Russian Prankster Pronounces Vodka Brand a Little Too Well

'Secretary-general' congratulates Poland's president in call
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 16, 2020 4:43 PM CDT
Russian Prankster Pronounces Vodka Brand a Little Too Well
Polish President Andrzej Duda talks to reporters after having cast his ballot in Krakow on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

A Russian prankster posing as the UN secretary-general managed to reach Poland’s president on the telephone and rendered him speechless with questions about Ukraine, Russia, and his reelection on Sunday. The prankster, Vladimir Kuznetsov, known as Vovan, posted a recording of the 11-minute call on YouTube. President Andrzej Duda's office confirmed Wednesday that it was authentic, the AP reports. At various points in the conversation, conducted in English, Duda sounds surprised at the line of questioning but still refers to the impostor as "Your Excellency." Duda tweeted Wednesday that he realized "something was not right" during the conversation, which took place Monday afternoon while the president awaited official word of his election victory.

Duda said he was suspicious because the real UN chief, Antonio Guterres, does not pronounce the name of Polish vodka brand Zubrowka as well as the caller did. But he conceded the "voice was very similar." The president ended his tweet with an emoticon of tears of laughter. Polish security is investigating how the call got through and whether Russia's secret services were involved. At one point, the caller congratulated Duda on his reelection but took the president to task for his hostile campaign comments about the LGBT community, drawing Duda's assurance that he has “huge respect for every human being.” Duda also rejected a provocative suggestion that Poland would seek to claim back the Ukrainian city of Lviv, which was part of Poland before World War II. “No! No! This is Ukraine,” Duda emphasized.

(More prank call stories.)

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