posing as Zelensky, one of the two had spoken to the British writer last year JK Rowling, proposing himself as an actor in a possible new film in the Harry Potter saga. Then he criticized the then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson with “I prefer Tony Blair”.