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"Blow Up Crimean Bridge": Journalist Gets Pranked by Russian Pranksters

© AFP 2022 / YURI KADOBNOVRussian pranksters (L-R) Vladimir "Vovan" Kuznetsov, 30, and Alexei "Lexus" Stolyarov, 28, speak during an interview with AFP at a bar in Moscow, on March 14, 2016
Russian pranksters (L-R) Vladimir Vovan Kuznetsov, 30, and Alexei Lexus Stolyarov, 28, speak during an interview with AFP at a bar in Moscow, on March 14, 2016 - Sputnik International
Earlier the US journalist Tom Rogan from the Washington Examiner published an article urging the Ukrainian government to destroy the 19-kilometer-long bridge that Russia built across the Kerch Strait. The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case against him for calls to terrorist activities.

Russian prankers Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov (also known as Vovan & Lexus) have called the US journalist Tom Rogan, who previously suggested that Ukraine must blow up the newly built Crimean Bridge. One of the prankers presented himself as Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin calling to thank the journalist for his article. Sputnik has obtained the recording of their conversation.

READ MORE: Russia Launches Case Against Journalist Who Suggested Blowing Up Crimean Bridge

V&L: Hello?

Rogan: Hello?

V&L: Yes, this is Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin. Who's that?

Rogan: Tom Rogan. How are you, sir?

V&L: Ah, Tom Rogan. Good. Good Afternoon, Mr. Rogan. I'm fine! And you?

Rogan: Yes, I'm good. Thank you!

V&L: Thank you! May I congratulate you and your media with a wonderful article, that our people loved.

Rogan: Well, I'm glad.

V&L: Yes, absolutely. On behalf of our president Poroshenko let me express our thanks for the supporting of our territorial integrity. The most important thing is [that] you hurt the feelings of the President of Russia and other Russian authorities.

Rogan: Yes. Well, you know, I just I thought it needed to be said and obviously… you know, I just sent follow up piece. But I appreciate you saying [that] obviously the Kremlin is not very happy about it, but if you upset the Kremlin, then you're doing something right. [Isn't it?]

V&L: Yeah, I agree. That's why they opened the fake criminal record.

Rogan: Yes, well. You know, it's all they can do from their end. But of course some people, and you know this for a while now, they do much worse so it doesn't bother me and, you know, I appreciate you taking the time to call as well. I hope that if you appear in Washington, you will come to an editorial board with Washington Examiner. My editor asked me to, who said the Russians are pre-investigating, he asked me to ask you that. Next time you're in Washington.

V&L: Ok. Not a problem. Of course. And I also hope that people in your office are supporting you, so you don't feel any pressure on your opinion.

Rogan: They are. They are. That's very good.

V&L: So you also don't feel any pressure from authorities in Washington or somewhere else?

Rogan: No, only on Twitter.

V&L: Great. I want you to know that we're ready to provide you our law assistance in Russia.

Rogan: Thank you! Thank you very much!

V&L: And we will speak on your side and also to take all the costs in that criminal prosecution in Russia.

Rogan: That's very kind of you.

V&L: And we have a great practice , you know, with this case of Savchenko…

Rogan: Yeah

V&L:…in Netherlands and many other countries, where we have our lawyers. We are ready to provide the most famous and successful lawyer Mark Feygin [was lawyer for Savchenko case], in Russia, who has many successful cases behind his back and the Russian authorities are afraid of him.

READ MORE: US Journalist Urges Ukraine to Blow Up Russia's Crimean Bridge, Shocks Twitter

Rogan: Right, very good. Hopefully that won't be necessary, but the moment it is — I'll reach out to you.

V&L: I think it could be good case and we can show how it looks for other countries. For other world. It's like a show, you know…

Rogan: Right

V&L:…and that lawyer, he is like enemy of their regime. Moreover, let me express my personal human opinion. I speak not as a minister, but as a Ukrainian citizen, who cares about my country and I absolutely agree with you and we have the moral right to blow up that bridge.

Rogan: Yes, yes. No, absolutely. You know, it's ridiculous and they don't like being challenged on reality so they can… you know, I don't want use profanity, speaking to foreign minister of Ukraine, but you can… I think we both share the same opinion of their attitude on it.

V&L: And you know what we have done in 2015, when we blew up transmission lines in Crimea and made blackout for Crimea. In particular I was amazed at their reaction on that.

Rogan: It's theft.

V&L: So now they are completely dependent on Russia, but this doesn't mean that their infrastructure doesn't belong us. 

Rogan: Right, exactly, exactly. And one day it will be yours again. It's positive to see the strengthening of US-Ukrainian relations with president Trump, so hopefully that will continue. And I will certainly keep writing about this issue. Hopefully, next time you're in Washington, we can have a beer.

V&L: Yeah, sure. I think I will be in two months in Washington…

Rogan: Okay

V&L:…so I'll let you know, when I'll be there. And we can discuss it personally. And also, I understand and I hope that you agree that we must create a new nation in which there will be no place for Russian aggression, terrible aggression, and especially no place for their culture? Their songs and especially St. George ribbons. You know what is George ribbons?

Rogan: Yes, yes, yes. It's ridiculous. It's just they… you know, it's just an effort to scare and to steal. And it requires, you know, challenging them. I'll keep doing that and obviously you're doing that with your government, and hopefully we will continue and with time people will, with time and effort,  they will be pushed back.

V&L: Yeah, I agree. And I'll be very happy to invite you in Kiev. I know our president has some surprise for you.

Rogan: All right, okay, that's great. I'll bring that up, I'll mention that to my bosses.

V&L: And our president, he really loves your article and particularly the noise it caused in the Russian media.

Rogan: Good, I'm glad, I'm glad.

V&L: That was amazing.

Rogan: Well my father was in the American State Department, my mother is British, hence my accent. My father was in the American state department, so I'll look forward to telling him that I talked with you, he will enjoy that.

V&L: Ah, your father [is] working [in] the Department of State?

Rogan: Yes, for America, for the US. Yes

V&L: Ah, ok. Great.

READ MORE: 'So Happy for the Crimean People': World Reacts to Opening of Crimean Bridge

Rogan: So, he will enjoy you message. He sent me a text message "saying ‘stick those Russians in the belly'," that the Patton said in the Second World War. So, he was joking, but only slightly.

V&L: Okay, okay, that's great. I'm not going to reveal all the cards, but I have to ask you one question, if it's possible. Are you ready to accept of our awards in the field of journalism, as a sign of the respect from our country, if it's possible, of course?

Rogan: I would love to. That's very kind of you! Thank you! Good stuff. Well thank you. That's very kind of you, minister.

V&L: Okay, and also, I just want to ask you, did you hear that today we arrested a journalist from Russia?

Rogan: I didn't see that, no. Is he a spy?

V&L: Mr. Vyshinsky, he, well, now we are under pressure some organizations that have accused us that we try to prevent freedom of speech. He worked for Russian government. He was like a journalist, but we understand that he could be useful for exchange for other our political prisoners.

Rogan: Ah, right. Okay, okay. I've just seen this, yes. Vyshinsky…

V&L: Yes, Vyshinsky, yeah, Vyshinsky. Yes. So you could see him in the media. Therefore we would appreciate your journalistic support and support of your colleagues in this matter. It's important for us.

Rogan: Oh, okay. Right. Well, I'll pass that on. I will

V&L: Okay. Yeah. Because, you know, he worked for Putin, so he just… like it was in the US, like Russia Today, you know what they tried to…

Rogan: Right, with the elections

V&L: I think that's right decision to stop that.

Rogan: Right, Gotta stand up to it. Yes, yes I will, you know, I'll definitely mention that.

V&L: And especially and that measures, that you wrote, we have… I think we have all moral rights to do that.

Rogan: Yes, exactly. Well, I appreciate it.

V&L: And I also would like to advise you… you could write the same article and write what is the better way to bomb them… other objects in Crimea.

Rogan: Okay, okay. Well, my mother might get at odds with me, but I'll keep that in mind, yeah.

V&L: Great, great. Alright. Okay, thank you, thank you for your time and I'll tell my president tomorrow that I had the conversation.

Rogan: Thank you very much, minister. It's very kind of you to take the time to call me. I appreciate. I know you must be very busy.

V&L: Okay, yeah. And also what do you think, what is the best object to bomb next time?

Rogan: I know, you should probably know better than me, but I'll assume some of their artillery platforms in the south-east.

V&L: Okay, okay, great. Again, have a nice day!

Rogan: You too!

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