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Italian PM discussed fatigue over Ukraine in prank call with Russian comedians

by Rachel Amran November 2, 2023 3:02 AM 2 min read
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is talking to the media at the end of a European Union leaders summit at the European Council headquarters on Feb. 10, 2023, in Brussels, Belgium. (Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
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Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni spoke of "a lot of tiredness" over the war in Ukraine during a prank call with two Russian comedians posing as African leaders that took place on Sept. 18. Meloni reportedly suggested that she had some ideas about how to "find a way out.”

Her office confirmed that she was misled in the call “by an impostor who passed himself off as the president of the African Union Commission.”

“There is a lot of tiredness on all sides,” Meloni reportedly stated. “The moment is approaching when everyone will understand that we need a way out...Ukraine’s counteroffensive is not going as expected … It has not changed the fate of the conflict, and everyone understands that [the conflict] could last many years if we don’t find a solution. The Ukrainians are doing what they have to do and we are trying to help them.”

“I have some ideas on how to manage this situation, but I’m waiting for the right moment to put them on the table,” Meloni revealed during the call.

The comedians, according to Italian media, are Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov, jointly known as Vovan and Lexus. One of the men reportedly posed as an "African politician."

Vovan and Lexus are famously pro-Russia and have even been accused of having links to Russian intelligence services. However, no evidence of this connection exists.

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