Prankster posing as Zelensky tries to fool UK Defence Secretary in hoax call

A Russian prankster has been slammed by UK government officials after posing as Ukraine's President Zelensky during hoax calls.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace became suspicious and terminated the call after “several misleading questions” which he has since branded "dirty tricks."

Mr Wallace claimed it was a “desperate attempt” but “no amount of Russian disinformation, distortion and dirty tricks” could distract from the human rights abuses carried out during Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The hoax call, which was revealed in a Twitter post, has raised security questions as to how it was able to reach the Defence Secretary and it has since been suggested that Russia was behind it.

Mr Wallace said: “Today an attempt was made by an imposter claiming to be Ukrainian PM to speak with me.

“He posed several misleading questions and after becoming suspicious I terminated the call.

“No amount of Russian disinformation, distortion and dirty tricks can distract from Russia’s human rights abuses and illegal invasion of Ukraine. A desperate attempt.”

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The news comes just a week after Ben Wallace predicted the Russia-Ukraine war would spell the end of Vladimir Putin.

He told BBC Radio 4: "This will be Putin’s end, this country, and so it should be because of, not only their spirit and the moral component that they have on their side – the Ukrainians – but also because it will be an impossible task to occupy such a people and a country.

“Whatever we think about President Putin, he is done. He is a spent force in the world. No one will be taking his phone calls in the long term.

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“He has exhausted his army, he is responsible for thousands of Russian soldiers being killed, responsible for innocent people being killed, civilians being killed in Ukraine.

“He is reducing his economy to zero because the international community has decided that is absolutely unacceptable, what he’s done.

“So he is a spent force in the world and I don’t know whether he thinks that’s a clever thing to be, but that diminishes his own country in the world and he has to take responsibility for that.”

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